Legends, rumours and traditions ...
St.John - Timothy - Mary Magdalena -Seven Sleepers
Ephesus, And The Temple Of Diana by Edward FALKENER
....Nor do they respect St.John only ; St.Paul comes in for an equal share of their attention. They select one of the best preserved towers of the city wall for his prison and one of them in the fervour of his zeal slept in it a whole night. And as in Jerusalem they point out the house of the rich man, the house of the poor man, and the window out of which Pontius Pilate looked ; so here they show you the tomb of the Virgin Mary the tomb of Mary Magdalene, the tomb of St.John, and the tomb of Timothy ; not to mention the tombs of the seven sleepers...
...That the people,on embracing Christianity, continued for some time to inhabit the ancinet city, is evident from the existence of two churches in the centre of Ephesus ; and from the existence of these churches it is probable that St.John's Church stood also at Ephesus, on Mount Pion, and not at Aiaslik (Ayasuluk).
The accounts of the situation of the Church of St.John are exceedingly contradictory. "In the Greek Synaxaria ,p.21,the church of St.John is said to have been built on a hill in old Ephesus, which was called ....(a name which would denote its being higher than the adjoining hill or hills). To the west of this hill was the tomb of Timothy. The tomb of Mary Magdalena, and that of the Seven Sleepers, or boys, as the original calls them, are to be found on an adjoining hill, wich is called .....,a name clearly designating the clefts or quarries of Mount Pion." Now this would lead us to conjecture that the church stood on the southern or higher eminence of Mount Pion, the tomb of Timothy near the theatre, and those of Mary Magdalene and the Seven Sleepers on the adjoining eminence of Mount Pion : for no one would imagine Aisalik (Ayasuluk) to be the site of ancient Ephesus...
WHO IS MARY MAGDALENE ?
Mary Magdalene is a saint whose feast day is July 22.
Among Jesus Christ's followers, "ministering unto him," were "certain women" who "had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities" (Matt. 27:55; Luke 8:2).
One of these women was "Mary called Magdalene" (that is, Mary of Magdala, a town in Galilee), out of whom Jesus "had cast seven devils" (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2).
Mary and "many other women" looked on from afar when Jesus was crucified (Matt . 27:55; Mark 15:40), she and "Mary the mother of James and Joses" sat by the sepulcher in which Jesus was entombed (Matt. 27:61), and the two Marys later brought spices to the sepulcher with the intention of anointing the body. It was to Mary Magdalene that Christ first appeared following his resurrection (Mark 16:9; John 20:1-18).
Exclaiming "Rabboni!" ("Teacher!"), Mary embraced him, or tried to, prompting the risen Lord to tell her (in the original Greek of John's gospel), "me mou uptou" ("Do not cling to me" or "Do not hold on to me"), translated in Latin as "Noli me tangere" ("Do not touch me") (John 20:17).
It seems, based on the biblical text, that Mary Magdalene was an affectionate lady with some physical or psychological problems. But what did she do to get a bad reputation? The traditional view of her as a reformed prostitute and penitent seems to be literally a case of mistaken identity. There is no reason why Mary Magdalene should be identified with Luke's "woman in the city, which was a sinner"(7:37-50), John's "woman taken in adultery" (8:3-11), or anyone else. Nor should Mary be faulted for coming from Magdala, a reputedly wicked town, which may be why she left it. As for the "seven devils," demon possession was associated with sickness, not sin.
There is virtually nothing in the Bible to suggest that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' lover or wife (trying to embrace her "Teacher" hardly counts).
An international group of biblical scholars formed in 1985, has expressed the view that Jesus and the Magdalene probably had "a special relationship" . Such a relationship is reflected in two extrabiblical Gnostic works. According to the third-century Gospel of Philip, Jesus loved "his companion" Mary more than all the other disciples, and often kissed her on the mouth, to the annoyance of the other disciples. And in the second-century Gospel of Mary, the disciple Levi defends Mary against Peter (who asks, "Did [the Savior] really speak with a woman without our knowledge [and] not openly? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?") by saying, "But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. That is why He loved her more than us."
Mary Magdalene was of the district of Magdala, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where stood her families castle, called Magdalon; she was the sister of Lazarus and of Martha, and they were the children of parents reputed noble, or, as some say, royal descendants of the House of David. On the death of their father, Syrus, they inherited vast riches and possessions in land, which were equally divided between them.
