|Maíry the virgin, |
the mother of our Lord. There is no person perhaps in sacred or profane history around whom so many legends have been grouped a the Virgin Mary; and there are few whose authentic history is more concise. She was, like Joseph, of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David. (Psalms 132:11; Luke 1:32; Romans 1:3) She had a sister, named, like herself, (John 19:25) and she was connected by marriage, (Luke 1:36) with Elizabeth, who was of the tribe of Levi and of the lineage of Aaron. This is all that we know of her antecedents. She was betrothed to Joseph of Nazareth; but before her marriage she became with child by the Holy Ghost, and became the mother of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Her history at this time, her residence at Bethlehem, flight to Egypt, and return to her early home st Nazareth, are well known. Four times only does she appear after the commencement of Christís ministry. These four occasions are--
- The marriage at Cana in Galilee took place in the three months which intervened between the baptism of Christ and the passover of the year 27. Mary was present, and witnessed the first miracle performed by Christ, when he turned the water into wine. She had probably become a widow before this time.
- Capernaum, (John 2:12) and Nazareth, (Matthew 4:13; 13:54; Mark 6:1) appear to have been the residence of Mary for a considerable period. The next time that she is brought before us we find her at Capernaum, where she, with other relatives, had gone to inquire about the strange stories they had heard of her son Jesus. They sought an audience with our Lord, which was not granted, as he refused to admit any authority on the part of his relatives, or any privilege on account of their relationship.
- The next scene in Maryís life brings us to the foot of the cross. With almost his last words Christ commended his mother to the care of him who had borne the name of the disciple whom Jesus loved: "Woman, behold thy son." And front that hour St. John assures us that he took her to his own abode. So far as Mary is portrayed to us in Scripture, she is, as we should have expected the most tender, the most faithful humble, patient and loving of women, but a woman still.
- In the days succeeding the ascension of Christ Mary met with the disciples in the upper room, (Acts 1:14) waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit with power.