Known as St. Mary or the Virgin Mary, she has been honored in the Christian church since the apostolic age and has been a popular topic in Western art, music, and literature from the beginning of the Christian era. She is the mother of Jesus. Mary is well-known through scriptural allusions, which, nevertheless, are insufficient to create a comprehensive biography of her life and times. Through the names that have been given to Mary throughout the history of Christiancommunities—guarantee of the Incarnation, virgin mother, secondEve, mother of God, eternally virgin and immaculate, and assumed intoheaven—we may trace the evolution of the concept of Mary.
Her humility and adherence to God’s word, as recorded in the New Testament, have elevated her to the status of a model for Christians of all eras.
The other name for the artwork refers to the fact that it was once housed at a monastery of the Poor Clares order in Poligny, Burgundy, France.
The Rogers Fund was established by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 1933.
The story of the Annunciation, which reports that she was living in Nazarethand was betrothed to Joseph(Luke 1:26 ff.), is the first and last time that Mary is mentioned in the Bible, and the last time she is mentioned (Acts of the Apostles 1:14), she is included in the company of those who devoted themselves to prayer after Jesus’ ascension into heaven (Acts of the Apostles 1:14). According to the Gospels, she occurs in the following incidents: Among the events recorded are the Annunciation, the visit with Elizabeth, her kinswoman and the mother of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus (Luke 1:39 ff.), the birth of Jesus and his presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:1 ff.), the visit to Jerusalem by the Magi and the flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:1 ff.), the marriage at Cana in Galilee, although her name is not mentioned (Mark 2:1 ff) (John 19:26 ff.).
No matter how closely one considers these incidents to be accurate historical descriptions, they do not add up to a cohesive portrayal of Mary.
However, since the beginning of Christian history, the concepts that these images represent have served as a starting point for discussion and devotion on the Virgin Mary.
As a result, a historical study of that evolution also serves as an introduction to the current condition of Christian theology regarding Mary to a significant degree.
The phrase “born of woman” in Galatians 4:4, which was written before any of the Gospels, is perhaps the oldest mention to Mary in Christian literature. As analogies in the Bible such as Job 14:1 and Matthew 11:11 reveal, the term is a Hebraic manner of referring about a person’s fundamental humanity. The phrase “born of woman” was intended to assert that Jesus was a genuine man, in opposition to the attempt—later seen in various systems of gnosticism, an early 2nd-century dualistic religion—to deny that he had lived a fully human life; in fact, some gnostics believe that he passed through the body of Mary in the same way that light passes through a window.
As a result, the term designated Mary as the indication or promise that the Son of God had indeed been born in the form of a human being.
Some academics have even asserted that the key connotation of the term “born of the Virgin Mary” in theApostles’ Creed was the church’s insistence on Jesus’ genuine manhood, which they believe was the primary meaning of the phrase.
Any other obligations that have been entrusted to her in devotion and indogma take precedence over her mothering responsibilities.
In most cases, those who support the virgin birth contend that the possibility of real humanity was made possible when the Virgin Mary accepted her commission as a guarantee of the Incarnation (Luke 1:38): “Let it be with me according to your word.” Although the titleco-redemptrix has come to denote a more active role by Mary in the redemption of humankind, the precise nature of this participation is still a source of debate among Catholic theologians.
This is the origin of the titleco-redemptrix, which indicates some participation with Christ in the redemption of humankind and has been assigned to Mary in Roman Catholic theology.
Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus are shown in a stained glass window.
Both accounts make a point of asserting that Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary without the intervention of any human being (Matthew 1:18 f.; Luke 1:34 f.), but the numerous textual variants in Matthew 1:16, some of which contain the words “Joseph begat Jesus,” have led some scholars to question whether such an assertion was part of Matthew’s original account.
Although it is not mentioned by the Apostle Paul, TheGospel According to Markbegins with Jesus as an adult, and TheGospel According to John, which begins with his prehistorical existence, makes no mention of the virgin birth, unless the variant of John 1:13 that reads “.who was born” rather than “.who were born” is used to support the virgin birth.
The disputes about Mary’s virginity have dominated postbiblical Christian writing, with the majority of the literature devoted to her being written after her death.
When it comes to understanding Jesus Christ and his life and work in the New Testament, one of the most common interpretations is the drawing of parallels between him andAdam: “because as all died in Adam, so all will be brought alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians15:22).
