The 22nd of July is the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene. It is also one of the most peculiar days, numbers and themes in the Legend of Rennes-le-Château.
Berenger Saunière entered the seminary at the age of 22. Before long, he was appointed priest of the ancient church of Saint Mary Magdalene, in Rennes-le-Château. Here, he positioned the statues of Saints in such a way as to form an ‘M’, spelling Grail with the first letter of each Saints name.
His crowning achievement, the Tower of the Magdalene, is approached by two sets of 11 stairs, leading to a spiral staircase with 22 steps. The winding passage leads to a small window that unambiguously points to a grotto in the distance, whose place name is ‘The burial site of Mary Magdalene’. Saunière died on the 22nd. Years later, his long time companion Marie Dénarnaud, sold his estate to a local businessman by the name of Noel Corbu, on the 22nd of July.
Coincidence, cosmic serendipity or shadowy manipulation? You decide.
The 22nd of July is also known as Pi Approximation Day, due to the fact that July 22 is written as 22/7 in international date format, and 22 divided by 7 approximates π. But that’s just silly, and it distracts from a day that is simply, well, Mary’s.
The legend of Mary Magdalene will live on, long after Rennes-le-Château has faded from the pages of pseudo history.
Mary, we hardly knew you. Thanks for the memories.