Mary Magdalene, before and after. Interior of the Sainte-Baume Grotto or cave, which local tradition regards as the place where Mary Magdalene lived for 30 years. Left, a depiction of the sinful Magdalene before she converted. Fun fact: This 19th-century statue is rumored to be the likeness of a Provencal landowner's mistress. Nobody knows exactly how it became part of the Grotto collection or when it was given to the church. Right, the saintly Mary Magdalene after conversion, ascends to heaven.