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MARY MOTHER OF JESUS, MOTHER OF GOD Part Ic: Who is Mary? . . . the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. (Luke 1: 26 -27)
SEEKING MARY. . . Next, in searching for understanding who Mary was, would be to search what we know about her natural life.
The birth of Joseph in Bethlehem, a town of Judah, the city of David 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 BC TIMELINE OF THE LIVES OF MARY AND JOSEPH
At 40, Joseph marries Melcha or Escha 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 Herod the Great becomes King of Judea
The Immaculate Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother Anne Birth of Mary to Anne and Joachim in Sepphoris 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 Mary is offered in the Temple Herod the Great Mary remains in the temple for nine years.
The BIRTH of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Holy Family Mary in Nazareth; returns to Jesus’ Conception; Nazareth Mary visits her Joseph, cousin Elizabeth Mary in Jerusalem and Jesus Engagement of escape Mary to Joseph to Egypt in Nazareth Paul is born in Tarsus BC AD Passover trip to Jerusalem with Joseph, Mary and 12 -year old Jesus 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (12) Joseph takes the pregnant Mary Joseph as his wife widowed Caesar Augustus, Emperor, calls a census of the whole world; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem Herod the Great Birth of John the Baptist King Herod calls for the killing of all male children, two years old and younger Annas, High Priest. Jerusalem Pontius Pilate, procurator d. 4 Archelaus, ethnarch of Samaria and Judea Antipas (Herod Antipas) tetrach of Galilee and Perea Philipp, tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis
John the Baptist begins his ministry Jesus baptized in the Jordan by John Death of Joseph 90? 111? 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Annas, High Priest. Jerusalem (38)Joseph Caiaphas, High Priest Pilate becomes Procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate, procurator Antipas (Herod Antipas) tetrach of Galilee and Perea Philipp, tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis
Jesus baptized in the Jordan Jesus tempted in the desert by Satan Jesus’ first miracle at Cana 26 Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman Peter, Andrew, James and John become Apostles at Capernaum Jesus cures Peter’s mother-inlaw Jesus begins preaching in Galilee 27 Jesus chooses the final twelve Jesus feeds 5000 Jesus walks of water Jesus preaches the Peter confesses Sermon on the Jesus is Messiah Mount Jesus is transfigured Jesus preaches the on Mt. Tabor in Caesarea Philippi parables of the Kingdom Jesus visits Mary and Jesus calms the Sea Martha; raises of Galilee Lazarus Jairus’ daughter raised to life 28 J John the Baptist martyred 29 Triumphal entry into Jerusalem Jesus cleanses the Temple The Last Supper Gethsemane Crucifixion and death Resurrection Apparitions Ascension Descent of the Holy Spirit 30 (49) Jesus gives His Mother to the Apostle John at Calvary 31
The Council of Jerusalem The End of Mary’s Life; Her Assumption into Heaven; in Ephesus with John? in Jerusalem? John and Mary remain in Jerusalem 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 (50) (66) John goes to Ephesus; takes Mary with him John is at the Council of Jerusalem Persecution of the Church by Herod Agrippa I begins 44 Herod Agrippa I dies Jerusalem Ephesus
First Gospel written by St. Mark The Martyrdom of Sts Peter and Paul at Rome The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
THE GOSPEL PORTRAIT OF JOSEPH Marriage to Mary Redemptoris Custos, John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation (August 15, 1989) Matthew 1: 20 -21 Joseph, Son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1: 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. Luke 1: 26 -27 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1: 30 -32 Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. The nature of this “marriage” is explained indirectly when Mary, after hearing what the messenger says about the birth of the child, asks, Luke 1: 34 How can this be, since I do not know man? The angel responds Luke 1: 35 The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
Although Mary is already “wedded” to Joseph, she will remain a virgin, because the child conceived in her at the Annunciation was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. At this point Luke's text coincides with Matthew 1: 18 and serves to explain what we read there. If, after her marriage to Joseph, Mary is found to be with child of the Holy Spirit, this fact corresponds to all that the Annunciation means, in particular to Mary's final words Luke 1: 38 Let it be to me according to your word.
In these circumstances, Matthew 1: 19. . . her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. He did not know how to deal with Mary's “astonishing” motherhood. He certainly sought an answer to this unsettling question, but above all he sought a way out of what was for him a difficult situation. Matthew 1: 20 -21 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. ”
Joseph is visited by the messenger as “Mary's spouse, ” as the one who in due time must give this name to the Son to be born of the Virgin of Nazareth who is married to him. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary's Son. Matthew 1: 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife. He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary’s with regard to what God asked of him through the angel.
