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We read in John 2:1-2:

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

See that the primary invitee to the Wedding Feast is Blessed Mother Mary. Verse 2 implies that Jesus & Company, 'care of' Mary, were also invited. Traditionally, we are made to believe that the host of the wedding feast was not a close relative of Jesus, in that he initially shows reflectance to intervene in the shortage of wine, a serious prestige issue for the host. But, the primary invitee being Mother Mary, it is quite possible that the host was a close relative or friend of hers. The Evangelist does not leave a clue. Are there some apocryphal writings on the issue?

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Was the host of wedding feast at Cana a close relative or friend of the Virgin Mary?

Impossible to say for sure, but it is quite possible.

Some think it may have been the marriage of St. Jude the Apostle.

We know that Jesus went to a wedding feast at Cana and turned water to wine. We know that his Mother was also there, as were his “brothers.” John does not tell us who was getting married, yet the involvement of both Mary and Jesus in the wedding makes it likely that the bridegroom was a close friend or relative.

According to Nicephorus Callistus, a 14th-century Greek scholar of Church history, the bridegroom at the wedding of Cana may well have been St. Jude the Apostle.

Callistus’ work was based heavily on no-longer-extant works, so it’s likely that he drew from sources and reasoning no longer available to us in reaching this conclusion. Ultimately that means “we just don’t know,” but it is certainly interesting to think about.

Whether or not Jude was the bridegroom at Cana, Scripture tells us he was one of the Lord’s “brethren” (cf. Mt 13:55) and an apostle. And he is a revered saint of the Church. His feast, along with Simon the apostle, is October 28.

The second to last book of the Bible – the Epistle of Jude – is attributed to St. Jude. He is also one of the Apostles directly quoted in the Gospels themselves: “Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, ‘Master, what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling in him’” (John 14:22-23). - Was St. Jude the one getting married in Cana?

Although none of the synoptic Gospels mentions the wedding at Cana, Christian tradition based on John 2:11 holds that this is the first public miracle of Jesus. Some hold that this was indeed the marriage of St. John the Apostle himself.

There was a tradition among some in late medieval times that the groom was St John himself. It was based on the Apochrypha and the stories set out in Jacobus de Voragine. Others went further and said that the bride was St Mary Magdalene. But even Jacobus de Voragine thought that too fanciful and rejected it absolutely.

Here are two paintings both by Flemish artists and based on the legend that the bridegroom was St John:

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The Marriage Feast at Cana Juan de Flandes (active by 1496–died 1519)

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The Marriage at Cana Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen c. 1500 - 1559

A Wedding in Cana

For those interested the following articles may be of interest:

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A thought crossed my mind recently after noticing that Joseph and Mary were still only betrothed when they came to Bethlehem.

Luke 2

4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

In the Gospel of John, Joseph is nowhere mentioned as an actor in Jesus' story, except when other people (not the narrator) call Jesus "son of Joseph." This led me to speculate that perhaps Joseph and Mary finally celebrated their wedding at Cana. John didn't mention Joseph because he emphasized that Jesus was the Son of God (not of Joseph). Moreover, his purpose in telling the story of the Wedding at Cana was to foreshadow the institution of Holy Communion - a theme repeatedly mentioned throughout his Gospel.

I'm offering this idea very tentatively. But keep in mind that in Jewish tradition, the betrothal was the legal marriage, and what we call the marriage was usually celebrated at the bride's home, followed by a procession to the home of the groom, where the marriage would be consummated. Bethlehem was Joseph's hometown, not Mary's, so she would not have kinfolk there. If they went to Egypt for several years after the birth, then they may have felt a marriage celebration was pointless - even embarrassing. Then, much later, when Jesus was a grown man, they could have decided to have a celebration in Cana, where Mary was apparently well known - probably because she had family there. Today we'd call this a renewal of vows, but back then it would be public recognition of a betrothal (a legal marriage) that had never been properly celebrated.

This scenario would explain why Mary took such an active part in the celebration, even instructing Jesus to deal with the problem of there being no more wine. Admittedly the marriage of one of Jesus' brothers (half-brothers in Catholic tradition) or nephews would also explain this. But his comment to Mary "what have you to do with me?" is explained better tensions in his immediate family, also hinted at in the synoptic gospels when Jesus did not include his mother as being a member of his true family (Matthew 12:48).

Conclusion: I will go ahead and offer this suggestion - that Cana was Mary and Joseph's public celebration of their own marriage - knowing that there will be objections. If so, I welcome them. In any case I think this is good question and I agree that there is an implication that Mary was an important guest of honor.

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  • Done, Dan ! Be ready for downvotes from those who believe that Jesus had siblings from Joseph and Mary together. Did they wait for 30 long years to get those children ? Dec 29, 2023 at 7:33
  • And, why do we say ' consummation of marriage' and not of betrothal ? Dec 29, 2023 at 8:02
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    "Bethlehem was Joseph's hometown, not Mary's, so she would not have kinfolk there." That is impossible to know or prove. Mary may have had kinfolk living there. Seeing that Joseph is not mentioned here, leads many to conclude that he has already died.
    – Ken Graham
    Dec 30, 2023 at 23:04
  • @KenGraham I agree there is a possibility that Joseph had already died. It's also true that there is no proof that Bethlehem was not Mary's hometown but I do think this is unlikely. In any case, my suggestion came from a passing thought. I do not want to propose it formally. Jan 29 at 21:43
  • @KadalikattJosephSibichan... My suggestion does not preclude Joseph and Mary having other children. The betrothal was a legal marriage with a binding contract. The "marriage" was something like what we call the wedding reception.... but held after a period of not living together. Any subsequent children were still legitimate even without a marriage celebration. Jan 29 at 21:46

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