Christianity, the New Testament, and the World of Jesus’ Jerusalem Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 5 - Legends in France and Turkey Two other places that have legends about Jesus are France and Turkey. In Turkey the people (and possibly especially the tour directors) say that Jesus’ mother Mary was taken to Ephesus by John. The house that supposedly belonged to Mother Mary still stands and is a tourist attraction. (However, another researcher believes he has found Mary’s tomb in Wales.) It would appear that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, were the same. According to several legends, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, and Phillip supposedly went to the general area of Marseilles in France, where tombs of Lazarus and Mary Magdalene can be visited even today. Though there are variations of this story, Mary Magdalene is believed by many to have been married to Jesus and to have had a child with him; their descendants are supposed to have been the Merovingian line of European kings. (We will have occasion to examine these stories later because of their probably influence on the art and literature of the Middle Ages.) I find it interesting how many cultures now want a piece of the action, and an opportunity to say, “Jesus slept here.” Also interesting are legends surrounding the Shroud of Turin and relics of the cross, the blood of Jesus, the robe he wore, etc., all of which indicate that each culture still wants to share in the importance of the Jesus story. For more information on the stories about Mary Magdalene, see the following books: Leloup, Jean-Yves. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. English translation and notes by Joseph Rowe. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2002. Starbird, Margaret. The Goddess in the Gospels. Santa Fe: Bear and Co., 1998. Starbird, Margaret. The Woman with the Alabaster Jar. Rochester, Vermont: Bear and Co., 1993. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily