And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said,
Behold my mother and my brothers!
Read Chapter 12
Augustine of Hippo
Is it not true that the Virgin Mary did the Father’s will, she who believed in faith, conceived in faith and was chosen so that, through her, salvation could be born for us among humans and was begotten by Christ before Christ was begotten in her? Holy Mary carried out, plainly and clearly, the Father’s will. Therefore it is greater for Mary to have been a disciple of Christ than the mother of Christ. Indeed, it is greater and better to have been the disciple of Christ than the mother of Christ. Mary was therefore blessed because, even before she gave birth, she bore the Master in her womb. … Mary is holy and Mary is blessed, but the church is greater than the Virgin Mary. And why? Because Mary is a part of the church, a holy limb, an extraordinary limb, an outstanding limb, but she is only a limb of the whole body. If she is but a part of the whole body, greater indeed is the body than a limb. Christ is the head, and Christ is the entire head and body. What shall I say? We have a divi...
But do thou, I pray, examine not the words only, which contain a moderate reproof, but also the unbecoming conduct of His brethren, and the boldness wherewith they had been bold and who was the person reproving it, no mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God; and with what purpose He reproved; that it was not with intent to drive them to perplexity, but to deliver them from the most tyrannical passion and to lead them on little by little to the right idea concerning Himself, and to convince her that He was not her Son only, but also her Lord: so will you perceive that the reproof is in the highest degree both becoming Him and profitable to her, and withal having in it much gentleness. For He said not, Go your way, tell my mother, you are not my mother, but He addresses Himself to the person that told Him; saying, Who is my mother? together with the things that have been mentioned providing for another object also. What then is that? That neither they nor others confiding in their kin...