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The historical sources
The nativity gospels of Matthew and Luke are the oldest texts describing Mary. The important question for people was who Maria actually was. Because God did not choose any person.
Correspondingly, the function and importance of Mary, such as in the Apocrypha, were expanded on and on. In the course of time, legendary embellishments and pious stories were added.
The most important and most credible text about Mary, however, is the Proto-Gospel of James, which was written in the middle of the 2nd century and which relates to the Gospels. It is the most detailed description of Mary's life.
Maria's parents were Joachim and Anna. As a starting point in the life of Mary, the scene is described when the devout Jew Joachim is denied the sacrifice in the temple because he is childless. Sadly, he returns to his flocks. In the dream an angel appears to him who announces that his wife Anna will give birth to a daughter who will be called Maria.
Joachim hurries back to Jerusalem. At the golden gate of the temple he meets his wife Anna. She too had an appearance of the angel. Overjoyed, they share the good news.
As the two were announced, Anna gives birth to her daughter Maria. In Jerusalem, near the Pool of Bethesda, sailors built the Church of Mother Anna. Here Christians still venerate the place of the birth of Mary today.
After three years, the parents bring Mary to the temple. Here she is to be educated until she is married. Many suitors from all over the country come to marry Mary. But of all the applicants, the carpenter Josef alone is worthy enough to take Mary as his wife.
Joseph and Mary live together in Nazareth. The event of the Annunciation also takes place there. And as the angel foretold, Mary gives birth to a son, whom she names Jesus.
The birth of Jesus
But the unbelievable preceded the birth. The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that she will have a child without having been with a man. The Heavenly Messenger explains to Mary that the Holy Spirit will come on her. May your child be holy because it is the Son of God. And Mary believes what she is told.
After the Annunciation, Mary moves up into the mountains of Judea to visit her cousin Elisabeth. When Elisabeth saw Mary, she was very happy and prophesied that she would conceive a divine child. The women stay together for a few months.
A law orders Mary and her husband Joseph to move to Bethlehem to be registered there. In Bethlehem, Mary finally gives birth to her promised son. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the most important places of faith for Christians. At the point where the star is, Christ is said to have been born.
Mary and Jesus
Maria has a dramatic life ahead of her. After giving birth, she has to flee to Egypt to save her newborn son from the persecution of Herod. After two years, the family returns to their old hometown of Nazareth.
Jesus is growing up and spending a lot of time in the temple. He cares less about his family than about people who are badly off and who are on the margins of society.
Jesus was critical of the family. There was also tension in the relationship between Mary and Jesus. In the Bible passage that describes the wedding of Canaa, Jn 2: 4, Jesus distances himself from his mother by asking: "Woman, what do I have to do with you?" Or in the Gospel of Mark 3:34 Jesus asks: "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? "Jesus cannot be reconciled through his family, the new faith is important.
The difficult hour of Mary
Nevertheless, Mary becomes the first disciple of Jesus. She follows him to Jerusalem for his last Passover and has to watch her son being tortured and crucified.
On the cross, Jesus asks his mother Mary and his favorite disciple John to recognize each other as mother and son. "See your son, see your mother" Joh, 19,25. Mary is also mentioned in the event of Pentecost, praying and waiting in the circle of the disciples for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
After the exciting events of Jerusalem, Mary finally moved to Ephesus in Asia Minor. Here she lives until her death.
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