Marten de Vos, 1597, Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp)

St. Mary the Virgin: Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ is honored in all Christian religions on various days throughout the liturgical year. Blessed Mother Mary is a Saint, but also more than a Saint. In the same way, she’s the daughter, but also the mother of God. In life she was a doting Jewish mother. And Jewish mother’s are bossy, right? Of course, right. Let’s take a look at the Wedding at Cana:

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’s mother said to him, “They have no more wine.

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water;” so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. – John 2:1-12

This passage shows Mary doing what mothers do. She is a nurturer. First of all, she was aware of her environment. When she noticed the servants ran out of wine, she wanted to take care of the guests and protect the reputation of the hosts. Jesus is her son and sons need prodding to do what they are fully capable but sometimes hesitant to do – like take out the garbage, clear the supper table, turn water into wine — every day domestic chores, for Jesus anyway. But also, sons and daughters need parental prodding to do things out in the world — a challenging sport, public appearance, academic class, a mission service – things that make them feel good for having attempted. Good things tend to happen when children take up these challenges.

Jesus’s action “revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” Yet, Mary doesn’t take any credit for prodding him along even when he felt he wasn’t ready. She just sits back and watches her Son shine. Significantly, “Do whatever he tells you,” are the last words the authors have Mary speak in the gospels. There are no greater saintly words of advice than these.

Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, SC. PC: Rev. Laurie Brock

Remember that when we pray to Mary or any other saint, we are not worshiping them, but asking them to intercede with God for us or pray for us as shown in The Hail Mary:

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Some believe a person becomes a saint when they perform miracles on earth from heaven after death. Others focus more on lives led and good works performed by those who are called saints by their church.

I focus more on the saints’ lives because I see them as spiritual heroes, and I find inspiration in their strong faith and good works. But as a woman, mother, and one in a long line of her namesakes, I feel a continuing connection to The Blessed Virgin Mary. One recent night, I prayed The Hail Mary repeatedly until I fell asleep. Then next morning I awoke with the idea for this blog.

You don’t have to be a mother to love The Blessed Virgin Mary, nor do you have to be a mother to be a nurturer. If you take care of anyone or anything, you’re a nurturer. You’re also a nurturer if you cook and share your food with others.

UPDATE: Recipe Edited 2015

My understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mary has evolved along with my research over the last few years, but not so much that I want to edit my musings here. However, the recipe must be changed to a lamb dish as it was a common meal served at celebrations and other feast days during biblical times.

I’ve never cooked lamb because when my mother was five years old, she had a pet lamb . . . . TMI . . . . . and they didn’t tell her until after dinner — an epic parenting fail.

So I’ve been avoiding lamb, preferring instead older, more experienced meats such as in a “Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich when the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes ripe. They’re so perky. I love that.” – Miracle Max

But it’s enough already, if I’m going to blog about biblical saints and related recipes, I need to cook lamb. So here’s a recipe I translated from the one I received from my nephew Andrew whose native language is Gourmet which includes such measurements as “several large glugs.”

The dish was actually quite delicious, and I should have made more, especially for my son who loved it.


Lamb loin chops (Two or three per person.)

1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, per chop

½ garlic clove, crushed, per chop

1 Teaspoon of lemon juice, per chop

1 Tablespoon or so of chopped fresh or dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste


Season chops with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and rosemary in a small bowl.

Place chops in a large plastic bag, add marinade, and seal. Place bag in refrigerator overnight or for at least eight hours.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour a little marinade to heat in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear chops for about three minutes on each side.

Transfer to oven-safe dish and place in oven for 7 to 10 minutes until internal temperature is 145 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer, or until desired level of doneness. (The less pink, the better, according to me.)

Let chops rest for 5 minutes before serving with roasted potatoes, salad, and steamed vegetables.

(Originally posted on 4/15/12 launching Saints and Recipes on Blogger, updated some time in 2015.)


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