Lazarus betook himself to the military life; Martha ruled her possessions with great discretion, and was a model of virtue and propriety, -perhaps a little too much addicted to worldly cares; Mary, on the contrary, abandoned herself to luxurious pleasures and became at length so notorious for her extravagant lifestyle that she was known through all the country round only as 'The Sinner'.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
Sinners were people devoted to the god, Sin. Moses spent 38 of 40 years in the Wilderness of Sin, the land where the god, Sin, was worshipped. Sinai is the feminine form of Sin; therefore, Mount Sinai can be called "the mountain of the goddess," feminine counterpart of Sin. "Mary Magdalene" represented the Great-Goddess-Mother-Queen, wife of "Jesus." Historically, she was the daughter of Juba II, the black-skinned King of Mauretania and wife, Queen Cleopatra Selene (daughter of Antony and Cleopatra).
Mauretania is from mauro, which means black; Magda means greatest. Mauro Magda, literally black greatest can be translated as "The Greatest Queen with black skin" from the land of Mauretania. The name, "Mary Magdalene," was chosen so that her historical identity could be discovered when Luke-Acts and Revelation are interpreted allegorically.
Her discreet sister, Martha, frequently rebuked her for these disorders and at length persuaded her to listen to the exhortations of Jesus, through which her heart was touched and converted. The seven demons which possessed her, and which were expelled by Jesus, were the seven deadly sins common to us all. The struggles of these seven principal faults are; first, Gluttony or the pleasures of the palate; secondly, Fornication; thirdly, Covetousness, which means Avarice, or, the love of money, fourthly, Anger; fifthly, Dejection; sixthly, "Accidie," which is the sin of spiritual sloth or sluggishness; and seventhly, kenodocila which means ego, foolish pride or vain glory.
On one occasion Martha entertained the Saviour in her house, and, being anxious to feast him worthily, she was 'cumbered with much serving.' Mary, meanwhile, sat at the feet of Jesus, and heard his words, which completed the good work of her conversion; and when, some time afterwards, be supped in the house of Simon the Pharisee, she followed him thither and she brought an alabaster box of ointment and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment - and He said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.'
Seven in Hebrew is Shabbat. Shabbat Hamalka represented the feminine side of Yahweh - his consort, and she is of extremely ancient origin. Sometimes called Asherah, Shekhina, etc., this goddess is a combination of Queen, Bride, and Goddess. The word translated as "demons" can be, and is, translated as "Angels" in other biblical verses.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
The referenced "anointing scene" harkens to the Old Testament, Song of Solomon. King Solomon and his "Black and Beautiful Sister-Bride" sing a love song as they profess their everlasting love. Many myths of "gods and goddesses" describe them as "Sister-Bride, Brother-Groom." Many ancient goddesses had black skin. Black king of Libya, Juba II, married a second time; his second wife was Glaphyra, widow of Alexander III, son of Herod the Great and Jewish princess, the Hasmonean Mariamme. With that marriage, Juba's children with Selene and Glaphyra's children with Alexander became "Brothers and Sisters." When Juba's eldest daughter married Glaphyra's eldest son, they became, "Sister-Bride, Brother-Groom."
Mary Magdalene was one of the most devoted of his followers, always by his side and 'ministered to him of her substance.' She attended him to Calvary, stood weeping at the foot of the cross, and was the first to see the Christ risen. Extra-biblical and Gnostic traditions about Mary Magdalene holds that she was the wife of Jesus and pregnant with his child at the time of his death, a fact which was omitted by later revisionist editors of the Gospels. Interpreted allegorically, Luke-Acts reveals their marriage, a daughter, and two sons.
There is good argument which supports the idea of their marriage. Bachelorhood was very rare for Jewish males of Jesus' time, being generally regarded as a transgression of the first mitzvah (divine commandment): "Be fruitful and multiply". Mary Magdalene appears with great frequency (especially as compared with other women in the Gospels) and is shown as being a close follower of Jesus.
In the scene of the wedding at Cana, the names of the nuptial couple are not mentioned, but Jesus acts as a groom would be expected to act at such a wedding. Mary's presence at the Crucifixion and Jesus' tomb is consonant with a role as grieving wife and widow.
After the Crucifixion she watched by his tomb, and was the first to whom he appeared after the resurrection; her unfaltering faith, mingled as it was with intense grief and love, obtained for her this peculiar mark of favor. It is assumed by several commentators that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene because she, of all those whom he had left on earth, was his beloved and in most need of consolation: The disciples went away unto their own; but Mary stayed without the sepulcher and wept.
Tradition relates that afterwards in Italy, Mary Magdalene visited the Emperor Tiberias (14-37 AD) and proclaimed to him about Christ's Resurrection. According to tradition, she took him an egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, a symbol of new life with the words: "Christ is Risen!" Then she told Tiberias that, in his Province of Judea, Jesus the Nazarene, a holy man, a maker of miracles, powerful before God and all mankind, was executed on the instigation of the Jewish High-Priests and the sentence affirmed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Tiberias responded that no one could rise from the dead, anymore than the egg she held could turn red. Miraculously, the egg immediately began to turn red as testimony to her words. Then, and by her urging, Tiberias had Pilate removed from Jerusalem to Gaul, where he later suffered a horrible sickness and an agonizing death.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
After the "Passover Pageant," designed to merge the Jewish "Messiah" with the Greco-Roman "Dying-and-Resurrected gods" (Dionysus, Osiris, etc.), the woman who played the role of "Mary Magdalene" accompanied her husband, the man who portrayed "Jesus," to Alexandria, Egypt.
