The Roman Catholic Church venerates Mary as not only having been blessed to be the mother of Christ, but also as having been born without sin (Immaculate Conception), and to have been a perpetual virgin. Protestants do not believe the former, and most do not believe the latter either.

What is the Biblical basis for presuming that Mary was one of Jesus' disciples, i.e. a Christian?

Note - this is not meant to cast aspersions on any particular belief, and only looks for evidence of her conversion and belief in her son's work on the cross, not whether she was born without sin, or was a virgin after Jesus' birth.

  • Does perpetual virginity have anything to do with this question? – Peter Turner Jun 7 '13 at 1:55
  • @PeterTurner - it would seem that it would be related, but perhaps not – warren Jun 7 '13 at 13:34

Luke records Mary's faith on the occasion of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-56). Gabriel informs her (v35) that "the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God", and she replies (v38) "let it be done to me according to your word". When Elizabeth addresses her as "the mother of my Lord" (v43), Mary proclaims with the Magnificat (vv46-55), invoking her faith in "God my saviour", and her expectation of the fulfilment of God's promise. This would seem to demonstrate both knowledge and trust in the Messiah-hood of Jesus.

After the ascension of Jesus, Mary is recorded as praying together with the remaining apostles, in the upper room:

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. Acts 1:12-14

From this continuation of Luke's account, it is clear that Mary retained faith in Jesus following his resurrection. At this point, he's spent several weeks instructing the disciples, so she is participating in prayer with people who have seen and spoken with the risen Lord. She could not have been praying together with them, in this way, if she did not share in the same faith.

(All Biblical quotations are from the NRSV.)


14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

(Acts 1:14)

Mary's closeness to Jesus' disciples in the scripture gives evidence that she was one of Jesus' followers - especially this verse in Acts.

  • 1
    Whoops, looks like we answered at the same time. Welcome to this site! Your answer here is a good start to being here, and I hope you stick around :-) – James T Jun 6 '13 at 18:39
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    James - thanks. I just discovered this Stack format and really enjoy the "renewing of my mind" here. I sneak in a few minutes here and there when I can. Thanks for your answer to this. – David C. Jun 6 '13 at 18:50

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