RENNES-LES-BAINS, Mary's home
This tiny town, hidden in a cleft in the Corbière mountains, is thought to be the place where Mary Magdalene and Jesus first came to live when they left the Holy Land. Incredible? I have researched it at great length, equally, I am not the only person to reach this conclusion.
Rennes-les-Bains is famous for its thermal baths; hot springs that are completely natural have had buildings erected over them, so the healing waters can be diverted into baths, in one building into an open-air swimming-pool in which the water is constantly at a temperature of thirty degrees.
From 40BC onwards, these springs were also used by the wealthy Romans from nearby Narbonne. Narbonne had no baths of its own, and the Roman aristocracy came in their litters and carriages to take the waters at Rennes-les-Bains . . . they called it Aquae Calidae, the warm waters. This history has been well documented by archeologists and historians.
These baths, on the right as you enter the town, have been de-commissioned, but the warm water is diverted into the river, and much enjoyed.
Rennes-les-Bains has a small museum, where you can see some of the Roman remains found.
Pottery and mosaics found from the Roman bath suite
Why do I emphasise that the Romans loved Rennes-les-Bains? Quite simply, because Mary Magdalene and Jesus lived in the Roman Empire, and they had friends in high places in Narbonne. This healing place would have been perfect for Jesus to recover his health after the physical trauma of the crucifixion.
It's thought that Mary Magdalene baptised people as the initiation into early Christianity - Jesus Christianity, as opposed to the Constantine or Pauline Christianity introduced in the 4th century. Many people think this took place at the Source de la Madeleine at Rennes-ls-Bains, but this is an error; the source was named after a woman called Madeleine who frequently went there in the late nineteenth century and besides, the water is a mere trickle and at the time, baptism was of the entire body.
This spot is called Le Benitier which means - Baptismal Font. It's a place where two rivers meet, the Sals, coming from the left in the picture, and the Blanque, coming from the top in the picture. This name is not marked on the map, it's just used by the local people. There is another place near Rennes-les-Bains with another deep pool, and that place is absolutely stunning.
It's called the Fontaine des Amours - the Fountain of Love - and you can see the deep pool and the flat place where the priestess would have stood. Many people bathe or sunbathe there in the nude, but the ambience is entirely - well, sacred, there is no other word. So many people feel this here.
And to them, the heart-shaped pool is a certain sign, for a heart often represented Mary Magdalene, as well as representing love.
You can see many articles about Rennes-les-Bains by clicking here.
I have also written much more in my book "The Sacred River of Rennes-les-Bains." Click here.