"Jesus" became the Alabarch of Alexandria; "Mary Magdalene" assumed one of the names carried by her famous grandmother, Cleopatra Thea Philo Pater (wife of Marc Antony), which were probably the names she also carried. Using the name, Philo, and claiming to be a man, "Mary Magdalene" became famous as the philosopher and chief proponent of merging of Judaism with Greek Philosophy. She also promoted the allegorical interpretation of scripture, the only method by which their story could be told.
Suggestions of commentators and legend continues her story. Fourteen years after the ascension, Lazarus with his two sisters, Martha and Mary; with Maximin, one of the seventy-two disciples, from whom they had received baptism; Cedon, the blind man whom our Saviour had restored to sight; and Marcella, the handmaiden who attended on the two sisters, were by the Jews set adrift in a vessel without sails, oars, or rudder; but, guided by Providence, they were safely borne over the sea till they landed in a certain harbor which proved to be Marseilles, in the country now called France.
The people of the land were pagans, and refused to give the holy pilgrims food or shelter; so they were fain to take refuge under the porch of a temple and Mary Magdalene preached to the people, reproaching them for their senseless worship of idols; and though at first they would not listen, yet being after a time convinced by her eloquence, and by the miracles performed by her and by her sister, they were converted and baptized. And Lazarus became, after the death of the good Maximin, the first bishop of Marseilles.
These things being accomplished, Mary Magdalene retired to the cliffs not far from the city. It was a frightful barren wilderness and in the midst of horrid rocks she lived in the caves of Sainte-Baume; there for thirty years she devoted herself to solitary penance for the sins of her past life, which she had never ceased to bewail bitterly. During this long seclusion, she was never seen or heard of, and it was supposed that she was dead.
She fasted so rigorously, that but for the occasional visits of the angels, and the comfort bestowed by celestial visions, she might have perished. She was given the Holy Eucharist by angels as her only food. Every day during the last years of her penance, the angels came down from heaven and carried her up in their arms into regions where she was ravished by the sounds of unearthly harmony, and beheld the glory and the joy prepared for the sinner that repenteth.
One day a certain hermit, who dwelt in a cell on one of those wild mountains, having wandered farther than usual from his home, beheld this wondrous vision-the Magdalene in the arms of ascending angels, who were singing songs of triumph as they bore her upwards; and the hermit, when he had a little recovered from his amazement, returned to the city of Marseilles, and reported what he had seen.
Allegorical Interpretation of scripture:
"Mary Magdalene" spent the remainder of her life in various locations including: Alexandria, Rome, Emesa, and Greece using a variety of aliases.
According to Church tradition, Mary Magdalene remained in Rome until the arrival of the Apostle Paul, and for two more years still, following his departure from Rome after the first court judgment upon him.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
Paul was never an "apostle" but remained the arch-enemy of Jesus and all he attempted to teach and to do. "Jesus" and "Mary Magdalene," using aliases, lived in Rome from 41 until 54. They filled powerful positions under Emperor Claudius and were responsible for the many innovations that improved the lives of Roman citizens, including the poorest and most vulnerable. Both their sons served as "Procurator of Judea." (One from 46 to 48; the other from 51 to 60.)
From Rome, Mary Magdalene, moved to Ephesus where she unceasingly labored the holy Apostle John, who with her wrote the first 20 Chapters of his Gospel (John 1-9, John 10-20). There the saint finished her earthly life and was buried. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments. She died when she was 72.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
"Mary Magdalene" and "Jesus" traveled to Ephesus and may have lived there when she wrote "The Gospel of John." However, her work was "over-written" by a later author who called himself "John" and corrupted much of her original work. "Mary Magdalene" was also known as "Io Anna," the feminine form of "John." Io and Anna are both names of goddesses.
In 899 the Emperor Leo VI transported her alleged relics to a monastery in Constantinople. It was not until the tenth century that devotion to Mary Magdalene, the composite saint, took root in the west.
Allegorical interpretation of scripture:
"Mary Magdalene" was buried in her family's mausoleum in Mauretania. She is called, "The Roman Woman," and the mausoleum is called, "the tomb of the Christian woman," which can also be translated as, "the tomb of the Feminine Christ."
