Mary Magdalene – the retreat of the heart

September, 3 to 10, 2024


‘”I go now into Silence.’ Having said all this, Mary became silent, for it was in silence that the Teacher spoke to her.—Gospel of Mary Magdalene“

Go silent, the better to listen to the words of the heart. This is the purpose of “Mary Magdalene, the retreat of the heart”

In the world we live in, chaotic, noisy and full of distractions, it is difficult to know who we really are. Silence in the city is difficult to achieve. Deep within ourselves, we all have a true self, a unique and authentic essence. Finding our true selves requires slowing down, calming our minds, and listening to the inner voice of our heart.
L‘ hesychasme (the practice of the Prayer of the Heart) is a forgotten contemplative tradition, practiced by the Desert Fathers in the early centuries. The spirituality of the Eastern Churches proposes to establish a relation with reality, a relation which tries to find a place for this silence in the midst of daily life by re-focussing on the essential. It is not an escape from without but a living from within.

Fuge, Tace, Quiesce (the three principles of Prayer), run away, be quiet, calm your mind.

Mary Magdalene set an example for the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Indeed, she retired to the cave of Sainte Baume where she spent the last 30 years of her life in silence, contemplation and mystical ecstasy.

“Mary Magdalene, retreat of the heart” will be essentially devoted to reconnecting to our inner being and its divine nature. Through meditation, learning the breathing technique of the Prayer of the Heart, the practice of Yoga, conscious walking in nature, meditation with essential oils to facilitate letting go and access the subconscious, aromatherapy in the form of an anointing or perfume creation workshop, sacred art workshop, Visio and Lection Divina…

Why this retreat is unique ?

On one hand, the St Michel monastery, in the heart of the Provençal landscape, is the ideal place of residence. On the other hand, the magic of the places visited – the forest of Ste Baume, the Mary Magdalene cave, the Cave of the eggs, St Bathelemy valley, the Tholos- allow you to recharge your batteries.

What “Mary Magdalene, the retreat of the heart” is about ….

Human history finds its source in the creative energy of God
“Mary Magdalene, Retreat of the Heart” aims to help people respond to the original gift of creation by being themselves creators in all areas of their lives.
Honor Mother Earth, which our Judeo-Christian civilization has not cared about for a long time.
Finally, erase the stigmata of the “matricide” that we have carried within us since the advent of the Patriarchate in order to let the source of our Divine Feminine express itself.

The highlights of “Mary Magdalene, retreat of the heart”:

  • Experimentation of the old tradition of hesychast through the Prayer of the Heart in the crypt in the presence of the relic of Mary Magdalene
  • Magdalene’s grotto at St Baume and Cave of the eggs
  • Meeting with Vadim Garine. Painter and iconographer. He realized the 700m2 of frescoes in the church of the Monastery. He will lead the creativity and sacred art workshops on the theme of “Mary Magdalene, the perfume carrier
  • Yoga sessions, meditations with Eugenie Flayol, Green yoga teacher specializing in yoga therapy
  • Perfumes and anointing workshop with Veronique, (certified in aromatherapy – Energetic aromatherapy – olfactory meditation).
  • Myriam Hildegarde, theologian and graduate of the National School of St Hildegarde, for a lecture on holistic healing by Hildegarde von Bingen, the invention of “feminine creation”
  • Intimate moments with Mary Magdalene at the Ste Baume Grotto and the crypt of the Monastery

Different times will find their place in this retreat of the heart

Learning the basis of the Prayer of the heart

Hésychasme comes from the Greek hesychia which evokes silence and tranquility. It is a millennial tradition, transmitted by Jesus.
Jean Yves Leloup explains, “In hesychastic prayer, the work of the spirit, before illuminating, is to heal, to restore to man the proper use of his senses so that he can – in truth – see, hear, smell, touch, taste “what is” and enter into the presence of the One who is.”

Nature generously takes care of us.

Veronique Flayol
Veronique Flayol, specializing in spiritual journeys

Aromatherapy / anointing oils workshop with Veronique (certified in aromatherapy – Energetic aromatherapy – olfactory meditation).
Human beings know the virtues of aromatic essences for tens of thousands years! Mary Magdalene, who belonged to the very elected group of myrrh bearers, made use of plants and ointments. In this workshop, you will learn  more about the history of perfume, Mary Magdalene and her knowledge on the virtues of the plants and how to have the benefit of the incredible power of the oils. You will compose your own unction to pay tribute to Mary Magdalene.

Art and beauty are possible paths to the Divine.

Vadim Garine
Vadim Garine, iconographer at St Michel Orthodox monastery

Workhops will be devoted to creation. Accompanied by Vadim Garine, artist painter and iconographer who realized the 700m2 of frescoes in the church of the Monastery, you will discover the process of creation. And so, you will be invited to enter a universe of interiority in order to reveal your “I am”.

Debunking misconceptions about yoga and meditation

Eugenie - Yoga meditation
Eugenie Flayol, yoga instructor

With Eugenie Flayol, Green yoga teacher and yoga therapist, you will discover that yoga is an accessible practice for anyone. No need to have practiced yoga postures, to be flexible, thin or acrobatic, because her yoga is practiced gently while respecting everyone’s abilities. Indeed, you just have to listen to your body, in full awareness of the present moment.

Celestial Garden…A gentle, enveloping and sacred vibration welcomes us and makes us leave this world for a while.. Infusion of Light.

You should fly to Marseille Airport in order to arrive Tuesday , September, 3 (pick up at 2.00pm Meeting point – Starbucks Coffee – Terminal 1 – Hall A) and return home from Marseille Airport on Tuesday, September, 10, in the afternoon.

Attention, for the quality of the individual support, number of participants limited to 8 persons, on a first to reserve basis.
(Program may be subject to minor modifications)