FROM THE CAMARGUE TO THE HOLY BALM - THE GROTTO OF MARIE MADELEINE
From the Camargue to the holy balm, the cave of Mary Magdalene, passing through Arles and Aix en Provence, this mythical pilgrimage tour is one of the most beautiful in the region.
Around 45 A.D., fleeing persecution, Mary Magdalene and her companions boarded a makeshift boat that led them to the Camargue. His brother Lazarus, his sister Martha, Sara, Maximin…. will evangelize Provence: the tradition of the Saints will begin… Visit of the Saintes Maries and its fortified church for an introduction to the journey of the first Christians in the region. Evocation of the Rhône, a major communication route since antiquity and cruise on the Petit Rhône. Continuation to Arles
Lunch of the group at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.
Accommodation in Arles or surroundings.
While Martha left to evangelize Tarascon and Maximin went to Aix and St Maximin, Lazarus and Mary Magdalene went to Marseille, the great Roman-dominated trading port. Visit of the historical centre of Arles, its necropolis, its archaeological museum, evoking the Roman world and its spectacular achievements such as the amphitheatre or the Cryptoportiques.
Continuation to Marseille… Visit of the Panier district, place of Mary Magdalene’s Preaching and evocation of the city’s protective female deities since the earliest antiquity. Discovery of the crypts of Saint Victor’s Abbey, which houses a primitive statue of Lazarus and an enigmatic Black Madonna. Visit of Our Lady of the Guard dominated by her Solar Virgin.
Typical lunch in Marseille.
Accommodation in the Marseille area.
After a few miracles, Mary Magdalene decided to withdraw from the world and go to the Massif de la Sainte Baume where she spent nearly 30 years in a cave, in penance and mystical ecstasy. Feeling her death coming, she joins Maximin who will bury her at the very place where we can see her sarcophagus today. Discover the medieval district of Saint-Maximin and visit a conference in the basilica dedicated to Mary Magdalene, which houses the third tomb of Christianity. An evocation of the multiple representations of Mary Magdalene in art.
Lunch of the group at the Plan d’Aups, at the Dominican Brothers’ Hotel. Discover the Sainte Baume massif on foot and climb to the cave (45 minutes walk).
Accommodation in the St Maximin area.
Departure for Aix-en-Provence. Visit of the episcopal village and the cathedral which houses a remarkable early Christian baptistery. Free time in Aix (possibility of tasting calissons in a traditional factory).
Free lunch in Aix en Provence.
accommodation in the Aix en Provence region