I visited the abbey of Orval (Belgium) together with Kathleen McGowan, who writes extensively about Countess Mathilde of Tuscany in “The Book of Love”. Mathilde founded the abbey in the 11th century, and she – as the abbey itself – are shrouded in mystery. Want to hear about the lost treasures and the prophecy of Orval? And was Nostradamus here – really?
The wedding ring of Mathilde of Tuscany accidentally had fallen into a well. She prayed to the Lord and suddenly a trout rose to the surface with the ring in its mouth. “This truly is a Valley of Gold!” Mathilde exclaimed, and so she built the abbey of the Golden Valley, the Val d’Or, Orval… out of an act of gratitude. Here is Kathleen McGowan standing by the miraculous “wishing well” of Mathilde: if you throw a coin in the water, you may make a wish… as Mathilde did.
According to Kathleen McGowan, Mathilde was a descendant of Jesus and Magdalene. As described in “The Book of Love” – that’s also the gospel written by Jesus himself – the abbey played a key-role in the hidden history of the “bloodliners”. In her novel, Kathleen follows the trail of Mathilde, who was secretly married to a pope, through Italy, France and Belgium.
In the abbey is a strange sculpture to be seen, of a Madonna with an enigmatic little smile. The infant appears to be squirming out of the girl’s hands, who has more of a nine-year-old girl then of Jesus’ Mother. Is this an elder sister attempting to hold her baby brother? More secrets revealed by Kathleen McGowan in books such as “The Expected One” or “The Book of Love” are to be found in the article “The Magdalene Line”.
Photo reportage and full story of the secrets of Orval: