Mary Magdalene In The Cave (Maria Magdalena in der Höhle), 1876. Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911). Oil on canvas. Hermitage.
The French tradition of Saint Lazare of Bethany is that Mary, expelled by persecutions from the Holy Land, came to Marseille and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalene is said to have retired to a cave on a hill by Marseille, La Sainte-Baume (“holy cave.” baumo in Provençal), where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years.