The story of Mary is not found in the Bible. It comes from a second century Christian document called the Protoevangelium of James.
Though not historical in the modern sense of the word, the story of Mary is of greatest significance for Christians. It presents Christ’s mother to us as the last and greatest fruit of God’s chosen people Israel. It describes how she was conceived and born from her righteous parents Joachim and Anna. Mary personally replaces the temple in Jerusalem by becoming herself God’s living temple as the Mother of His divine Son and Word, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, the story of Mary in its long, original form may be said to have this as its sole purpose: to show that in God’s final covenant with His people, to which all nations are called by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s people themselves become the virginal, all holy and most pure dwelling place of God Himself. Each believing person, and the community of believers together, now form the Lord’s living sanctuary in this world as they anticipate unending life in the heavenly “holy of holies” of God in the age to come.
Reading the story of Mary with our children, let us pray that we will all accept our high calling from God revealed in Christ’s mother Mary. For the holy Theotokos is not the great exception among human beings; she is rather the great example of what is given by God’s grace to all believers who “hear the word of God and keep it” (Like 11:28) – Fr. Thomas Hopko
Dorrie Papademetriou is a graphic designer and artist. Her work is inspired by her travels through Greece and Turkey, where she studies the colors, the light, as well as the faith and traditions of the people.