Blessed Virgin Mary, an Advent Figure

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on November 26, 2014

in Blogs

thDuring Advent, Mary, John the Baptist, and Isaiah take center stage. Primarily we focus on Mary as we wait for Christmas, for she waited for nine months to welcome her son into the world that day. How well do you know your mother? Take this quiz and then check out the answers below.

1. Why is blue Mary’s color?

2. Did Mary read the Old or New Testament?

3. While Jesus walked hundreds of miles, Mary was a homebody. True or false?

4. What is Mary’s commandment?

5. What words of Gabriel to Mary became the motto of Ohio?

6. How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?

7. What was the punishment for becoming pregnant before marriage?

8. Do Muslims honor Mary?

9. What name did Jacques Marquette, S.J., the explorer of the Mississippi River, give to it?

10. What did Pope Saint John Paul II do with the bullet the doctors removed from him after the assassin’s attack?

Can you see the letters M-A-R-I in the monogram for Mary?


1. Mary’s clothes were earthen tones. Blue dye was expensive. Later when artists depicted Mary they made her clothing blue, which was the royal color of an empress. Blue also suits Mary because apparently it is God’s favorite color, used lavishly in the sky, oceans, and lakes.

2. Mary didn’t read Scripture at all because she was illiterate. Women in her day were not educated. Neither were they obliged to pray as men were.

3. Mary traveled a great deal. The journey from Nazareth to the village where Elizabeth lived was 92 miles. Then, when she was nine months pregnant, Mary went to Bethlehem, which was about 70  miles away. (Martin Luther commented that artists give Mary a donkey, the gospels don’t. In those days men rode while women walked, though I can’t imagine Joseph letting Mary walk.) From Bethlehem, Mary went to Egypt, a hundred mile trip, and if the Holy Family went to Alexandria, a Jewish settlement in Egypt, that was another two hundred miles. Then the family returned to Nazareth. Each year they went to Jerusalem for the Passover, which was about 63 miles. When Mary’s son was preaching she  followed him to Capernaum and no doubt to other villages.

4. At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary says, “Do whatever he tells you.”

5. “Nothing will be impossible with God.”

6. Three months. Mary helped with meals, fetching water, and doing laundry. The two women talked together about their sons and sewed items for them.

7. Death by stoning.

8. The Koran contains more about Mary than the Bible. She is the only woman mentioned by name and is one of eight people who has a chapter named for her. Muslims regard Mary as a righteous woman and believe in the Virgin Birth and Mary’s sinlessness. Some mosques are named for her.

9. The River of the Immaculate Conception, which refers to Mary being preserved from sin when she was conceived.

10. The Pope was attacked on May 13, the day of Mary’s first apparition at Fatima. Incredibly the bullet zigzagged in him in such a way that it missed vital organs. The Pope credited Mary for his survival and send the bullet to be placed in her statue’s crown in Fatima.

These and other facts are in The Catholic Companion to Mary. SPECIAL DEAL: During Advent this $10.00 book can be purchased from me with free shipping. Just mail a check to Kathleen Glavich, SND,; 4237 Bluestone Rd.; South Euclid, OH 44121.

What is your favorite image of Mary? Why?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabrielle Renoir November 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Sadly, I only got three completely right, and I am not only Catholic, but also a theology student at a Catholic college whose GPA is 4.0! I am more than a little ashamed of myself! I always loved Mary, but I had trouble feeling close to her…until I saw the Pieta. I was reminded that the body Mary cradled was that of her son, for her, much more than just the crucified Lord. She had given birth to him, taken care of him as a little boy, watched him play and grow. From that day on, Mary has occupied a special place in my heart, just as I believe she should.


Kathleen Glavich, SND November 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Take heart! My questions were mostly about Marian facts that ordinary Catholics wouldn’t know.


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