Notre Dame de Sophia. Our Lady of Wisdom.
Is a chapel I am restoring in the French Pyrenees. Nestled in a valley at the bottom of Montsegur, this chapel will one day open its doors to all who seek the Light of the World.
Situated at the confluence of two rivers and beside a holy spring, those that feel a strong resonance with the feminine especially that of Mary Magdalene will discover a place strongly rooted in her tradition.
This little chapel is filled with voluminous silence that wraps a cloak of wellness around all who enter. Consecrated to the Holy Spirit, and dedicated to the good works of Mary Magdalene, Notre Dame de Sophia is both a place and a presence. The location of this chapel is on an ancient cross path, a place where the Cathars would meet, exchange information, herbs, food, books and 'other things'. It is said that Mary Magdalene herself would meet in this place beside the spring to hold masses, baptise and to exchange word back to the Holy Land.
An ancient prophecy is beginning to align. Like the slowly turning wheel of a kaleidoscope, the sands of time, reveal the sigil we have been waiting for. A tarnished glass vase stands on the altar, filled with Roses and Lillies that burst with freshness and generosity. We are clearly the expected ones. Light enflames the stained glass windows, casting shafts of misty silhouettes all around us. Spikenard hangs in the air, whispering of immemorial gatherings. We are independent mystics of an almost forgotten faith and these walls are our gathering place.
Behind the altar, a shrouded female form can be seen. Every word she utters is accompanied by a white plume of breath. She points to a stairwell at the corner of the chapel to indicate where we are to go.
The entrance to the stairs is warm and beckoning, and utterly dark. We cannot see our way, so we use our finger-tips to trace our descending path. We can feel etchings and marks in the stone, carvings we crave to remember. The deeper we go, the more we disappear.
Once upon the last step, we pause, remember and add our own breath, to the one breathing. There are no more words or thoughts, just the presence of presence. Here we stand on the threshold of an important path, something dying, and something being born. What if we were tapping into an Apostolic line that goes back to Mary Magdalene? By reaching out to touch her mantle, you ignite the remembrance of the powerful spiritual connection you have in this lineage. These masses are experimental and experiential, that lead to an altered state, of gnosis.
Beloved Friends, every donation generously gifted will be used to restore this chapel.
The first quest will be to find a full-size Mary statue who will become "Notre Dame de Sophia", an actual icon of the Sophia for our time. The next task will be a lick of paint over her crumbling (and slightly damp) walls and the laying of a stone floor. Outside the chapel is a cave, shrouded by magical moss-laden trees who belong to the elves, goblins and fairies of the land. We shall have to tread very carefully - as, in truth, this is 'their 'place, and they are merely lending it to us.
This chapel would be ideal for baptisms, weddings, funerals and all kinds of ceremonial works! I sense that my Soul Purpose is to restore the Spirit of Mass, especially to the green valleys of this magical land. The locals speak of how Mary Magdalene and John the Beloved lived here, and how the people of Occitania created a community based on Love, Beauty, Intelligence and Healing. This little corner of France was once as impressive as ancient Greece, Rome or Egypt.
Up ahead of us I see a 'terrible' and terrific time...
Therefore, I choose to gather together every week on Sunday evenings, on the ancient day of the Sun, a time of transmission laden with wisdom and truth. I will show up with you, to draw down Sophia's holy spirit and the mantel of her wisdom, and to gather, the way we used to, by spring and in the forest, to bless one another and to wish us peace.
What is it that fills Notre Dame de Sophia with such great peace for all who enter?
You are intimately invited to discover for yourselves. For this chapel has been found...
The next Mass will be every Sunday (Sunday is ruled by the Sun).
and a Vodcast
Notre Dame de Sophia events are accessed on subscription - every donation generously gifted will be used to restore this chapel.