Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. She was present at his crucifixion and entombment. She would also be the woman to whom he first appeared after his resurrection. (Painting above and opposite, by Fra Bartolomeo). That is why she was later also called 'Apostle of the Apostles'.
Later, Mary Magdalene is said to have lived in the South of France and died there. Relics of hers are said to have been taken to Vézelay, where they were kept in the crypt of the basilica. This made the town the fourth pilgrimage center in the Middle Ages, after Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago. The basilica is named after her, in French: Marie Madeleine.
This video connects the past and the present: Vézelay, Church and Hill (UNESCO).
Although Mary Magdalene played an important role in the life of Jesus, there is little information about her in the Bible. All the more room there was for legends, interpretations and - thus - conflicts about her person and role.
At the beginning of the 16th century, discussions about the role of Mary Magdalene flared up again. Nicolas Champion wrote his Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena against this background. In the video opposite, the Flemish ensemble Graindelavoix sings the Kyrie from this mass.