Welcome to the Mary Book Website 


    Preface (February 11, 1991)


    Introduction Mary Book


   Chapter One: Grace and Devotion to Mary

                          Prayer to the Dead



                          Grace and Tolerance

                          Different Religions

                          Openness to Devotion to Mary

    Chapter Two: Mary, Holy Objects and God

                          Holy Objects and Holy Places

                          Mary and the Saints

                          Arguments Against Devotion to Mary

    Chapter Three: Primary Teachings - Mary the Virgin


                          Brothers and Sisters of Jesus

                          Sacred Tradition

                          Motherhood of Mary  

                          Free Will and Love of God 

    Chapter Four: Mary and Jesus   

    Chapter Five: Deeper Teachings -

                          Mary the Spouse of the Holy Spirit

                          St. Joseph the Husband of Mary


                          The Assumption or Resurrection

                                  of Mary                                    

                          The Immaculate Conception of Mary     

    Chapter Six: Teachings Not Yet Declared Dogmas -


                          Devotions to the Sacred Hearts of

                                 Jesus and Mary

                          The Tribulation and God's Mercy

                          Mediatrix of All Graces                     

                          Mary Our Advocate -

                                A Mediator with our Mediator    

    Chapter Seven: Final Thoughts and Reflections

                          Marian Devotions

                          Mary and the Charismatic Renewal

                          Salvation, Grace and the Baptism

                                 of the Holy Spirit

                          Spiritual Warfare and Mary

                          The Eucharist, Body and Blood

                                 of Jesus Made Present

                          Development of the Teaching on Mary

                                 and Church Unity

                          Hierarchy of Truths in Christian Faith

                          Fullness of Truth and Mary

                          Mary Essential for the New Pentecost

                          Consecration to Mary Individual and

                                 Group Consecrations

                          Litany of Mary's Faith Journey

      My Soul Magnifies the Lord Book (Search or Print)



© Copyright, J. Roy MacIntyre 2009



Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters


Mary’s question to the Angel, like most of the references of Mary in the scriptures, requires thoughtful meditation to discover the depth of its meaning. This scripture also requires of us another explanation as to the meaning of passages that identify brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Aramaic words for brother and sister also means first cousins. The Aramaic word for cousin refers to more distant relatives. Also, since it was the practice at the time that children of brothers and sisters left orphaned would be taken in, some of Jesus' orphaned cousins could have lived with him. Either or both of these explanations could explain why the inhabitants of Nazareth would make statements about Jesus' brothers and sisters such as in Mt 13:55-56. In light of this and Mary's call to virginity it seems that whenever we read references to the brothers and sisters of Jesus we should think first cousins.

Historical fact also belies the existence of any biological brothers or sisters of Jesus who might have wanted to ascend in authority or who might have been expected to take authority after the death of their brother, Jesus. This was not the case. Also, the fact that Jesus conferred the responsibility on St. John to care for His mother Mary when faced with His imminent death on the cross (Jn 19:26-27) further demonstrates that Jesus had no other brothers or sisters who would have naturally taken responsibility to care for Mary.

Finally, it is also part of the oral Tradition of the Church that extends back beyond the written form. Pope St. Siricius, drawing on this Tradition taught it explicitly in AD 392. Authors such as St. Augustine (d. 430 AD) reminds us in their writings that Mary is a perpetual virgin and is referred to as such in sacred liturgy from ancient times. I will take more time with how Mary is a perpetual virgin later in the book.