Vézelay, France: La Madeleine
Living in Vézelay is a very special grace: we are all there – discreetly, but surely – welcomed by Saint Mary Magdalene! And for a brother or a sister of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem, this daily communion with the saint takes on particular significance and consistency, especially on Sunday mornings: our fraternities do not celebrate “lauds” on Sunday, but an “office of the resurrection! In all our foundations, every Sunday morning, a gospel of the resurrection is proclaimed, in which, of course, Saint Mary Magdalene finds a prominent place.
So celebrating this office in the basilica that bears her name and which houses her relics takes on a special and unique character; a singular grace!
“This day is the first, (…) the day on which Jesus Christ, our Saviour rose from the dead” (Saint Justin). Celebrating this office with Saint Mary Magdalene, in her basilica, prepares us and disposes us wonderfully to celebrate and live the day of the Lord, the day of Christ’s resurrection, the first day of the week. Here we are ready to welcome these crowds who come to celebrate with us the Eucharist, which is the heart of this day, source and summit of our life as baptized persons.
The presence of Saint Mary Magdalene on the hill is an Easter presence. Everyone is called to join her on Easter morning, the Day of Resurrection. Everyone is called to discover the hidden presence of the Risen One, the One whom Mary Magdalene does not immediately recognize.
Climbing the hill, everyone is invited to deposit in the basilica everything that concerns them, to become a pilgrim and let themselves be guided by the beauty of the place, of the basilica and by the message of Saint Mary Magdalene; through the mission of Mary Magdalene: with the help of the Holy Spirit, to make us hear the words that Christ addresses to her and to everyone, even today: “Do not hold me back, for I do not have not yet ascended to the Father. Go find my brothers and tell them that I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. (John 20:17). Everyone can leave Vézelay with these words of the Risen One in their hearts; this presence of the risen. But also with the example of Mary Magdalene who obeyed her Lord. No one ever comes down the hill quite the way they came up. We always leave, if we want, with a mission; an ever new mission: to announce to our brothers the One whom we have “seen and heard”!
brother Pierre-Emmanuel of the fraternity of Vézelay
Source: Lettre de Jérusalem