Whatever your opinion on whether or not the tale of The Annunciation in the first chapter of The Gospel is true, According to Luke, this was originally intended to illustrate a comparable comparison between Eve and Mary, but it quickly became a focus of Christian thought.
Irenaeusexplained the parallel between Eve, who had disobeyed the word of God while she was a virgin, and Mary, who had obeyed it while she was also a virgin: for Adam had to be restored in Christ, that mortality be absorbed in immortality, and Eve in Mary, that a virgin, becoming the advocate of a virgin, should undo and destroy virginal disobedience by virginal obedience.
Irenae Irenaeus did not discuss the matter; he appears to have taken the comparison for granted, which may imply that it was not his own creation but rather a product of tradition, for which he held a high level of regard.
The earliest widely publicized theological debate about Mary concerned the validity of bestowing on her the title of Theotokos, which literally translates as “God-bearer” or “mother of God,” on her.
Perhaps, as the 19th-century English theologian John Henry Cardinal Newman hypothesized, the Council of Nicaea’s determination in 325 that Christ was not merely the highest of creatures but belonged on the divine side of the line between Creator and creature was even responsible for the rapid growth of devotion and speculation attached to Mary as the highest of creatures in the centuries that followed.
- Towards the end of the 4th century, the Theotokos had established herself in a number of different sectors of the church with great success.
- Nestorius’ arguments, along with other parts of his doctrine, were rejected by the Council of Ephesus in 431.
- When it reads “born of the Virgin Mary,” the Apostles’ Creed appears to be teaching at the very least thevirginitas in partu.
- With the rise of theasceticideal activity in the church, this concept of Mary as a model of the ever-virgin was given more credence.
- Old Testament texts used in favor of the doctrine by Church Fathers (such as Ezekiel 44:2 and Song of Solomon 4:12) were probably only convincing to those who already believed in it.
- The great theologian and bishop of northern Africa, St.
- 44.1 x 32 centimeters Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum is a must-see.
- I do not plan to raise a single question on the issue of sin, out of reverence for the Lord and my fellow man.
In the end, it was Augustine’s distinction between original sin (which is the sin that all people are born with) and actual sin (which is the sin that people commit during their lives), which was firmly established in Western theology, that compelled a further clarification of what it meant to be sinless in Mary’s case.
- Was she, however, exempt from the penalty of original sin?
- As the most important medievaltheologian in Western history has taught, her conception was tainted, as was the conception of all humans, but that God suppressed and ultimately extinguished original sin in her before she was born, a position that is representative of the position taken by St.
- The idea of theImmaculate Conception, which was developed by Duns Scotus, a 13th-century British Scholastic theologian, and subsequently declared as Roman Catholic dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854, was in opposition to this stance.
- Luke, at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Mara de Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
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- When the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception was issued, petitions began to arrive at the Vatican requesting a definition of the Assumption of the Virgin into Heaven, which was believed by Roman Catholics and celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption.
- However, despite the fact that over eight million people signed such petitions over the course of the following century, Rome remained hesitant because it found it difficult to define the doctrine in light of Scripture and early witnesses of Christian tradition.
- Such arguments from silence, on the other hand, were insufficient to establish a dogma, and, on the plus side, even the earliest doctrinal and liturgical testimony in support of the idea had appeared relatively late in historical development.
Petersburg, has cherubs accompanying Mary. Images of Fine Art/Images of Cultural Heritage
Who Was Mary the Mother of Jesus?
If you ask someone to name a famous Mary, he or she will almost probably respond with “Mary, mother of Jesus,” which is correct. She is likely the most well-known “Mary” in history, and for some, she is even an object of adoration. What was the identity of Mary, Jesus’ mother?
The Root of the Name Mother Mary
“Mary was really given the name Miriam, after the sister of Moses,” says the author. Why do we refer to her as Mary? Miriam is a Hebrew name, but Mary is a combination of two Greek names: Mariam and Maria, which are found in the New Testament. During their childhood, both Miriam and Mary stood guard over God’s chosen leaders as earthly powers attempted to have them assassinated. Exodus 1:22 describes how Miriam looked after her brother, who was hiding behind some reeds, after Pharaoh ordered that “every Hebrew boy” be “throwinto the Nile.” Miriam then proceeded to get a nurse (their mother) for the Pharaoh’s daughter, who had been taken captive by the Israelites (Exodus 2:5-7).
