Was Mary the birth mother of Jesus?
What became of ... Mary and Joseph?
The Christmas story is unthinkable without Mother Mary and foster father Joseph. Even after the birth of Jesus Christ, they appear several times in the Bible.
Christmas is the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ. But on December 26th, the feast of the Holy Family, Mary, his birth mother, and Joseph, his foster father are at the center of the liturgy. The traces are only sparse, but the further lives of the two can be roughly traced on the basis of the Bible and church traditions.
The prehistory and the immediate aftermath of the birth of Christ are described relatively clearly in the Gospels (especially Luke and Matthew): Mary and Joseph are engaged when the Archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin that she will be a child through the power of the Holy Spirit receive. After initial thoughts of fleeing, Josef accepts his role as a foster father. Later the carpenter and the heavily pregnant Maria move up to Bethlehem from Nazareth because of a census, because Joseph comes "from the house and lineage of David", which has its ancestral seat in Bethlehem. There Mary gives birth to her firstborn in a stable.
Shortly after the birth of Jesus, the family fled to Egypt to avoid King Herod's persecution. She later returns to Nazareth, where Jesus grows up and learns the trade as a carpenter from his foster father. According to Catholic and Orthodox doctrine, Mary and Joseph live in "Joseph's marriage", that is, without sexual intercourse. Biblical reports about the brothers and sisters of Jesus can be explained by the fact that "brother and sister" were also used to refer to close relatives.
This ends the trail of Joseph: He no longer appears in the reports on Jesus' adult life, which is why biblical research assumes that Joseph died before Jesus appeared in public. This coincides with the Christian iconography, which usually depicts Joseph as an old man next to the girlish Mary.
However, the life of Mary is different: At the wedding of Canaa she stimulates Jesus to perform his first miracle, in which he turns water into wine. She accompanies Jesus' public life up to his death on the cross (John 19:25) and beyond: In the Acts of the Apostles she is mentioned as one of the women who receives the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. According to Christian iconography, she died around ten years later in the circle of the apostles.
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