St. Mary Magdalene’s Basilica and Grotto Cave at St. Maximin & St. Baume, France

Let’s go to France! Join Nan Balfour as she guides you on an audio pilgrimage to the village of St. Maximin, in the South of France, and visit the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. Also on this week’s itinerary is a visit to a Dominican Monastery, built at the base of a magnificent rock known as St. Baume, and climb the forest trail populated with centuries-old oratories to the cave grotto of St. Mary Magdalene and the Chapel of Penance. Nan will also discuss what it looks like, its history, and its tradition in relation to St. Mary Magdalene.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Who is St. Mary Magdalene and how it is believed she came to France?
  • The Basilica named for her and discuss its architecture and history.
  • The Dominican Monastery known as St. Baume and more! 

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Listen to this program now: 

Jewel for the Journey:

“She (speaking of Mary Magdalene) discovers the most overwhelming event in the history of mankind when she is finally called by her name: “Mary!” How nice it is to think that the first apparition of the Risen One — according to the Gospels — took place in such a personal way! To think that there is someone who knows us, who sees our suffering and disappointment, who is moved with us and calls us by name. It is a law which we find engraved on many pages of the Gospel. There are many people around Jesus who search for God, but the most prodigious reality is that, long before that, in the first place there is God, who is concerned about our life, who wants to raise it, and to do this, he calls us by name, recognizing the individual face of each person. Each person is a love story that God writes on this earth. Each one of us is God’s love story. He calls each of us by our name: he knows us by name; he looks at us; he waits for us; he forgives us; he is patient with us. Is this true or not true? Each of us experiences this.

And Jesus calls her: “Mary!”: the revolution of her life, the revolution destined to transform the life of every man and every woman begins with a name which echoes in the garden of the empty sepulchre. The Gospels describe Mary’s happiness. Jesus’ Resurrection is not a joy which is measured with a dropper, but a waterfall that cascades over life. Christian life is not woven of soft joys, but of waves which engulf everything. You too, try to imagine, right now, with the baggage of disappointments and failures that each of us carries in our heart, that there is a God close to us who calls us by name and says to us: ‘Rise, stop weeping, for I have come to free you!”. This is beautiful.

Jesus is not one who adapts to the world, tolerating in it the persistence of death, sadness, hatred, the moral destruction of people…. Our God is not inert, but our God — allow me to say — is a dreamer: he dreams of the transformation of the world, and accomplished it in the mystery of the Resurrection.” – Extended Quote, Pope Francis General Audience of 17 May 2017 (

Get More Out of Your Journey:

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A Closer Look at this Week’s Journey:

Where is St. Mary Magdalene’s Basilica Located?

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