One possible meaning for Miriam/Mary is “wished-for kid,” and both ladies undoubtedly cared for significant youngsters whose safety was threatened by homicidal government throughout their lifetimes.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, had no signs of jealously or bitterness: she was worshipful, faithful, and fearless, among other qualities.
Prophetic Roots of Mother Mary
According to Christians, there are striking similarities between Mary and her namesake Miriam, which exposes the prophetic aspect of Moses’ birth and life when seen in retrospect. In the Christian’s eyes, God chose two young women to care for the two men in Scripture who led Israel out of slavery in Egypt and out of sin, respectively. Israel’s longed-for child, their Savior, would be born one day, according to the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Immanuel.” Mary was one of the women who would fulfill this prophecy.
The story of Mary being notified by an angel that she would become the mother of Immanuel is described in the Gospel of Luke.
The Lord grant me the fulfillment of your promise to me.” (See Luke 1:38.)
Where Was Mother Mary From?
Jesus’ mother was most likely “born in Nazarethduring the time of Herod the Great,” according to tradition. The reign of this king lasted from 37 to 4 BC. She “spoke Aramaic, with a Galilean accent (Matthew 26:73),” and she also “had touch with a multilingual culture,” in which soldiers spoke Latin, Greek was the language of business and education, and Hebrew was the language of Jewish religious life, according to Matthew 26:73. As a peasant, she belonged to a group that included skilled craftsmen, yet she was subjected to “a triple tax burden: to Rome, to Herod the Great, and to the temple.” Families lived in “three or four cottages of one or two rooms each erected around an open courtyard, in which relatives shared an oven, a cistern, and a millstone for grinding grain, and in which domestic animals also resided,” according to the National Geographic Society.
Mary would have spent the most of her time on home duties, some of which would have been physically demanding.
Mother Mary and Life with a Family
Mary would have married as early as 13 “in order to maximize childbirth and to ensure virginity,” according to the Bible. Mary lived with Joseph and Jesus, as well as “James and Joseph and Judas and Simon,” as well as several sisters who were not mentioned in the Bible. Mary was the mother of Jesus (Mark 6:3). A strong lady “capable of trekking the Judean hill region while pregnant, giving birth in a stable, making an annual four- or five-day journey on foot to Jerusalem,” sleeping outside, and “engaged in daily hard work at home” were some of her accomplishments.
She had been trained to look forward to the coming of the prophesied Messiah.
When the angel said, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus,” she became a “part of the fulfillment of God’s ultimate plan,” according to the Bible.
The Virgin Mary said in Luke 1:54-55 that God had “helped his servant Israel,” and that he had “remembered to be compassionate to Abraham and his offspring forever, exactly as he promised our forefathers.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to her tune as “the oldest Advent hymn,” and he was right.
Mother Mary and Life with Jesus
As a result, we don’t know much about Mary because the gospel is primarily about Jesus’ life, not hers. We could infer that she was perplexed prior to Jesus’ resurrection, based on the evidence. Because after all, Jesus began His public ministry by upsetting the people in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4), and He continued to irritate the Pharisees throughout His mission. According to Mary, her son was insane: “When his family found out about it, they immediately went to take care of him since they assumed he was out of his mind.” (See Mark 3:21.) When asked why he came, Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” “A man’s foes will be the members of their own home,” says the prophet.
- “A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household,” says the prophet.
- “Honor your mother and father,” the Bible states in Exodus 20:12.
- In front of his followers, Jesus stated, “This is where my mother and my brothers are standing.” In fact, anybody who carries out the will of My Father in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:48-50).
- God’s family has been extended across ethnic boundaries as a result of adoption.
- Your adoption to sonship was brought about by the Spirit that you received (Romans 8:15).
- In the beginning, the equality of Jesus’ love would have been difficult to accept for a mother who might have felt she should have a particular place in her son’s heart based on her relationship with him.
She recalled how, after he had been separated from his mother and found him at the temple in Jerusalem, where he had faithfully learned about the Father, Jesus had been obedient to his earthly father as well. She also “stored” this experience in her heart as a “memory.”
