MARY MAGDALENE's Hometown
In September 2009 . . . . .
Migdal, the Home of Mary Magdalene
The discovery of a synagogue at Migdal on the Sea of Galilee fascinated me, for Migdal was the home of Mary Magdalene.
It was decided to build a new hotel on a flat part of land down by the water and they found remains of a synagogue, buried since the first century. There was a large room, 120 square metres, with benches around the sides, a mosaic floor, pillars, and frescoed walls. An engraved stone had a rose and a heart on top, symbols of love, and the menorah with two jugs, pictured on the side.
This synagogue could have been destroyed about 70AD during the war with the Romans - it was built about 50BC. It would have been in regular use when Jesus and Mary Magdalene lived there, and they would have visited. Many think Jesus and Mary were married at Cana, but for various reasons I don't. However, it's wonderful to think a marriage took place in this Migdal synagogue and all Jesus's family were there . . .
An aerial photo of the excavated synagogue. You can see the engraved stone, and a pillar, in the centre.
A hotel was going to be built - the land was bought by the Vatican - the building company were "thrilled" by the find and will make it part of a multi-cultural and multi-religious centre. The excavators are Israel Antiquities Authority. Meanwhile, watch a video and "meet" the archeologist lady, on www.jnnnews.com/tv6.html
Ark New Gate building company was specially created to build on this site, and manage it. The site is owned by Regnum Christi, which is the lay part of the strongly Roman Catholic "Legion of Christ." Right from the beginning they planned to build a "Magdala Centre" in this spot, and they tell us; "The Israeli authorities have asked for the excavation to continue, and for the findings to be preserved on site and incorporated into the planned Magdala Centre."
"These new findings certainly surpass our expectation," says Juan Solana, a director of a Christian Centre in Jerusalem. "I knew Magdala was a holy place and I always had the sense it would be a special place for the pilgrims from different religions. In a moment of prayer, I thought that the last time people gathered here, around 70AD, most of them had been witnesses of the life of Jesus. I'm dreaming of the day the place opens for pilgrims, and hope it will build bridges and ties of true love between the believers of different religions." The Centre should be open sometime in 2012. The ruins will be on view, there will be a hotel for pilgrims, a multi-media centre to "show the message and life of Jesus" and, inspired by Mary Magdalene, a centre promoting the vocation and dignity of "woman".
You can see more on http://www.magdalacenter.com/default.asp?langID=2 but you won't find much about Mary Magdalene, more about how to work for the Magdala Centre! However, it is interesting fr the films you can watch and the images of Jerusalem.
A report on the Web about archeological work at Magdala says:
How does finding and touching of 1st century glass, coins or pottery sound to you? What's about digging in the ground where Mary Magdalene lived and where Jesus may have come to pray? Everything becomes alive when you are interested in or join as a volunteer or sponsor of the Magdala Project which is located just north of Tiberias at the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel. The Magdala Center, a future spiritual retreat and visitor center from the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame, in Jerusalem, was visited in May 2009 by Pope Benedict when he blessed the corner stone.
"It's like going back in time, it's absolutely cool. It was hard work and I felt my muscles at the end of every day", said volunteer digger Max, "but it was time well spent. We were about 25 volunteers, 24 of them came from the Universidad Anahuac Mexico Sur."
"It's a blessing for us to combine work and vacation in this part of the world," said his parents.
More News at the end of 2012
More excavations at Migdal - a super article, with moving words by the archeologist lady, concerning her feelings about Mary Magdalene living at this place - just click here.
For more news released in May 2014, click here.
And a more in-depth look, an article with a gem of a film with details of this and other pilgrimages to the Holy Land, click here. The film also briefly shows modern converts initiated by whole body baptisms in the River Jordan - interesting.
For the next article in this series here about the life of Mary and Jesus, click here.