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A relic of Mary Magdalene, patron saint of prostitutes and the Dominican Order, is touring the US for the first time!
When I got involved with sex workers’ rights, being a spokesperson for prostitutes was not easy or popular. I often feared the police, and other prostitutes thought my political idealism was just bonkers. Mary Magdalene’s second career as a persuasive preacher gave me courage. The movement I was crazy enough to believe in is now so active and global that I can’t always keep track of it.
At every stage of my life, not only when I worked as a prostitute, Mary Magdalene has been present. Raised without sexual guilt, I was never drawn to the idea of Mary Magdalene as a penitent sinner. It was her evangelizing that brought us closer.
In 2006, I visited the Sainte-Baume Grotto, a mountaintop cave in Provence where Mary Magdalene, according to local tradition, lived for 30 years. Near the foot of the mountain, I stopped at the Maison Marie-Madeleine and met Brother Philippe, a Dominican priest who was guardian of her cave for 15 years. TODAY’S DAILY BEAST has my full story and some nice pictures.
I will be chatting about this live on RTHK at 11:10 PM New York time.