Limoux has very grand churches. St Martin’s church already existed in 982, and in 1263 the nuns of Prouilhe undertook to have it enlarged. When the fortified bridge was built in XIVth century new areas of the church were built, and it was renovated at the end of the XIXth century. The windows are most remarkable, and of course the brochure about the church makes no mention of them at all.
High on each side wall of the nave (which is 75m long) there are seven Star of David windows, perhaps reminiscent of a Jewish community in the south of France long ago. You can walk along the aisle stepping from one sunshine star to another when the light is right….. balancing your chakras?
The most intriguing windows are at the end of the nave, where one set of three tall windows tell a story about women.
The middle window shows Jesus and Mary Magdalene crowned and dressed identically, sitting on thrones. Beneath them there are many women with halos, gathering together. The side windows are also populated by women with halos, spiritually advanced women, initiates, wise women. The only men who appear are huddled together whispering, attacking the women, either with spear or with fire. Could this be a story about women being demoted from the equal position in which Jesus recognised them? A story about the repression of the Divine feminine? It ties in well with one legend, of Mary Magdalene and her friends coming to the south of France from Jerusalem, and teaching the same teachings as Jesus. These were not acceptable to the male hierarchy of the church, so over the centuries the heresies that have arisen in this region were fiercely eliminated … for example the Cathars. The Inquisition helped to eliminate any wrong thinking amongst the population. However today many people here in the Languedoc still identify themselves as Cathars. And these curious and hopeful signs and symbols still exist in their churches. When women and femininity are accepted and honoured equally with men and masculinity our world will have more chance of peace, health and restoration.
20 thoughts on “St Martin’s Church Limoux”
May I use the photo of the 3 windows put together showing the marriage of Jesus and Mary in my book, Redacted, No Longer? It is about women in leadership roles in the Bible… [the ones who have been left out]
hello Rosanne …I did email you but have not heard …. these photos are not the best quality …do you want better? I could send you some others. Glad you are interested!
I wish I could get a word in here, but it seems not to be accepting my napkinwriter sign in
Oh, hey it did!!! Christine!! I love your window composite and the story accompanying it. Ah yes, the Church and its obstacles to equality for women. Will it ever change? I don’t see hope for that.
If you have higher quality photo of those windows, I would be so very appreciative! I have had difficulty finding them online and they work perfectly for my book. Please send w/PHOTOS in the subject line. Thank you! And please state how you would like credits to appear too!
I found your entry about St. Martin very interesting. I traveled to Southern France in 2006 researching the history of my ancestors, who I believe to have been Cathars who fled to the north Scotland during the inquisition. We actually stayed right near Limoux on our first night and I was totally oblivious to this church and it’s significance! I could kick myself. I decided to write a book about my experiences and research. I too would love to include a photo and your description in my book. Would this be possible?
hello howard, good to hear from you! please use my photo and description in your book if it helps you to tell your story …but would you like a better quality image? i will send one via email … what a marvellous history to research! i learn about this church from Wendy, a friend of mine who is now living near Limoux, so thanks to her you have your information on the windows 🙂 you can find a link to her in the side bar under spiritual journeys.
Thanks for the prompt reply:) That would be great if I could use this info. It really strengthens some of the other information that I have found on my own travels. A better quality image would be a bonus too…thanks! Yes, I was amazed at the history in this area and the stories of Mary M., the Cathars, and Templar Knights. I found the Fench form of our family name Bras (now Brass) very concentrated in these areas where the Mary M. and Grail stories originate. Wondered what the connection was, so I traveled there to find out for myself. Went across S. France and then later to Northern Scotland (Orkney Islands), where my family ended up, same as the Sinclairs!:) You are correct about your assumptions I believe. Allot of the underlying message I found was a suppression of the feminine (spiritual) aspect of our natures leading to a world of chaos and materialism. It is strange as I met people on my travels on a similar spiritual journey. The times are a changin’…hopefully:) I really appreciate your help with this…..Best regards
I would love to see more images of the St. Martin windows for possible use in a a book of memoirs I am creating. I visited the church in 2009 on a Mary Magdalene pilgrimage through Southwestern France. My photos were hurried and many blurred because I was trembling with the realizations that were arising. I too have French ancestry and am wondering about possible Cathar connections. I am descendant of the French Acadians of Nova Scotia. For many years, I have been researching our family history, as well as the role of women in early Christianity, especially that of Mary Magdalen and the legends associated with her life in Southern France. Any more info you have on the topic from your journeys or from Wendy would be greatly appreciated. I would also love to connect with Howard to compare notes.
hi adrianne, sure i’d be happy to share some of the info that i’ve researched. was there anything in particular you were looking for?
i have emailed some photos to adrianne, hope she contacts you too … and wendy batchelor firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more 🙂
your story is very welcome too, thanks so much for finding me and adding to the richness of this post …. i have emailed some better images to you … and yes, things are changing rapidly now, we just need to hold on to our intention of a better fairer world since the materialistic powers that be will not just fade away quietly …but those seeing a new way are on the rise 🙂
I enjoy sharing my story with anyone who’s willing to listen:) Thanks again for the photos.
I am in the process of working on a few projects to attempt to share the information that I have uncovered in this regard. Me and a business partner have developed a board game titled the wheel of life,that is centred around these concepts. As well as the book and a film in the same vein.
I just wanted to share this knowledge with you. I travelled to the Hopi reservation in Arizona a few years ago. It was a very interesting visit. I thought I would share some of their wisdom with you.
The Hopi Elders Speak
We Are the Ones
We’ve Been Waiting For
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
—The Elders Oraibi
Arizona Hopi Nation
Howard, this is wonderful! Now I am asking your permission to publish this in my blog, with credit to you of course…. it is such a true message for this time, indeed so pertinent in every way. Here in our country town we have created a community garden to educate people about growing their own food, and it is incredibly popular. People are gathering together to support each other, wanting local food, wanting strong community. We are in the flood of change and out in the centre paddling!
Feel free, the message is not mine to accept credit for:) You can thank the Hopi people. It’s their wisdom and people seem to know truth when they hear it.
Wow, the comments in this post make another whole post by themselves, full of all sorts of wonderful tales. It’s so pleasing to find these clues about the long suppressed divine feminine, and long overdue that the suppression be recognised and over turned.
I love the Hopi Indian message too, it spoke to something deep within me, and my current quest for the old holy wells and streams of Scotland.
so glad you enjoyed it Green Mackenzie … I love your posts too, your sense of the land and the elements … I ‘rediscovered’ this post by printing a section of my 2011 blog posts … plus it is one that continuously gets ‘hits’ as people are looking for this material … my friend Wendy still lives there and takes people on spiritual tours 🙂 I really enjoyed rereading all the comments too, nd love the Hopi message … I hope we are doing as we need to …