Born: Sept. 8th (Immaculate conception on Dec. 8th)
Died: Aug. 15th (Assumption)
FEast: January 1st
all humanity, mothers
Mother of God
Tradition holds that Mary, long before she was ever to know of her great purpose, was conceived without having Original Sin. She was the daughter of St. Anne, who wanted children but was barren and then promised Mary to God when she gave birth. We don't know anything of her life from that time onwards except that she had been engaged to Joseph until we hear of the angel Gabriel telling her she was to be Jesus' mother. After this, she visits her cousin Elizabeth who is also pregnant with John the Baptist, and we hear her beautiful words in the Magnificat.
The next thing we know is that she and Joseph must go to Bethlehem for the census, where Jesus is born in a stable because of the town being so full.
Not long after, the couple presents Jesus in the temple and then must flee with Jesus to Egypt to avoid the persecution and murder of babies by King Herod. They return to Nazareth, and Jesus goes missing for three days until they find him in the Temple speaking with the elders.
Between this time and the beginning of Jesus' ministry, St. Joseph likely passed away. We know nothing of Mary's life either until she instructs Jesus to do something at the Wedding at Cana, which becomes his first public miracle.
She likely followed him throughout his ministry, and was present at the Crucifixion, during which Jesus asked St. John to continue to care for her. She was with the Apostles at Pentecost and was likely at Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension as well.
One of the oldest Traditions holds that Mary was assumed completely - body included - into Heaven at the time of her death. This is celebrated with the feast of the Assumption.
She is known as Queen of Heaven and Queen of the Saints as the holiest of all human beings.
many of us cannot imagine, but you know exactly how it is to have to flee the only home you know with no one and nowhere to go. You know the hopelessness, the loss, the pain, the fear. Let us have empathy to feel those things and never turn someone away who, like you, is a refugee.
This portrait of Mary was the first I created, and is based off of the simple portrait of a Syrian refugee. Her life as a refugee and sufferer were the main focuses of this specific icon. Despite her neutral and dingy clothing, she still wears a golden headband, symbolic of her dignity and heavenly crown.
FEast: Dec. 29th
The Holy Family
Devotion to the Holy Family has existed almost since the very beginning, and has resurfaced every so often with reminders from Popes and writers on the importance of family and good family role models.
We know that they trusted one another (Joseph agreeing to stick with Mary), protected one another (fleeing to Egypt), worried about one another (losing Jesus in the Temple), and were there for one another in the darkest times (Mary at Jesus' Crucifixion and death of Joseph).
This family likely felt every emotion and dealt with every trial that families still face today, and so it is comforting to know, as always, that we have saints on our side who know our struggles having lived them themselves.