The mysteries of the Catholic Church will remain mysterious while always popping up of a new tidbit to tie us over until the next tidbit falls into our hearts. Today I learned about five Marys, not in the Bible but that never stood in the Church’s way.
Who needs Dan Brown’s fantasies when you can follow the real thing and always be amazed! First there’s the Mary we all know and love with titles second only to the queen of England. Then there’s the Magdalene Mary often showed in red to contrast her earthly profession against the blue of the first Mary. Then there is Mary, the mother of James the Lesser followed by Lazarus’ sister who, you guessed it, is named Mary. Wait, we’re not done yet.
Finally (or so we think) is Mary Salome (you can’t make this stuff up!) wife of Zebedee and mother of James (the greater?) and John. There must have been a sixth Merry (Cana wedding – bad wine, good wine ring a bell?).
The commentary ended by listing “Mary” qualities to each, “pure love, compassion, faith and self abandonment.” The author left out Lazarus’ sister but her quality would be the ability to “listen” since sister Martha was busy preparing the pancakes.
The number of Marys surprised me when Helen, Agnes, Margaret and Ruth were all readily available. Is the author trying to tie them together by the same name? A writer’s technique to make all women one in Jesus? Jesus would sure have an easy time at a party remembering their names? Truly, would someone named Gertrude throw off the Son of God?
This revelation has answered a lot of questions for me now. Veronica’s veil really belonged to a poor woman named…Mary. The almost-stoned-woman-unless-for-the-sand-writings name was, I think, Mary. The 18-year-hemorrhaging woman’s name is, I believe, Mary and the woman who compared herself to a dog was also named, something unusual, let’s call her Mary.
If the Mary-attempt was to equalize all of them then I would protest. After all, guys have different names. If the attempt was poetic then license is granted. But alas, since my name is Joseph, then the earthly father of our Lord’s mother must have been named Hildegaard since she’s left off the list of significant women in the life of Jesus Christ.