Category:Mary of Nazareth (subject)

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According to Christian (and Islamic) traditions, Mary of Nazareth was the wife of Joseph and mother of Jesus.

< Life of Mary of Nazareth : Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple -- Annunciation to Anne and Joachim -- Birth of Mary -- Girlhood of Mary (Education of the Virgin, Presentation of Mary at the Temple) -- Marriage of Mary and Joseph -- Annunciation to Mary -- Visitation of Mary -- Birth of Jesus -- Adoration of the Shepherds -- Adoration of the Magi -- Circumcision of Jesus -- Presentation of Jesus at the Temple -- Massacre of the Innocents -- Flight into Egypt -- Jesus among the Doctors -- Death of Joseph of Nazareth -- Wedding at Cana -- Jesus' True Relatives -- Hometown Rejection -- Crucifixion of Jesus -- Resurrection of Jesus -- Ascension of Jesus -- Gathering of the Twelve at Jerusalem -- Christian Pentecost -- Death and Assumption of Mary -- Relics of Mary of Nazareth >


In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is identified as the "son of Mary" and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and some unnamed sisters; all these people are well known in the village of Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. Nothing else is added about the Jesus Family. The only event in which Mary is directly involved is when the family of Jesus made an attempt to bring him home, but he refused.

The Gospel of Matthew introduces "Joseph the husband of Mary" and narrates the miraculous virginal conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit as revealed to Joseph by the angel Gabriel. The narrative includes the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, the adoration of the Magi, and the flight to Egypt. Mary then disappears from the Gospel of Matthew, if not for the episode taken from Mark between Jesus and his family, which now appears more a meeting than a confrontation.

The Gospel of Luke also refers to Joseph and the virginal conception of Jesus, but presents a different narrative of the events concerning the infancy of Jesus, giving a much more prominent role to Mary. It was Mary who received the annunciation by the angel Gabriel. Mary went then to visit her relative Elisabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) and remained with her "three months." Mary followed Joseph to Bethlehem to register for the census of Quirinius and it was in that occasion that Jesus was born. Shepherds came to adore the baby. Jesus was then circumcised and Mary performed the rituals of purification in the Temple of Jerusalem before going beck to Nazareth. Mary and Joseph then returned to the temple when Jesus was a boy and witnessed his conversation with the wise. As in Matthew, Mary is absent in the narratives concerning the preaching of Jesus, except for the episode of the visit of the family to Jesus. Acts however introduces Mary and the family of Jesus, who are gathered together with the disciples at the dawn of the church.

The Gospel of John does not name Mary and does not know of the virginal birth or the infancy narratives. Mary is always referred to as "the mother of Jesus" and the wife of Joseph. She is however present in two key episodes in the life of Jesus: his first miracle at Cana (not mentioned by the other Gospels), and his crucifixion. In at least one occasion, John shows Jesus and his disciples being together with the family. "The mother" is then present at the foot of the cross, when Jesus asked her to "adopt" the beloved disciple as her own son.

Later traditions

The earliest Gospels say so little about Mary that the Christian tradition felt compelled to provide detailed information to satisfy the curiosity of the believers and to deny embarrassing rumors about Jesus being the fruit of an illicit relationship between his mother and a Roman soldier, Panthera (Celsius; Toledot Jeshua).

From the Protoevangelium of James (c.150 CE) to the Golden Legend (compiled in 1260), the few data from the Gospels were harmonized and developed as to form a consistent narrative. Christian art, liturgy and popular piety as well as theological concerns, contributed to the growth and success of the legends.

Mary was the daughter of Joachim and Anne. Generated miraculously as her mother was barren, at the age of three she was given to service as a consecrated virgin in the Temple of Jerusalem. Joseph of Nazareth was miraculously selected to be her husband when she was fourteen. The story then follows an harmonized version of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, ignores the embarrassing details in Mark, and emphasizes the continuous presence of Many at the side of his son from his infancy to his death on the cross, as well as her role in the early church, assuming that she was always there even when sources are silent. After Jesus' death, Mary went to live with the beloved disciple (identified with John). She died surrounded by the apostles (either in Jerusalem or Ephesus) and her body was miraculously assumed into Heaven.

Numerous legends also developed about Relics of Mary of Nazareth, generally some of her belongings, which are claimed to be preserved by several churches and monasteries all around Europe.

Mary is also mentioned and greatly honored in the Qur'an and in the Islamic tradition, which adapted Christian legends to its distinctive theological perspective.

Mary of Nazareth in ancient sources

Mary of Nazareth in literature & the arts

Mary of Nazareth in scholarship

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Pages in category "Mary of Nazareth (subject)"

The following 181 pages are in this category, out of 181 total.