Madras Week 2012: The Roads Project: Day 10: St Mary’s Road

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Where is St. Mary’s Road?

St Mary’s road connects Ramakrishna Mutt Road with TTK Road. Important landmarks on this road are Park Sheraton Hotel, Rain Tree hotel, St Mary’s Church, and the Mandevalli Post Office.

Who was St Mary?

Mary was the mother of Jesus. She is also referred to as Saint Mary, Mother Mary and the Virgin Mary (this last refers to her immaculate conception).

There are a number of hypotheses about her birthplace; with some scholars asserting that she was born in Jerusalem to Joachim and Ann; and others opining that she was born in Nazerath. An ancient record indicates that she was born in Sepphoris, a few miles from Nazareth. It is likely that she grew up in the orthodox Jewish settlement of Nazareth, close to the trade routes to Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The Bible tells us that young Mary had a vision of the angel Gabriel, in which he announced that she would be the mother to a Messiah. Soon after this, she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, and Elisabeth’s husband, Zacharias, in Maon. It is said that as soon as Mary entered Elisabeth’s house, Elisabeth saluted her as the bearer the promised saviour.

Once Joseph came to know of her condition (supernaturally, of course!), he married her. Sources suggest she was approximately 12-13 years old at this time. A short time after, the decree of Augustus (which ordered a census of Rome) forced them to proceed towards Bethlehem. The well-known story tells us that Joseph and Mary found no room to stay in the Inn on Bethlehem, and had to shelter with the cattle. It was here that Jesus was born.

Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth with their child. They remained there for thirty years; during which not much is written about Mary. We hear about Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem when he was twelve years old; but nothing is said about his parents. Not much notice is taken of Mary until the miracle of Cana: where she is noted as being present when Jesus turns water into wine – at Mary’s suggestion.

Mary also had four other sons, and unnamed daughters.

At the crucifixition of Jesus, she is mentioned among the other women mourners, including Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas. A popular depiction of Mary and Jesus after he is removed from the cross is immortalized in Michaelangelo’s Pieta.

Opinions differ of when she died, but most religious scholars of the Catholic persuasion agree that she was taken bodily to Heaven; in fact an empty tomb is worshipped as that of Mary’s.

Mary is an important figure in the largely patriarchal cannon of Christianity. She is the only female figure that continues to be a prominent figure in the heart of event.

Sources:

Easton, M.G. (). Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In ChristianAnswers.net. Retrieved May 9, 2012, from http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/mary-motherofjesus.html.

Bond, H., Goodacre, M., Ilan, T., Maunder, C., Peskowitz, M., Charlesworth, J. (August 2, 2011). BBC: Religions: Christianity: Mary. In BBC. Retrieved May 9, 2012, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/history/virginmary_1.shtml.

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