by Phyllis K. Kennemer
“I sensed an arm across my shoulders with a hand on my right side. It was a kind touch; someone wanting to comfort me. But no one else was present. No human being was standing next to me. I stood there for awhile – frozen, powerless to connect with this extraordinary happening.” Alain Clarinval in the crypt identified as Mary Magdalene’s burial site, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France. September 11, 2013.
Alain Clarinval’s life totally changed on that September day in 2013. He believes that Mary Magdalene chose him to spread her message to the world. His first question was, “Why me? There are lots of people out there. Why me?” This new role was difficult to understand, but over time, he has accepted his special mission. He now fondly calls Mary Magdalene “Marie” and he relates that he converses with her daily. He continues to be amazed by her revelations, which he calls spiritual adventures.
Clarinval, a native of France, immigrated to the United States about thirty years ago when he accepted a job in Indianapolis as an engineer working on race cars. After leaving that profession, he and his wife relocated to Colorado in 1996, moving first to Conifer and then to Fort Collins.
His mystical transformation occurred when he returned to Europe for a trip to visit family members — traveling through Brussels, Barcelona, and France. Upon his return home, Clarinval began an intensive study of Mary Magdalene. He found 500 websites and discovered 180 books devoted to her. He says that he had been interested in Marie for quite a long time. He didn’t know why, but he felt like the stories the Church told about her were wrong.
One of the first things he discovered in his studies is that Mary Magdalene was definitely not a prostitute — as she has often been portrayed in religious dogma. She came from a prominent, respected family. She was beautiful and well educated. She emancipated herself at a young age because she wanted to live a life different from that of most women of her time. According to Clarinval, “Being visible and beautiful was a sin in those territories.”
Clarinval also believes that Marie was actually Mary of Bethany. Jesus assigned labels to many of his disciples and he referred to her as Mary the Magdalene. The source of this title is not known, but scholars have suggested some possibilities. The Aramaic word, “Magdala” means tower or fortress. A designation of Magdala, therefore, implies greatness, exaltation and elevation. Another theory is that the label was used in fulfillment of a prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures. The prophet Micah writing in about 700 BC mentions the “Magdal-eder” which means the “Tower of the Flock.” (Micah 4:8-11)
Clarinval is convinced that Marie was the wife of Jesus, and furthermore, he believes that Jesus survived the Crucifixion and traveled with Marie to France where they had children. He says that Jesus died in his late 40s, his health having been compromised by his sufferings, and that Marie lived into her 60s.
The idea that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married is not new. Biblical scholars have debated the issue throughout the ages. The concept entered into mainstream thinking in 1982 with the publication of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by British author Michael Baigent. He expanded on his theories in The Jesus Papers published in 2006. In 2003, Dan Brown popularized the notion in his fiction story, The DaVinci Code.
The gospels in the Bible do not mention Jesus’ marital state, but according to Baigent, Jesus was referred to as “Rabbi” and rabbis were always married. It would have been so unusual to have an unmarried rabbi that the text would have included a phrase, such as “Jesus, the rabbi who was not married …” when he was mentioned.
In addition, a careful reading of the gospels reveals that Jesus considered men and women as equals. None of his recorded remarks imply a superiority of males over females – or, in fact, of discrimination toward any group of people.
One of Clarinval’s most persistent revelations is that he is destined to write a novel about Marie. At first he protested. “A novel?” He has written factual books and articles related to his field of engineering and race cars, but has never considered writing fiction. The answer was clear: a novel. When he awoke the next morning, he had about half of the story in his head. He wanted to know, “Where is the rest?” He was told, “Start with what you have. The rest will follow.” So now, Clarinval is writing a novel. He feels confident that it will be a successful publication and will provide the basis for a movie — which will enable Marie’s message to reach a wide audience.
Mary Magdalene’s message is clear. Find the truth. Live in love. Practice kindness and compassion. Accept responsibility for self and society and exhibit respect for all people.
Alain Clarinval presents sessions on Mary Magdalene and leads informal discussion groups to provide information about his insights and research and respond to questions and comments from participants. He can be contacted through his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marie’s Message: Love one another. Express compassion and kindness. Respect all people. Take responsibility for self and for society.