Some of the feasts of Mary, the Mother of God’s Son Jesus, are written in the Holy Bible and we celebrate them in the Church. The story of the Announcement of the Angel (in the Annunciation) telling Mary that she would have a baby--God’s Son-- was written down in the Bible. And we all know the “Good News” about the birth of Jesus, because some people came to worship the child Jesus after He was born.
Many stories about Jesus were not written down in the Bible. How did people learn these stories of Jesus’ life? People who believed Jesus was God’s Son remembered these stories and told others the stories about Jesus.
Close friends of Mary and Joseph, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and others who saw Jesus grow up, remembered stories about Jesus’ family and the things that He did. They remembered that not long after His birth, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem and saw the elder Simeon bless their child, and the time they went to the Temple and Jesus stayed behind with the priests without telling His parents, who thought He was lost! All these things were written down and became part of our Bible. But many things about Jesus’ life and the life of His mother Mary were never written down.
We know the stories about Mary when she was a baby, for many people In Nazareth knew Jesus’ family. At the end of her Son’s life on earth, Mary stood by the Cross and watched her Son die. Before His life ended, Jesus asked John, the disciple that He loved very much, to take care of His Mother. Mary was with Jesus until the end, when He was put to death on a Cross. After Jesus died on the Cross, the disciple John brought Mary to his house and took care of her. When she lived with him, the disciples and many people who had followed Jesus visited her often and prayed with her. These people started the first Church and Mary was an important member of this family of the Church. When she died, Jesus’ disciples and apostles came from many places in the world to say good by at her funeral, for Mary had become the Mother of them all. Jesus raised her up and received her in His Heavenly Kingdom. The hymn for this day begins: “The apostles from all the ends of the earth, have gathered in Gethsemane...”
This is how the Church began. The disciples and the people met together to pray and to share Holy Communion. They told the stories about Jesus and what Jesus taught them. They shared bread and wine, just as Jesus told them to do, to remember Him. They took care of Mary until she died and God took her up to heaven. For many, many years until today, people in the Church remember the Mother who gave birth to God. This is the meaning of the word Theotokos, which means “Birthgiver of God.” [Sing the hymn: “It is Truly meet...” (or just the refrain: “More honorable...).
Note: Highlighted words may be used to focus on important images that may help children understand more about Mary and her relation to us.