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The Magdalene Line of Kathleen McGowan

I've just spent three days in Belgium with Kathleen McGowan, author of "The Expected One" and "The Book of Love". So don't think this is a literary review or something. It's always tricky to write a review about a colleague of yours and maybe it's even more trickier to write a review if you're a fan. I'm a fan. And I'm afraid, she turned me into something like a believer too.

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Listen here to an amazing EVP, and Nostradamus in his own voice telling you about the treasures (and secrets) of Orval:

Books by Kathleen McGowan

From Bruges to Orval

  • The Holy Blood of Bruges, a New Jerusalem
    The Holy Blood of Christ seems to have turned medieval Bruges (in Flanders, Belgium) into a Holy City. It's what, since the 19th century, made tourism popular in Bruges. But maybe this Holy City is not as holy as it seems...
  • Nostradamus and the Lost Templar Treasure
    Here is all the information you need, right out of the so-called prophecies of Nostradamus that are in reality a code, to start a true treasure hunt and find the Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar somewhere in the realms of the abbey of Orval, in B
  • Nostradamus and the Prophecy of Orval
    In 1840 the French magazine L'Oracle published a story told by the baron of Manonville in his diary. During the Revolution, he was in the abbey of Orval and listened to a Prophecy that seemed to predict the Restoration of the Monarchy...
  • Nostradamus and the Lost Treasure of the Bourbons
    Did the French royalists during the French Revolution have made up some "Nostradamus quatrains" containing a code that leads to their War Treasure? A true treasure hunt!

The Expected One & The Book of Love

The American author Maureen Paschal is being plagued by biblical dreams and visions. She travels to France's mysterious Languedoc region to find what has eluded centuries of treasure hunters: the original Magdalene scrolls, with details of her love affair with Jesus, their marriage and the crucifixion. Kathleen McGowan doesn't make an attempt to write down the gospel excerpts in period prose, but together with the visions they're of the most compelling parts of this "religious fiction". That's, in a very tiny nutshell, "The Expected One", or the first book in the Magdalene Line.

In "The Book of Love", that is the gospel written by Jesus Christ himself, Maureen Paschal follows the trail of Countess Matilda of Tuscany, a noblewoman from the 11th century who was secretly married to a pope, through Belgium, Italy and France, culminating in the Chartres Cathedral. Immersed in labyrinthine mysteries, the world's greatest art and architecture and Matilda's legacy, the story of Maureen and Matilda intertwine through time.

There is a third book in the Magdalene Line coming, concerning the enigmatic Poet Prince and of course there has been some talk about similarities, but who looks close to it sees more differences with Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code". And then there was this controversial issue of the author saying the story as told in "The Expected One" was highly autobiographical. Kathleen McGowan, in other words, is part of the bloodline: like Maureen Paschal, she is a descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. But, again, if you read closer, this doesn't really matter and Maureen nor Kathleen are making a big deal out of it. After all... and more than 20 centuries... there are many, many other "bloodliners".

I guess these novels are as much "standard religious thrillers" as the Kamasutra or The Divina Commedia is. "Jesus taught through parables," Maureen Paschal says in "The Book of Love". So, this is not about fact or fiction or even historical faction. This is about history coming to us through myths and legends and teaching with parables, or: "Storytelling with symbolism". You simply know Kathleen has a point when she claims history was written by men who didn't want women in their chronicles. Remember Mary Magdalene or Matilda of Tuscany. Where are they now? Who were they really? If you want to know that, you will not find an answer in the mainstream history books.

Kathleen McGowan makes you read the gospels and look at the history books with other eyes, with the eyes of Magdalene and Matilde and Maureen, with "her" eyes, from the point of view of the women Time forgot. But Time returns, now you have been given ears to hear what all too long was being silenced. The author keeps saying it as in a mantra, over and over again: "For those with ears to hear, let them hear it..."

An Amazon customer review put it like this: "This is the first book I have ever read that caused me to get goose bumps. It comes down to whether the words and ideas resonate with your heart or not. If you want a critique of the writing, don't look here because I can't do that. But I can tell you that this story gave me back a Jesus I can believe in. It touched me deeply and changed the way I view Jesus and the stories I grew up believing that never felt like more than irrelevant fables. Now it all makes much more sense."

Kathleen McGowan is, much like Maureen Paschal, a woman not only with a vision, but also with a mission: "The Truth Against the World." - She provides the framework, she completes the puzzle from southern Rennes-le-Château to northern Orval, from Tuscany to Flanders. She is a researcher but also a seeker of wisdom, of knowledge and above all... of meaning.

Storytelling with symbolism, making believe and by doing so: making sense. Giving people other eyes to see the world and by doing so: change it.

Let's do a little experiment... Here are some pictures of a statue to be found in the abbey of Orval, and an excerpt from the Book of Love:

Moving to the sculpture, Maureen ran her fingers gently over the cool stone face of the lovely little madonna, who was no more than a child herself in this portrayal. Tradition indicated that the Virgin was a young teenager when she conceived.

Moving to the sculpture, Maureen ran her fingers gently over the cool stone face of the lovely little madonna, who was no more than a child herself in this portrayal. Tradition indicated that the Virgin was a young teenager when she conceived.

And yet this madonna, with her enigmatic little smile, appeared more like an eight- or nine-year-old girl holding a baby.

And yet this madonna, with her enigmatic little smile, appeared more like an eight- or nine-year-old girl holding a baby.

And the infant was also carved in an unusual way. He appeared to be squirming out of the girl's hands and smiling with the mischief of it all.

And the infant was also carved in an unusual way. He appeared to be squirming out of the girl's hands and smiling with the mischief of it all.

The sculpture looked more like that of an elder sister attempting to contain her baby brother than that of a mother and her child.

The sculpture looked more like that of an elder sister attempting to contain her baby brother than that of a mother and her child.

In Bruges, we discovered this strange Mystic Marriage

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Poem by Patrick Bernauw; Photo by Marc Borms; Painting by Quellinus.

Poem by Patrick Bernauw; Photo by Marc Borms; Painting by Quellinus.