Mothers of Famous Children: The Virgin Mary

About the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, son of God in the Christian religion, bible history.

The Virgin Mary (b. ca. 25 B.C.--d. after 30 A.D.)

She was cousin to John the Baptist's mother. She lived in the village of Nazareth, in Judea, where she met and married Joseph, a carpenter and a member of the house of David. According to the Eastern Church, Joseph had been married once before and brought 4 sons and several daughters to the marriage. According to some Protestants, Mary conceived these children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus. When Mary was 15, according to Justin Martyr writing in 150 A.D., "the power of God coming upon the virgin over-shadowed her and caused her to conceive though she was a virgin."

The child she conceived was Jesus, and he was born in Bethlehem, and she had him circumcised after 8 days. To save Jesus from being slain by King Herod, Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to Egypt and stayed with relatives for what may have been several years. Returning to Galilee, Mary placed Jesus in a primary school. It is conjectured that Joseph died 3 years after Jesus's bar mitzvah. Historian Will Durant believes that, next to Jesus, Mary is the most touching figure in the New Testament, rearing her 1st-born "through all the painful joys of motherhood, proud of his youthful learning, wondering later at his doctrines and his claims, wishing to withdraw him from the exciting throng of his followers and bring him back to the healing quiet of his home . . . helplessly witnessing his crucifixion, and receiving his body into her arms . . ."

According to The Zondervan Bible Dictionary: "After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Mary appears in the midst of the Christian community, engaged with them in prayer . . . but without any discernible preeminence among them. This is the last notice of her in the Scripture. It is not known how or when she died."

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