We celebrate her saint day on August 15.
Mary lived circa 18 BCE- 41 CE. She was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, the daughter of Joachim and Anne and the wife of Joseph, the carpenter. Little is known of her life except when it relates to Jesus life. She remained faithful to him through his death (when his disciples denied, betrayed, and fled), and even after his death, continued life in ministry with the apostles.
The New Testament records many incidents from the life of the Virgin which shows her to be present at most of the chief events of her Son’s life:
- her betrothal to Joseph [Luke 1:27]
- the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel that she was to bear the Messiah [Luke 1:26-38]
- her Visitation to Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist [Luke 1:39-56]
- the Nativity of our Lord [Luke 2:20]
- the visits of the shepherds [Luke 2:8-20] and the magi [Matthew 2:1-12]
- the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple at the age of forty days [Luke 2:22, 2:41]
- the flight into Egypt, the Passover visit to the Temple when Jesus was twelve, [Matthew 1:16,18-25; 2; Luke 1:26-56; 2];
- the wedding at Cana in Galilee [John 2:1-11]
- and the performance of her Son’s first miracle at her intercession [John 2:1-11],
- the occasions when observers said, “How can this man be special? We know his family!” [Matthew 13:54-56, Mark 6:1-3, Luke 4:22; also John 6:42],
- an occasion when she came with others to see him while he was preaching [Matthew 12:46-50,Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21],
- her presence at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus commends her to the care of the Beloved Disciple [John 19:25-27],
- her presence with the apostles in the upper room after the Ascension, waiting for the promised Spirit [Acts 1:14].
Besides Jesus himself, only two humans are mentioned by name in the Creeds. One is Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD and the other is Mary. There are more feast days in The Episcopal Church honoring Mary than anyone else.
There have been many appearances of Mary over the centuries. Tradition says that in 39 CE, the Virgin Mary appeared in a vision to Saint James the Great in Zaragoza, Spain. Over the centuries, there have been dozens of additional reports of appearances of the Virgin Mary in different times and places. Two of the most influential visions of the Virgin Mary are the Virgin of Walsingham and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Her story was carried by National Geographic in December, 2015 –”How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman”
Her message to us was simple – “Listen to Him. Listen to my Son. Do what He tells you.”