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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

This cartoon has something to do with Gisele's Nivea campaign - that's all I know...
Not much is happening in fashion/modeling, so let's take a look at literature...
As -almost- everyone knows, the book DaVinci Code by Dan Brown is very popular, even among fashion models!
I won't say much about the book thesis, except that a lot of people have observed that Brown seems to associate Christianity only with the Vatican - and doesn't even mention other Christian denominations. There may be a good reason for that - even though the Catholic Church accepted in the past that Mary Magdalene, the book's heroine, travelled from Bethany to Marceilles, France, and then to Provence, this was due to confusing the Mary in Lazarus' house with Magdalene. The popular myths concerning Mary Magdalene and her French exploits, as described in the book, are based on that error.
In fact, in 1969 (!!!!) the Vatican accepted the error and officially corrected it...

"...Pope Gregory preached a sermon in the late 6th century that merged Mary Magdalene with two other biblical characters: an unnamed "sinful woman" in the Gospel of Luke who anoints Jesus' feet with perfume poured from an alabaster jar and dries them with her hair, and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Jesus' friend Lazarus, who was raised from the dead.
The pope can't get all the blame, says theologian Jane Schaberg of the University of Detroit Mercy."The legend had a life of its own" before the pope's sermon, says Schaberg, author of "The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene." "He just puts the cap on it."
From that point, the image of Mary Magdalene as a repentant public sinner became fixed in the imagination of Western Christianity.
The Vatican formally repudiated the false image of Mary Magdalene in 1969. But that teaching has never filtered down to many of the faithful..."


There was actually a double error...

"...In France, it is held in this tradition, Lazarus and the other disciples from Bethany converted Provence to Christ. It is also held that Lazarus was the first bishop of Gaul. But it turns out that the Lazarus in question is not the same Lazarus as in the Gospels, but a bishop of Gaul who lived in the fourth century. The assumption that Mary Magdalene went to Provence was therefore not only based on the bringing of what someone claimed were her relics to France, but in fact was also based on a mistaken case of identity concerning another man who was also named Lazarus..."

That is half the story - but if the Mary who travelled to France was the wrong Mary, where did the real Mary go?

If Brown did not ignore non-Catholic Christians, he would have to mention the teachings (and not "medieval tradition") of the Eastern Church (the Western and Eastern churches split after the schism of 1054 AD, the Protestants appeared much later) that Mary Magdalene travelled to Ephesus, in present-day Turkey, and helped St. John the Apostle write the first 20 chapters of his Gospel. She died and was buried in Ephesus, and in 899, Byzantine emperor Leo VI took her relics to the St. Lazarus monastery in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). Rather than just a sinner, the Eastern Church regards Mary Magdalene as an 'equal of the Apostles'. Saint Gregory of Tours agreed that the Ephesus version was the true one.
As for what happened to the relics - they apparently remained there until the 13th century, when the 4th Crusade (1204 AD) sacked Constantinople and many relics were stolen, with the ones belonging to Mary taken to France.

So much for the Mary-Jesus "happy couple in France" theory - the rest of the book sells the typical gnostic/occult message, and don't forget that on October 13th, we have 700 years since the Vatican wiped out (not 100%) the Templar Knights, and the pope is supposed to apologize for it by that time. Not to mention the movie, coming out sometime next year...

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