Berkeley Gets Tibia of Mary Magdalene

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Feb 17, 2011  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Berkeley Gets Tibia of Mary Magdalene

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Actors playing Joseph and Mary, foreground, reenact the Nativity scene in the Palestinian town of Nazareth, Jesus's traditional hometown, ahead of Christmas this week, on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

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What's more powerful than a rabbit's foot, a four-leaf clover, and a pinch of salt thrown over your shoulder? A little shard of Mary Magdalene's leg.

The bone fragment, believed to belong to the Biblical character, is currently touring the state in a glass box and will visit Berkeley today.

Some Christians venerate such items, known as "relics," believing them to possess magical properties. Others simply regard the items of reminders of inspirational stories.

After leaving Berkeley, the tibia will head south to Atwater. It's had quite a journey. Mary Magdalene is said to have traveled from the Middle East to France during her life, living in a cave for many years according to the Contra Costa County Times.

There's some debate as to whether Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. The Bible's language is open to interpretation, with the term "demons" potentially referring to sins or to illness.

Some Gospels claim that Mary may have shared a romantic relationship with Jesus, or at least a closer relationship than the other disciples.

In fact, the Gospel of Philip has them exchanging kisses. Her tibia, sadly, gets little attention.

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