Death with Jesus
“Mary was the sole person to be there with Jesus during his birth and his earthly death.” His earthly father,Joseph, undoubtedly diedbecause he is not mentioned following Luke’s stories of Jesus’ upbringing. “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing close, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that point on, this disciple took her into his home” (John 19:25-27). By these remarks, we know that Jesus cared passionately and intimately for His mother, and we learn that Mary observed the last hours of Jesus’ life.
- She could have beenone of the womenat the empty tomb, but these ladies have not been positively recognized.
- Mary was still alivewhen the new church developed; Luke tells us “she was in the upper room in Jerusalem with the 11 remaining apostles” and a gathering of approximately 100 individuals as reported by Luke inActs 1:14,15.
- She experienced through every gamut of emotions a mother can endure and was even devoted to stay with her son as Jesus died onthe cross.
- ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/RedletterW Candice Luceyis a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family.
5 things to know about Mary, the mother of Jesus
It is definitely true that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the most revered saint in the Christian faith. Despite this, we know very little about her. There is nothing in the New Testament that mentions her birth, death, physical appearance, or age. Aside from the stories of Jesus’ birth that are exclusively included in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, she is expressly referenced at just three other events in the life of her son, all of which take place after his birth. At a wedding when Jesus transforms water into wine, she makes an unsuccessful attempt to visit her son while he is teaching, and she witnesses his execution with her son.
So, here are five facts we do know about her that are worth sharing.
1. She was an accidental virgin
In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told for the first time that Mary was pregnant before she and Joseph had sexual relations. According to reports, she was “with child from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew used a prophesy from the Old Testament to demonstrate this point, stating that a “virgin will conceive and have a son, and the name of the child will be Emmanuel.” Matthew was referring to the Old Testament in its Greek translation. As a result, the original Hebrew term “almah” had been translated as “parthenos” in the Greek Old Testament, and from there into the Latin Bible as “virgo” and finally into English as “virgin.” Instead of just “young lady,” the Greek word “parthenos” refers to “a virgin intacta,” which indicates literally “a virgin who has not been defiled.” Briefly stated, Mary was referred to be a virgin due to a translation error in which the word “young lady” was rendered as “virgin.” Education of the Virgin by Guido Reni is a painting by Guido Reni.
Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
2. She was a perpetual virgin
During and after the birth of Jesus, according to early Christian faith, Mary continued to be a virgin. This was likely only appropriate for someone who was referred to as “the mother of God” or “the God-bearer.” According to Saint Ambrose of Milan (c.339-97 CE), the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity was ardently defended: “Blessed Mary is the gate, through which it is written that the Lord hath entered in by it; therefore, the gate shall be shut after birth; for, as a virgin, she both conceived and gave birth.” Several centuries later, the Lateran Synod of 649 CE, a council convened in Rome by the Western Church, made it an article of faith that Jesus was conceived “without seed” and that Mary “incorruptibly carried, her virginity being unaffected even after his birth.” All of this is happening despite the fact that the Gospels state that Jesus had siblings and sisters (Mark 3.32, Matthew 12.46, Luke 8.19).
Antonio Veneziano painted a tempera on panel picture of the Virgin and Child in 1380.
3. She was immaculately conceived
Since the time of Saint Ambrose, it has been widely acknowledged in Western theology that Mary never committed a sin. Was her sinlessness in this life, however, due to the fact that she was born without “original sin”? As a matter of fact, according to Western theology, each and every human being was born with original sin, which is considered to be the “genetic” result of the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Due to an increasing cult of devotion to the Virgin Mary during the medieval period, there were fine-grained theological disagreements on the subject.
It wasn’t until 1854 that the Catholic Church was able to fix the situation.
was maintained free from every taint of original sin, is a truth revealed by God and consequently one in which all the faithful should accept firmly and consistently.
4. She ascended into heaven
The early decades of the Christian tradition were deafeningly silent on the subject of Mary’s death. However, by the seventh and eighth centuries, the belief in the physical ascension of Mary into heaven had gained a solid foothold in both the Western and Eastern churches, and was widely accepted. More information may be found at: What may paradise be like, according to today’s essay? The Eastern Orthodox Greek Church adhered to the tradition of Mary’s death and burial. In accordance with this, Mary died in a natural way, and her soul was thereafter accepted by Christ.