Matthew 2: 13 -19 When they (the three Magi) had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him. ” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son. ” When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead. ” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean. ”
1. Rafah 2. Al-Arish 3. Farma 4. Tal Basta 5. Mostorod 6. Belbeis 7. Meniet Samanoud 8. Sakha 9. Wadi El-Natroun 10. Ain Shams 11. Matareya 12. Zeitoun 13. Zeweila Alley 14. El-Ezbaweya 15. The area of Old Cairo 16. Babylon 17. Maady 18. Ashnein: El-Nasara & El-Garnous Monastery 19. Bahnassa 20. Samalout 21. Gabal al Tair 22. Hermapolis: Al-Ashmounein Town - Mallawy 23. Daurout Um Makhla 24. Beer El-Sahaba 25. Kom Maria 26. Tal El-Amarna 27. Daurout 28. Qoussia 29. Meir 30. Monastery Of Moharraq
While clearly affirming that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that virginity remained intact in the marriage (cf. Mt 1: 18 -25; Lk 1: 26 -38), the evangelists refer to Joseph as Mary's husband to Mary as his wife (cf. Mt 1: 16, 18 -20, 24; Lk 1: 27; 2: 5). And while it is important for the Church to profess the virginal conception of Jesus, it is no less important to uphold Mary's marriage to Joseph, because juridically Joseph's fatherhood depends on it. Thus one understands why the generations are listed according to the genealogy of Joseph. Matthew 1: 1, 16 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham became the father of Isaac, . . . Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. Luke 3: 23, 28 When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, . . . the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
MARY AND JOSEPH In Apocryphal Writings The Protoevangelium of James “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [St. Anne], saying, ‘Anne! The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world. ’ And Anne said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in the holy things all the days of its life. ’. . . And [from the time she was three] Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there” (Protoevangelium of James 4, 7 [A. D. 120]). The birth, education, and marriage of the Blessed Virgin are described in the first eleven chapters and these are the source of various traditions current among the faithful. They are of value in indicating the veneration paid to Mary at a very early age.
“And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of priests, saying, ‘Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord? ’ And they said to the high priest, ‘You stand by the altar of the Lord; go in and pray concerning her, and whatever the Lord shall manifest to you, that also will we do. ’. . . [A]nd he prayed concerning her, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, ‘Zechariah! Go out and assemble the widowers of the people and let them bring each his rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. . And Joseph [was chosen]. . And the priest said to Joseph, ‘You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the Virgin of the Lord. ’ But Joseph refused, saying, ‘I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl’” (8– 9).
It is the “Protoevangelium” which first tells that Mary was the miraculous offspring of Joachim and Anna, previously childless; that when three years old the child was taken to the Temple and dedicated to its service, in fulfillment of her parents’ vow. When Mary was twelve Joseph was chosen by the high-priest as her spouse in obedience to a miraculous sign--a dove coming out of his rod and resting on his head. While our first knowledge of Joseph comes from the Bible, it is not difficult to see that the Scriptures make no mention or implication of Joseph's advanced age, or other similar details. Such particulars are imaginatively supplied by certain apocryphal writings. Though non-canonical and never considered historical by the Church, such writings have had a great influence on popular devotion. Their content has entered into preaching, art, liturgy, and even patristic writings, though the latter have by and large employed a quite critical approach to them.
“And Annas the scribe came to him [Joseph]. . . and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest and said to him, ‘Joseph, whom you did vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. ’ And the priest said, ‘How so? ’ And he said, ‘He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord and has married her by stealth’” (15). “And the priest said, ‘Mary, why have you done this? And why have you Brought your soul low and forgotten the Lord your God? ’. . . And she wept bitterly saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him, and know not man’” (15). Origen (248 AD) (185 -254) “The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. ” (Commentary on Matthew 2: 17).
Other apocryphal works draw freely on the Story of James, adding their own embellishments. Among these are The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew which includes legends of the stay in Egypt, The Syriac-Arabic Infancy Gospel, The Armenian Infancy Gospel, and the Liber de Infantia Salvatoris. The Infancy Story of Thomas recounts numerous bizarre miracles worked by the child Jesus. The resulting composite story has Joseph as a carpenter who makes plows, yokes, other wooden tools for cultivation, and also wooden beds. At the age of 40 he marries Melcha or Escha, and during their 49 years of marriage he has four sons and two daughters, whose names are given. It is after he has been widowed for a year that the episode occurs with his staff blossoming and the dove flying out of it, thus indicating that he is divinely chosen for the twelve year old Mary. The annunciation takes place two years later. At Bethlehem, Joseph is out searching for a midwife when the baby is born miraculously without Mary losing her virginity.
A final apocryphal work to be mentioned is The Story of Joseph the Carpenter, which treats of Joseph's last days. Strong and alert until the age of 111, he confesses his sinfulness on his deathbed and is consoled by Jesus and Mary. Jesus beckons the archangels Michael and Gabriel to come take his soul, And his body is buried in the family grave. Recent studies indicate that this work dates from the beginning of the second century, and was used liturgically by Judeo-Christians at his tomb at Nazareth for the anniversary of his death, until the Jews were expelled from Nazareth and took it with them into Egypt.
The End of Mary the Series, Who Is Mary? , Part Ic Go to Mary the Series, Her Motherhood, Part IIa