(for more information on this tomb ... )
About 1050 the monks of Vézelay, an abbey recently reformed and affiliated to Cluny, began to claim her body, brought, they related, from the Holy Land either by a ninth-century saint, Badilo, or by envoys dispatched by their founder. A little later a monk of Vézelay believed that he had detected in a crypt at St. Maximin in Provence, carved on an empty sacrophagus, a representation of the unction at Bethany. The monks of Vézelay pronounced it to be Mary Magdalene's tomb from which her relics had been translated to their abbey. Thus the erection of one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture was made possible by pilgrims to a spurious relic.
The Provençals, however, took full advantage of this development and outstripped Vézelay by pilgrimages to three places henceforward associated with Mary Magdalene. One of these was St. Maximin, where the crypt still contains sacrophagi attributed to the Magdalene, St. Maximin and St. Sidonius. The representation of the anointing has, however, disappeared.
Another is the Sainte Baume, a grotto in the face of a cliff, where Mary Magdalene is said to have spent long years in penance and ecstatic contemplation, whose detail was suggested by the life of the penitent Mary of Egypt.
The third is a church on the coast, built and fortified against pirates in the twelfth century. Dedicated originally to St. Mary (our Lady) of the Sea, its title became The Three Marys of the Sea--'Les Saintes Maries de la Mer." A legend originating about the year 1200 informs us that Mary Magdalene, driven out to sea by the Jews, landed there together with Mary, mother of James, Mary Salome, her sister Martha, their maid Sara, Lazarus, Maximin, one of the seventy-two disciples, and Sidonius, the man born blind. In fact Maximin and Sidonius were saints of Auvergne, the latter being the fifth century man of letters and bishop; Lazarus was a fifth century bishop of Aix; Martha, the two Martyrs and Sara were Persian martyrs of the fourth century whose relics were brought later to southern Gaul.
– Is she buried in Ephesus in Turkey, as the Church believes ?
Gregory of Tours (538-594), chronicler of the Frankish kings in the late 6th century, who recorded the older tradition that Mary Magdalene died in Ephesus where she had lived for many years with Jesus’s mother, Mary, and John the Evangelist, thought to have been the author of the Fourth Gospel.He wrote also about the house of Virgin Mary.
– Was she buried on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and were her remains moved to the West when the First crusaders took Jerusalem?
– Is she buried under the Basilica of St Maximin?
a document in Latin (c. 5th to 6th century) which, referring to an earlier record, claimed that Mary Magdalene had travelled to Aix-le-Provence with Saint Maximin and had lived there for many years before she died in Aix at the age of 60. In keeping with the mission of Jesus entrusted to Mary Magdalene and the apostles, she and Maximin had preached the gospel in Gaul, and Maximin had become the first Christian bishop in Gaul (usually referred to as Bishop Maximus). He placed her embalmed body in a crypt and had a Basilica built over it to honour and protect it.
– Are some of her bones hidden in a crypt at Vezelay?
The body was said to have been removed during the Saracen invasions as it was feared it would be discovered and destroyed. Rumour has it that part of the remains were taken to the French monastery of Vezelay in Burgundy, the church of which carried Mary Magdalene’s name.
– Or are her relics buried in more than one place?
Certain documents favouring the Constantinople (Byzantium) account of Mary Magdalene’s burial place claim that part of her relics were transferred in the 9th century to the monastery Church of St Lazarus and that, some time after the final Crusade, were moved to Italy where they were buried beneath the altar of the Lateran Cathedral in Rome. Other documentation places part of her relics near Marseilles where, as mentioned, the splendid St Maximum’s Basilica was built over them.
In the meantime The House of Virgin Mary
[ Marie de Mandat Grancey bought in 1892 (belongs now to"Hazreti Meryem Ana Evi Derneği" ),
is under the control of Vatican ! ] ,
they say ,when it was discovered ,
that they had found much more than one sarcaphage !!!
The only honest answer to the first question is:
We don’t know.
It's still a mystery...
British architect and engineer John Turtle Wood was sent by the British Museum to Ephesus, to search for the temple and eventually excavate it. In all, Wood spent eleven years at Ephesus (1863-1874), eventually finding and excavating the temple some seven meters below the ground surface.
Discoveries at Ephesus Wood including the
SITE AND REMAINS OF THE GREAT TEMPLE OF DIANA
page 56 St.Luke's Tombs and page 120 ...book...or...book
Modern Discoveries on the site of Ancient Ephesus
by J.T.Wood page 39 tombs .... book
*Edward Falkener (1814 -1896) London
Architect, architectural draughtsman, writer on ancient Greek and other architecture, in London, Cheshire (1866-75) and Camarthenshire (1875 onwards). In 1836 he became a student at the Royal Academy.
Ephesus, And The Temple Of Diana by Edward Falkener. London: 1862. (Listed in Annual Report From The Council Of The Royal Academy in 1863)....book