She was then carried physically into the presence of God.
In 1950, the belief in Mary’s ascension into heaven was officially recognized as Catholic teaching.
The Assumption of the Virgin, painted by Luca Giordano in 1698, is a masterpiece. Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
5. She is a sky goddess
When Mary was physically exalted into heaven, no bodily relics were left behind for us to venerate. Despite the presence of breast milk, tears, hair and nail clippings, the majority of her relics were of a “second order” nature, including clothing, jewelry, veils, and shoes. In the lack of her skeletal remains, her worshippers had to make do with visions — in Lourdes, Guadalupe, Fatima, Medjugorje, and other pilgrimage destinations. Her pilgrimage sites, like those of the other saints, were places where she might be summoned in order to beseech God to grant the requests of her followers.
In popular devotion, she was depicted as a sky deity who constantly wore blue clothing.
She was the goddess of the moon and the star of the sea, and she was worshipped as such.
Meet Mary: Mother of Jesus and Humble Servant of God
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she was a young girl, perhaps just 12 or 13 years old, and he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ. She had lately been engaged to Joseph, a carpenter who worked in the neighborhood. Mary was a typical Jewish adolescent who was looking forward to her upcoming marriage. Suddenly, everything in her life changed.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
- Mary was well-known for being the mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was also known as the Savior of the world. She was a willing servant who put her faith in God and followed his instructions
- References to the Bible: The mother of Jesus, Mary, is referenced throughout the Gospels, including in Acts 1:14. Mary was born in Nazareth, a village in Galilee
- She was raised there. Joseph is her husband
- Her relatives are Zacharia and Elizabeth. Jesus, James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their daughters are among the children. Wife, mother, and housewife is her profession.
Mary in the Bible
Several times throughout the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts, Mary is referred to by her given name. It is in the book of Luke that the most allusions to Mary are found, as well as the most emphasis placed on her participation in God’s plan. Throughout the life of Jesus, Mary is named by name. She is mentioned throughout the annunciation, during Mary’s meeting with Elizabeth, during the birth of Jesus, during the visit of the wise men, during his presentation in the temple, and during the rejection of Jesus by the Nazarene.
In the Gospel of John, Mary is never identified as such, although she is referred to as “mother of Jesus” in several places, including the tale of the wedding at Cana (John 2:1–11) and her presence near the cross during the crucifixion (John 19:25–27).
The Calling of Mary
Mary found herself in the presence of the angel Gabriel, where she sat and listened intently to his pronouncement. She was terrified and concerned. She could never have imagined receiving the most astounding news of her life: that she would become the mother of a child who would grow up to be the Messiah. Despite the fact that she was unable to grasp how she might conceive of the Savior, she replied to God in humble belief and submission.
Although Mary’s calling was one of great dignity, it would also entail a great deal of hardship. There would be suffering associated with labor and motherhood, as well as the honor of being the mother of the Messiah, as she would discover.
In Luke 1:28, an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she was much favored by God. Essentially, this phrase meant that Mary had received a great deal of grace or “unmerited favor” from God. Mary would endure a great deal even if God were to look favorably on her. Her first experience with disgrace was as an unwed mother, even though as the mother of the Savior she would be highly praised and honoured. She came dangerously close to losing her fiance. His mother was heartbroken when her beloved son was rejected and brutally murdered.
God was well aware that Mary was a woman of exceptional fortitude.
In the same way she gave birth to Jesus as her child, she also witnessed Jesus’ death as her Savior.
When the angel appeared and informed Mary that the baby would be God’s Son, Mary responded, “I believe you.” “I am the servant of the Lord.
Mary was a young, impoverished woman who happened to be a female. As a result of these characteristics, she was seen unfit to be used mightily by God in the eyes of her people. God, on the other hand, saw Mary’s faith and obedience. He was certain that she would be willing to serve God in one of the most significant roles ever given to a human being, the ministry of reconciliation. God evaluates us based on our obedience and faith, not on the credentials that other people think significant in life.
Mary was determined to commit her life to God’s plan, no matter how much it would cost her in the short and long term. Mary’s unwed motherhood would be shamed as a result of her obedience to the Lord’s desire. It was certain that she anticipated Joseph to divorce her, and in the worst case scenario, he may even have her stoned to death (as the law permitted). Mary may not have realized the full depth of the pain that was ahead of her. The agony of witnessing her darling child bear the weight of sin and suffer a dreadful death on the cross may have been beyond her comprehension at the time.
