The Life of Mary: The Relatives of Jesus©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Life, The Relatives of Jesus. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents VI. The Life of Mary / 2j. Sacred Scripture:
New Testament Elements Life of Christ: Mary and the Relatives of Jesus
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • In the course of her Son's preaching she received the words whereby, in extolling kingdom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, he declared blessed those who heard and kept the word of God (cf. Mk 3:35; par. Lk 11:27f.) as she was faithfully doing (cf. Lk 2:19; 51). 58
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • the first to merit the words of praise that Christ spoke to his followers: "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." [Mt 12:50] 23
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • St. Jerome faced the difficulties in such Biblical expressions as "brothers of the Lord." He showed that in New Testament Greek this term can mean "cousins" as well as "blood brothers." 49
  • In her, above all others, was realized the promise of our Lord "blest are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Lk 11:28) 51
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • When Jesus is told that "his mother and brothers are standing outside and wish to see him," he replies: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." (cf. Lk. 8:20-21) This he said "looking around on those who sat about him," as we read in Mark (3:34) or, according to Matthew (12:49), "stretching out his hand towards his disciples." 20
  • Does he perhaps wish to leave her in the hidden obscurity which she herself has chosen? If this seems to be the case from the tone of those words, one must nevertheless note that the new and different motherhood which Jesus speaks of to his disciples refers precisely to Mary in a very special way. Is not Mary the first of "those who hear the word of God and do it"? And therefore does not the blessing uttered by Jesus in response to the woman in the crowd refer primarily to her? 20
  • the blessing proclaimed by Jesus is not in opposition, despite appearances, to the blessing uttered by the unknown woman, but rather coincides with that blessing in the person of this Virgin Mother, who called herself only "the handmaid of the Lord." (Lk. 1:38) If it is true that "all generations will call her blessed" (cf. Lk. 1:48), then it can be said that the unnamed woman was the first to confirm unwittingly that prophetic phrase of Mary's Magnificat and to begin the Magnificat of the ages. 20


© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
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