Sainte Baume mountain, a famous Christian pilgrimage destination and the royal Mary Magdalene Basilica.
The Sainte Baume mountain was named after the Provencal word “baumo”, meaning “grotto” or “cave”. The place is closely linked to Mary Magdalene’s story.
Driven out of Palestine during the first Christian persecutions, she landed in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, a fishermen village in Camargue. From there, she began her duty of evangelism assigned by Jesus through Provence towards Saint Maximin. After few years of predication, she decided to retire from the world. She spent the rest of her life in the cave in the Sainte Baume mountain. That place is famous from ages for all the Christians.
The program of the day:
You will reach the cave by the “Chemin des Roys” or Kings footpath (50 minutes walk). You will pass through the once sacred forest of the Druids, full of rare and unique plant species in Southern Europe.
From its cliff top location, the view is absolutely magnificent.
You could attend the mass in the grotto with the Dominican Priests. Also, after the mass, share your meal with other pilgrims at the Hotellerie of la Sainte Baume.
On the way back, visit of the Basilica in Saint Maximin, masterpiece of Gothic art. Its crypt shelters Mary Magdalene’s skull and relics.
NB : It is also possible to begin with the Basilica and spend the afternoon in the Sainte Baume mountain. You could stay longer in the forest and at the Magdalene’s grotto (but no mass).