Factoids about Mary, Mother of Jesus

Since it’s May and we just celebrated Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share a few bits of information on St. Mary pulled from my book about her. Here are ten of them . . .

1. Mary’s name in Hebrew was probably more like Miryam.

2. Since there was no man involved in Jesus’ conception, all his DNA was from Mary. He must have looked very much like her.

3. Mary’s last words in the Gospel were said at the wedding at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you.” This is called Mary’s commandment.

4. The Mississippi River was originally named Conception after the Immaculate Conception by Father Marquette, S.J., who explored the river in 1673.

5. Mary took ritual baths called mikvahs in which the entire body was immersed. These baths were required before entering the Temple, after coming in contact with the dead, blood, or something unclean, before weddings and after childbirth.

6. The full name of Columbus’s flagship, the Sancta Maria, is St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. He had his crews pray the “Salve Regina” (Hail, Holy Queen) every night.

7. Mary’s journey to help her elderly pregnant relative, Elizabeth, took about three days. Mary was a pregnant teenager when she made the trip on stony sometimes uphill paths, probably in hot weather and with the threat of bandits.

8. When Mary received Communion, she was receiving the same body and blood that she had given Jesus at birth.

9. The Qur’an has more verses about Mary than the Bible. The title of its chapter 19 is “Mary.”

10. Between 1968 and 1971 Mary appeared often in Zeitoun, Cairo, Egypt, above a Coptic Orthodox Church. People of many faiths witnessed the apparitions.

St. Anselm said, “There’s never enough said or written about Mary.” What are your thoughts about her?


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