Mary (Mother of Jesus)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was betrothed to Joseph when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would bear a son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. During her pregnancy she visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was at that time pregnant with the baby who would become John the Baptist. It was on this occasion that she praised the Lord in a hymn (Luke 1:39-56).

After the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Joseph took his wife and Child to Egypt to escape Herod's plans to kill Jesus. After Herod's death, the family returned and settled in Nazareth in Galilee. She stood at the cross with two other women named Mary when Jesus was being crucified.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon her and the apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 1:14). Scripture is silent on Mary's life after Pentecost, but legends abound. There is evidence that Luke came to her for information about the Holy family which he used in his Gospel. There is also evidence that Peter consulted her on points of doctrine, and that the Apostles' Creed was composed at her inspiration.

The most common belief is that Mary made her home with John the Apostle in Jerusalem and that she died there some time before his departure for a mission in Ephesus, possibly in the year 48 or 49, which would make her about 70 years old at the time of her death.

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