Alice C. Linsley
"for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
Mary is without doubt the most honored woman in the Church as the mother of Christ our God and the very model of obedient love. She is the Mother of the Church and where the Church is, she is venerated.
Through her God has fulfilled the first promise of Scripture: Genesis 3:15, the Edenic Promise. She is the culmination of the expectation that led the ruler-priest lines to intermarry exclusively so that the Promised Son would be born of their blood lines. Analysis of the kinship pattern of Abraham's people reveals a unique pattern of intermarriage between patrilineal cousins of priestly lines. It is possible to trace these lines because the cousin brides named their first-born sons after their fathers. The genealogies of Genesis trace only male rulers. The naming of the first-born son after the cousin bride's father was a way to trace royal lineage on the mother's side.
Keep in mind that kinship patterns are highly resistant to change. The unique kinship pattern of ruler-priests survived Egyptian captivity and deportation to Babylon. It continued afterwards as we see in the case of the priest Elkaniah with his two wives (1 Samuel 1:2). It continued to the time of Jesus and then stopped because the pattern had fulfilled its purpose once Messiah was born.
Mary and Joseph were cousins and both of priestly lines. These lines had been intermarrying from before Abraham's time and continued to intermarry until to the birth of Jesus Christ. Joseph's family lived in Nazareth which was the home of the eighteenth division of priests, that of Happizzez (1 Chronicles 24:15).
Abraham's people traced bloodline through the mother but social status and occupation was inherited through the father. So Joseph was a carpenter like his father and Jesus was a carpenter like Joseph. Likewise, St. Paul was a tent maker like his father.
Jesus was the Son of God, born to "the Woman" according to the ancient expectation (Gen. 3:15). Mary was the proper bride for Joseph since she was of a priestly line. He too was of a priestly line descending from Judah and Ram, David's ancestors. Joseph of Nazareth married the daughter of a priest. In doing so he simply adhered to the custom of his ancestors. Joseph married the daughter of a priest in Egypt and Moses married the daughter of a priest in Midian. All of these priests are related, though they lived in different places at different times.
The marriage of Joseph and Mary was the pinnacle of biblical history in that the Promised Son was born into their union, but not by their union. From God, the Son received his divine rights (being one with the Father), from Blessed Mary He received His flesh, and from Blessed Joseph He received his social position as a carpenter in Nazareth.
According to Holy Tradition, Mary’s parents were Joachim and Anne. Joachim was a priest and his wife Anne was probably a daughter of a priest. The Protoevangelium of James says that Mary’s father had flocks, which does not preclude him from being a priest. Many priests of the Bible had flocks. Moses tended the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. A common image of God in the Old Testament is as the Shepherd of Israel (Ps 80:1) and the priests of Israel are referred to as “shepherds.”
Mary is said to have been born in the grotto under the Church of St. Anne which would have been adjacent to the Temple, in an area where the Temple priests lived. It is certain that Mary was of the ruler-priest class because even those who hated her admit this. Sanhedrin 106a says Jesus' mother was a whore: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.” It is said that she was so despised that some Jews tried to prevent the Apostles from burying her body. One of the Jews seized the coffin. A rabbi approached her burial procession and attempted to overturn her casket.
In the Talmud, ignominious names are given by the rabbis to Mary and be Son. Mary is called "Charia" which means dung or excrement. In Hebrew her name is Miriam. Jesus is called "Jeschu" which means May his name and memory be blotted out. His Hebrew name in Jeschua (Yeshua) which means Salvation. That Mary was hated as much as her Son tells us that she was a force to be reckoned with, a person of great influence. She was abused in her repose as was her Son in his passion and God has granted her an exalted place among the saints.
May God have mercy upon those who hate and abuse Jesus the Christ and his most blessed, most pure, and most honorable Mother.
Related reading: Marrying that Christ Mat be Born; Mary's Ruler-Priest Lineage