Mary was born in Nazareth from devout parents named Joachim and Anne. Even if Joachim of the house of David (Luke 1,32) and Anne of the house of Aaron (Luke 1,5;1,36) were small holders, they lived in modest economic conditions, but they were rich in holiness and virtues.
When she was a child Mary was offered to the Temple for education and
cult. She lived in buildings near the Temple, where women were charged
with the care of vestments and vessels (Es 38,8) and with the prayer.
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At the age of 14 she was given in marriage to Joseph, a carpenter who lived in Nazareth. However Maria had lived in the house of Her family for one year, as that period of time was requested by the Hebrew law after the wedding before moving into the husband’s house. And just there She received the annunciation of the Angel.
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The Angel tells Her: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you”. (Luke
1,26) and that she will be the Mother of the Messiah, of God’s Son.
Overwhelmed Mary wonders how it can become true, and as the Angel explains Her that maternity will be work of the Holy Spirit, She accepts and says: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”.
Mary accepts even if She is aware what sufferings the Messiah (Is 53) the Redeemer will have to face, as She well knows the Holy Writings and She is enlighted by grace.
Mary goes to Her cousin Elisabeth who is in the last three months of
pregnancy and she remains until the birth of John the Baptist. Elisabeth
lived in Ain Karim in Judea which is 150 Km far from Nazareth in
Galilee. When She arrives Elisabeth calls Her: “Mother of my Gentleman”
and she praises Her for Her faith “Blessed are you who believed”
Mary cannot restrain Her joy and bursts out saying The Song of Songs to God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior…”.
When Mary comes back to Nazareth She lives the very painful experience of Joseph who is perplexed because of the unknown maternity (Mt 1,18). Mary suffers and keeps silent waiting the help of God. In fact an Angel dispels in dream Joseph’s fears and this anticipates the ceremony for the entrance into the house of the spouse.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled (Luke 2,1) makes wife and husband to go to Bethlehem the city of origin of the dynasty of Juda. The travel is hard, both for the difficult conditions and for the state of Mary who is nearly at Her confinement.
In Bethlehem they do not find any lodging, Mary gives birth to Her son
in a cove in the country of Bethlehem (Luke 2,7) and some shepherds come
to visit and to help them.
When it is time for the purification, according to Moses law, they go to the Temple to offer their primogenitor to the Gentleman; in the Temple they meet Simeon who foretells Mary that a sword will pierce her soul through.
Later magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem (Matthew 2,2) looking for
the baby king of Judeans. But when Erodes heard it he was taken by fear.
The Magi find the baby, give gifts to Him and relief to the Holy
Family. After their departure an Angel of the Gentleman appears to
Joseph and exhorts him to escape with the family to Egypt because Erodes
is looking for the baby to kill him. The travel is 500 Km long in great
part in the desert. In Egypt they live the painful experience of
After the death of Erodes, the Holy Family moves to Nazareth (Matthew
2,13) leading a poor, laborious and pious life. We find again Jesus in
the Temple at the age of 12 years, when lost and later found, He already
thinks to serve “His Father”
No other episodes are described but we can presume that Jesus leaves His
Mother, now widow, only after 20 years passed working at home, and He
begins His mission of preacher. We find Mary again on the occasion of
the wedding of Cana, where She obtains from Jesus His first miracle, in
favour of the spouses (John 2,1). Mary met Jesus irregularly (Matthew
12,46); She sometimes followed Him in His apostolic peregrinations.
John 2,12; Luke 8,3
During the Passion of Jesus Mary has certainly followed the conspiracy of the Sanhedrin, the events of the Holy Thursday, the following night and sentence of death for Jesus, the flagellation and the crucifixion. Mary is at the foot of the cross of the dying Son, who says Her the last words and entrusts Her to the most loved disciple and Him to Her as Mother (John 19,25): in that moment Her spiritual maternity started.
After the Ascension, the Acts (1,14) remember Mary with the disciples gathered in a common prayer waiting for the Holy Ghost. Mary is then the centre of the life of the rising Church.
The tradition says that Mary followed the apostle Johan and She died peacefully; risen again from the dead a little later She was received into Heaven.