Rennes-le-Château and Rennes-les-Bains

Rennes-le-Château and Rennes-les-Bains

Mary Magdalene at Rennes-les-Bains

I like this picture of Mary Magdalene reading - a change from seeing her repenting her sins in a cave!  She was an educated woman.

I have long believed that Mary Magdalene came to Rennes-les-Bains in Roman times when it was called Aquae Calidae.  Many spiritual people "find her" in this region.

  But Jesus came to Rennes-les-Bains too.  After their traumatic experiences in Judea, they would not have been separated.

  Local people in the Razès - the area of which Rennes-le-Château was once the capital - think of Mary Magdalene and Jesus as a couple.  Some think they brought Catharism here.

  The legend that both Mary Magdalene and Jesus came to this part of the world is an "everybody knows" legend.  Everybody knows they came to the south of France and everybody knows that Mary and Jesus lived together if they weren't actually married.  Everybody knows she was his leading disciple -  the "apostle of the apostles" - and his leading lady.

  We are talking about ideas that have existed for two thousand years.  Could there be a thread of truth travelling down the arches of the years?

  To the people of this region this legend is normal.  Maybe they laugh or scoff, but they know it exists.  Mary Magdalene AND Jesus came to the region of Rennes-le-Château.  This was new and extraordinary;  I've got used to the idea now!  It's part of my consciousness. 

  There's also a feeling that I have experienced many times;  "She was here, I know she was here."  Yet I am basically a historian and not generally given to spiritual fantasies.

  Many spiritual people think that Mary Magdalene lived, not at Rennes-les-Bains but at Rennes-le-Château.  It is true that the priest there was devoted to her, renovating and decorating the church dedicated to her, and building a villa and a tower named after her.  But something jars here.  The people talk about Mary Magdalene as though she was on her own; few of these spiritual people, unlike the local Languedocian people, think that Jesus was with her.  The majority of spiritual people, living in the region or coming on holiday here, are English-speaking people from northern Europe.

  For a link showing the Mary and Jesus route across the Corbières, click here.  Find Fitou near the Med and follow the route towards Opoul, Tuchan, through the villages to Bugarach, then turn north for Rennes-les-Bains.  My book about their journey can be seen here.

  Many who talk about Mary Magdalene on her own are of a conventional Christian upbringing and so believe that Jesus rose again from the dead and ascended into Heaven, hence, he could not be in France.  But how to explain the many legends that Jesus is buried in the area?  Ah!  Mary Magdalene brought his mummified body with her!  Then she had it secretly buried because if it was revealed, the whole Roman Church would be destroyed!  This is pure fantasy and such a concept, to the Jews of the time, would have been distasteful and gross.  It was certainly not in tune with their regular burial practices of the time.

  Meanwhile, people have now studied the Bible and worked out that Jesus survived the crucifixion.

   The hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château did not exist at the time of Mary and Jesus.  I'm sorry but it did not, Mary M (as we often affectionately call her) and Jesus could not have lived there.  (Rennes-les-Bains, on the other hand, was a great thermal centre for the Romans and many remains have been found there.)  It is only a few days ago that I was driving up to the village and I said to my friend beside me;  "This was never a village where people lived for the pleasure or the farming.  The place must have started life as a fortress."  Indeed, history tells us the place was fortified by the Visigoths in the first half of the 5th century.  Nobody lived there in Roman times.

  Which brings us to the question of Isis.  Isis was an Egyptian Goddess who never existed as a person who walked the earth.  She was very popular with the Romans and altars and temples to her existed everywhere; an altar was found in Narbonne.  But none have ever been found in Rennes-les-Bains, which is strange, as the Romans lived there and used the baths for some 400 years.  I had long believed that the church at Rennes-le-Château was built where was once a temple - or altar or shrine - to Isis.  (This was confirmed to me by Peter Foremans of Barinca Travel.)  The Romans from Rennes-les-Bains in the valley below would have walked or ridden up to this spot on sunny days.  These hilltop temples were a habit of Roman times; witness the church of Notre Dame de la Garde at Marseille, which was once a temple to Artemis.

  We must always remember that Mary and Jesus lived in Roman times. The Roman Empire was the entire Mediterranean world at the time.  And that included Narbonne.  Narbonne was the home of Claudia Procula, the wife of Pontius Pilate.  She had property there.  And when the aristocratic Romans wanted to use the thermal baths, of which there were none in Narbonne, they came to Rennes-les-Bains.  It was a thriving town in Roman times and known as Aquae Calidae - warm waters.  Claudia Procula would have known it.  (You can see my book about Claudia by clicking here.)

  All the history that we know so far of those days, and the characters in the Bible stories, leads us to the conclusion that Mary and Jesus escaped Judea after the crucifixion.  It seems to me they were advised by Claudia to go to Rennes-les-Bains and the place on the Mediterranean coast where so many researchers say they disembarked, is the closest, as the crow flies, between the sea and Rennes-les-Bains and what's more, the Roman roads across the Corbières existed.  This is no accident.  Claudia Procula told them where to go and where they could stay.

  Meanwhile, one day in September 2011;

There was a full moon that day in Pisces - a sure sign of a dream-like day or strong emotions.  I didn't sleep and got up at 3am; then I mis-read the train timetable, not a difficult thing to do with a French timetable.  I was stuck at Carcassonne!  What to do?  I had my friend Lyndall from California waiting to meet me in Couiza and couldn't possibly let her down . . . so I took a taxi.  (It cost 70 Euros from Carcassonne to Couiza, not bad if it's for more than one person.  The driver told me he often takes people from and airport in Carcassonne to Rennes-le-Chateau.)
  Lyndall is clairvoyant.  We were going to Rennes-les-Bains and Les Labadous looking for Mary Magdalene.
    IMG_0033 copy.jpg
  Lyndall told me one or two things that she couldn't have known from any other source. . . . and then it was time for lunch at the pizzaria, in the main central square of Rennes-les-Bains.  A strange thing happened - a faulty camera? - light-meter not working? - but look at the two pictures below, taken from the same view point, under the same conditions, within seconds of each other.
  I told Lyndall she was full of light.
  So - did we find Mary Magdalene in Rennes-les-Bains?  Yes.  Lyndall pin-pointed the exact spot, with no prompting from me, she went tearing off, camera in hand.  It was where I'd thought was the place from my historical research.  And she didn't read my mind, for she spontaneously told me what she had "seen" which was nothing like I'd ever thought.
  As far as I'm concerned, she had confirmed that Mary Magdalene had lived there.  She didn't see Jesus but she believed he was there too.  Later Lyndall wrote a beautiful spiritual parable about Rennes-les-Bains, about a group of friends and what they discovered there.

  I researched where Mary and Jesus lived by looking at old Roman roads and the Roman history of Rennes-les-Bains, there is no other place that fits all the criteria.  Other trusted spiritual friends that I have taken talk about "the energy" there.  But I am not in a position tell you exactly where it was.  The place is private property and the owners are elderly and French Catholic.  They tease me - "Discover her grave quickly and we will all make a fortune!" - but I know they would object to groups of spiritual tourists banging on the door, they want to remain in peace on their lovely property.

  But who knows what the future holds?

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