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Mary, the Holy Myrrh-Bearer and Mother of the Apostle James

Commemorated on June 19

Mary (Jacobe) was the wife of Cleofas, and the mother of the apostle St. James the Less. Her other sons were Joshua, Jude and Simon – the “brethren of the Lord” – and she also had three daughters

She was present at the Crucifixion and afterwards went with Salomé and Mary Magdalene to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. Being greeted by an angel who announced the Resurrection, they returned to tell the apostles of what they had learned.

During the early persecution of Christians around 40 AD, the “three Maries,” were expelled from Jerusalem. They were placed, together with Lazarus, Martha, Maximin and Sidon, on a boat without oars or supplies. Sarah, their servant, was left behind, but Salomé threw her coat onto the waters and the coat became a raft, allowing Sarah to board. The boat eventually landed near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in present-day France.

The three Maries settled in Camargue, where they taught the good news of Christ. They peacefully gave up their souls to the Lord, and their grave became a popular place of pilgrimage.

By permission of

Icon located at St. Michael the Archangel, Louisville, KY