Becoming God’s chosen one and being prepared to sacrifice all in the name of love and devotion for one’s Savior are two requirements for achieving such a lofty position.
Question for Reflection
Is it possible for me to be like Mary, willing to embrace God’s plan no matter what the cost? Is it possible for me to go one step farther and exult in that plan, just as Mary did, despite the fact that it will cost me dearly?
Key Bible Verses
Luke 1:38 (NIV) “I am a servant of the Lord,” Mary said when asked who she was. “I hope it comes to me as you have stated.” Then the angel vanished without a trace. (NIV) Luke 1:46-50 (KJV) (From Mary’s Song, an excerpt) And Mary shared her thoughts: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because he has taken note of the lowly position in which he has placed his humble servant.
From this day forward, all generations will refer to me as blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me—his name is holy. Those who fear him will continue to be protected by him from generation to generation.”
- Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus. The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham, England)
The Historical Mary
What do we truly know about the lady we refer to as the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church, the first of the saints and the model believer, and who is revered as such? Is there anything new that we may learn about Mary through modern Scripture studies, archaeological investigation, and examination of the literature of the historical period? I would want to urge the reader to join me in contemplating the “historical Mary,” whose life is so intricately connected with the mystery of Jesus.
- Brown, S.S., in The Birth of the Messiah, John P.
- Truly Our Sister is a book written by Elizabeth A.
- The bucolic pictures of medieval artists and the peaceful rhapsodies of medieval musicians and poets are a far cry from the environment that they recreate.
- Almost certainly, she was born at Nazareth, a little Galilean village of around 1,600 inhabitants, during the reign of Herod the Great, a brutal puppet-king who was backed up by Roman military power.
- (See John 1:46.) There are no references to it in either the Hebrew Scriptures or the Talmud.
- In the synagogue, she heard Latin as it fell from the lips of Roman troops, Greek as it was used in business and intellectual circles, and Hebrew as the Torah was read aloud.
- This segment, which accounted for 90 percent of the population, was responsible for sustaining the state as well as the small privileged elite that existed at the time.
A lower median income was earned by artisans, who accounted for around 5% of the population and earned even less than those who worked on the land full time.
To imagine the Holy Family as a small group of three people living in a quiet, monastic-like carpenter’s shop is a far-fetched fantasy, to say the least.
In Mary’s day, she most likely spent 10 hours a day on domestic activities such as fetching water from a local well or stream, gathering wood for the fire, preparing meals, and cleaning utensils and clothes, just like women in many areas of the globe today.
According to Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is described as “the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters among us?” (Mark 1:15).
What if Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” were actually the offspring of Jesus’ aunt (see John 19:25), and hence cousins?
Despite the fact that we do not know their exact relationship to Jesus and Mary, it is likely that they all resided in close proximity to one another within the same complex.
In ancient Palestine, women were often married around the age of 13 in order to increase childbirth and ensure their virginity.
A feeding trough functioned as his cradle, much as destitute refugees nowadays utilize cardboard boxes and other improvised objects as makeshift beds for newborn newborns fleeing war and persecution.
Her physical fitness in youth and into her later years is likely to have been excellent, given her ability to walk the hill country of Judea while pregnant, to give birth in a stable, to make the four- to five-day journey on foot to Jerusalem once or twice a year, to sleep in the open country with other pilgrims and to perform daily hard labor at her home.
- In any case, whether she was beautiful or not, she would have had characteristics similar to those found in Jewish and Palestinian women today, most likely with darker hair and darker eyes.
- The oral tradition predominated in the culture, with public readings of the Scriptures, the telling of stories, the recital of poetry, and the singing of songs all taking place.
- One can fairly inquire as to whether she maintained a kosher kitchen.
- Jesus’ public career appears to have begun before her husband, Joseph, died, according to tradition.
- Her separation from Jesus when he walked out to preach was, without a doubt, an agonizing experience for her.
- She was probably close to 50 years old at the time, which was significantly older than the average death age for women in that era.
- It is said in the Gospel of Luke that she was there in Jerusalem’s upper room with the 11 remaining apostles “who committed themselves to prayer, together with the women.and with his brothers” (Acts 1:14).
