Mary Magdalene


Of all the New Testament characters, few - other than Jesus himself - have exerted such an enduring fascination ‘The Magdalene’ painted 1576-78 by El Greco (1541 -1614). Now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Mary Magdalene, believed by the Church to have been a reformed prostitute. Yet her never-ending appeal is odd for one who appears so briefly - and then so elusively - in the Bible: so what has made her so entrancing to generations of Christians and non-Christians alike? Was she, as many now argue, actually Jesus’ wife and the mother of his children? And why is she intimately connected with both the cult of the Black Madonnas and the legend of the Queen of Sheba? Temple of Mysteries investigates this most controversial of religious mysteries.

The Mary Magdalene studio will include files on:

The Magdalene Story

‘St. Mary Magdalene’ painted 1580-85 by El Greco. Now in the Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City.Her appearances in the New Testament and the way the Church treated her tradition.

The Magdalene of the Heretics

Mary appears in a very different light in the Gnostic Gospels - here she is not a marginal character, but (after Jesus), the star… And we also examine her importance to ‘heretical’ groups such as the Cathars.

The Black Madonna Connection

Why is Mary Magdalene associated with the black-faced Madonnas of Europe? What strange and compelling secret was hidden under their apparently Christian image?

The Controversies

Was Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus and mother of his children? Did she go to France with her family and found a bloodline of sacred kings? Was she a pagan priestess and sexual initiatrix who was Jesus’ lover - but not his lawful wife?

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 The Templars
and the Holy Grail

The Magdalene
in the New Testament

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