After the Feast of the Transfiguration, Mary vanishes from historical memory.
As Elizabeth Johnson points out, an active mind is quickly captivated by the following questions: She shared memories, hopes, and tactics with the men and women of the new, Spirit-filled Jerusalem community.
Did she die quietly in Jerusalem as an elderly lady, honored as the mother of the Messiah?
Was she a reserved or assertive person?
Did she express her thoughts on the inclusion of Gentiles in the church?
It would appear that she died as a member of the Jerusalem community, though a later tradition depicts her as traveling to Ephesus with the apostle John and other members of the Jerusalem community.
There are three main reasons for this.
While the beautiful Madonnas depicted by medieval artists have an alluring quality to them, this first-century Jewish woman living in a peasant village was much more like the millions of women who live today than the women depicted in those beautiful paintings of the period.
Her day-to-day life and work were difficult.
Mary’s difficult life was largely undocumented, as was the case with the vast majority of people throughout history.
However, even though the church has traditionally emphasized martyrdom, asceticism, renunciation of family and worldly possessions, or lifelong dedication to the poor when canonizing saints, we are increasingly realizing that holiness is primarily comprised of persevering fidelity in the midst of everyday life, rather than a life of sacrifice.
- She looked for the word of God in people and events, listened to that word, pondered it, and then acted on it, as she had done previously.
- She was on a “pilgrimage of faith” from day to day, to use the words of Pope John Paul II.
- Third, we now recognize Mary’s Magnificat as a rousing freedom song for the oppressed and downtrodden.
- God is her only hope, and she exudes exuberant confidence as she sings the praises of the Almighty.
- Galilee was the cradle of revolts against a repressive occupying power and its taxes in the first century, and it continues to be so today.
In her community, Mary believed that God has the ability to turn the world upside down; that those who are last are first and those who are first are last; that the humble are exalted and those who are humbled are exalted; that those who save their lives lose them, and those who lose their lives save them; that those who mourn will rejoice, and those who laugh will cry; that the mighty are cast down from their thrones, and the lowly are lifted up; and that those who mourn will rejoice, and In her and their minds, God’s kingdom is a place where the poor come first, and where prostitutes, publicans, and other outcasts of society are welcomed to the table of the Lord.
- The historical Mary had to deal with poverty, oppression, violence, and the execution of her son, among other things.
- She acknowledges her “lowly station” in the presence of the omnipotent God.
- She is nothing more than God’s “maidservant.” She, on the other hand, believes that for God, nothing is impossible.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and martyr who was executed by the Nazis in 1933, said the following in a sermon delivered during Advent 1933: The song of Mary is the oldest Advent hymn still in use today.
- She is the Mary who speaks out here.
- It is instead a hard, strong, inexorable song about collapsing thrones and humbled lords of this world, about the power of God and the powerlessness of humankind.
- May it be both praise of God’s power and a prophecy of a world to come.
- For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
- His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
- He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
- He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Luke 1:46-55 Robert P. Maloney Robert P. Maloney, C.M., the former superior general of the Congregation of the Mission, lives in Washington, D.C., and serves as administrator for a joint project of the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Daughters of Charity for combating AIDS in Africa.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus
In the Arms of Mary is a novel written by Simon Dewey. Because of cultural differences and 2,000 years of separation, modern disciples are no longer part of Mary’s tale. Nonetheless, her narrative serves as a timeless reminder of the sacrifices required of those who follow Christ. God wants His followers to accept the invitations that He issues to them and to do so in a timely manner. We are reminded by President Russell M. Nelson that “God has always required His covenant children to perform difficult things,” as he says.
Having the faith to submit our will to His, and accepting His calling with the confidence that His Spirit will magnify us in our service, is our task today.
Cordon, President of the Young Women’s General Association, likewise reminds us that “we can accomplish difficult things,” but also that “we may do them happily,” as she says.
What will we do to convey our gratitude to our heavenly Father?
As we move forward into the twenty-first century, how will we recognize and celebrate our role in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant?
Mary – Mother of Jesus
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|MaryMother of Jesus By Patricia ChadwickMary, the mother of Jesus, is the best-knownfemale character in the Bible. We are firstintroduced to Mary when her name appears in thegenealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthewwhere she is referred to as the wife of Joseph.Though her first mention is in this context, shesoon became known as a godly young woman who Godchose to carry his Son to term. Mary was themother of Jesus Christ.Historically, little is known about Mary. It istold to us that Mary was a peasant woman fromthe tribe of Judah, and in the line of KingDavid. She became the wife of Joseph, son ofHeli (Luke 2:7). It is never mentioned whoMary’s parents were, but based on the knowledgeof Mary’s character found in the Scriptures, itis believed that she came from a godly home ofdevout Jews. In the time period that Mary lived,girls were not always trained in the HolyScriptures, but were trained mainly to run thehome. But Mary evidently had a been trained inthe Scriptures.As seen by her praise of God in her “Magnificat”in Luke 1:47-55, Mary was well-versed in theScriptures and had hidden portions of it in herheart.Mary was engaged to Joseph and in that era theengagement, or betrothal, was binding and couldonly be dissolved by a legal divorce. Thisengagement was signed by an official and came atleast a year before the marriage took place. Itis believed that Mary was quite young when shemarried. Most Israelite boys at that timemarried in their late teens, but women wed evenearlier. According to The Handbook of Life inBible Times, by J.A. Thompson, rabbis had setthe minimum age for marriage at 12 for girls.Mary was likely a young adolescent.Though she was young, and probably poor, Maryhad something priceless inside: she was a womanof faith who loved God deeply, having an obedient spirit. Have you everwondered what kind of woman God would choose tocarry His Son? She was chosen to love andnurture Him as her firstborn and raise Him inthe knowledge of God.* Mary was a chaste virgin. In Isaiah 7:14, theprophet Isaiah stated that the Messiah (God’sSon) would be born of a virgin. Mary fit thebill. She was a young, unmarried woman; pure andgodly.* Mary was a humble woman. Mary was a small-towngirl from the insignificant village of Nazareth.Though she was of nobility, being in the line ofKing David, the family had lost all its statusbecause of the years of Israel’s captivity andyears of foreign domination. No, Mary was apeasant girl, not a princess.* Mary was an obedient follower. God does notlook at outward appearances, but always looks atthe heart (1 Samuel 16:7). When God looked atMary He saw an obedient woman who would liveaccording to His will, just like her ancestor,David (Acts 13:22) * Mary was a faithful Jew. Marywas of the tribe of Judah and the line of David.She worshipped the one true God and she knew theHoly Scriptures.After the birth of Jesus, many curious eventsoccurred. The shepherds, who were out in thefields tending their sheep, had seen angels whotold them that their Savior had just been bornand that they should go find the Child inBethlehem. They found Him and they worshiped.Later, wise men from the East came to Bethlehemto honor the Child, whose “star was seen in theEast (Matthew 2:2). They found Him, and theyworshiped. Mary just took it all in and shepondered these things in her heart (Luke 2:19).She was given a great responsibility, yes. Butshe was also given a tremendous gift.Mary’s service to God did not end that firstChristmas when Jesus was born. Mary motheredJesus for the thirty years that he lived withher their poor Nazareth home. From childhood tomanhood, Mary loved and nurtured Jesus as hegrew into manhood. She did all the things adevoted mother did for the son she new was noordinary man. Mary could not surround her Sonwith wealth. The family was so poor that whenshe went to the Temple to present Him to theLord, she could only offer a pair pigeons – theoffering of the very poor. She could notintroduce Him to the culture of the day. Beingpoor and enduring a forced exile in Egypt(Matthew 2:13-15) Mary and Joseph had littleeducation to pass on to the young Jesus. ButMary had so much to give Jesus. She gave himgifts of infinite more value than secular andmaterial advantages.* She gave Him birth.* She, along with Joseph, gave him a home.* She cultivated in the home a purity of heart,obedience, and love.Mary was a woman who was blessed by God. Thoughshe seemingly had nothing to offer, she waschosen by God himself to be a part of His planof redemption of mankind. She was young, poor,and unknown. She had never been a mother, shepossessed no wealth or family inheritance, andshe boasted no fame or social status. Yet shehas been honored throughout all history for herfaithful obedience to God.Excerpt from Old Fashioned Holidays fromHistory’s Women written by Patricia Chadwick. Itis available in both print and ebook formats atStop by and pick up yourcopy today.