Why didn't the blessed virgin go to the Tomb?


Mark 16:1 mentions "the three Mary"s who went to anoint the body of our Lord:

Mary Magdalene
Mary the mother of James
Mary “Salome”

Does anyone want to speculate on why the Mother of God did not go with the other Marys to anoint the body of the Lord early on Sunday morning? Was it because of grief? Was it because she knew the resurrection would come? I have often wondered about this.

This is just a discussion - no dogmas or anything being questioned. :slight_smile:


Perhaps Mary knew He wouldn’t be there. Jesus had said He would rise on the third day. Perhaps He had already appeared to His mother. (Scripture does not record when Mary first saw her risen Son.) I personally like to think that Mary was the first living person Jesus appeared to on that first Easter Sunday.


I have heard that St. Gregory Palamas (Orthodox) believed the Lord appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary first, before even the Magdalene or St. Peter.


This is a very good answer. St Elizabeth said of Mary "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”(Luke 1:45). The Blessed Virgin is the preeminent model of faith for christians. As Mary believed in the word of the angel Gabriel in the incarnation of the Son of God in her womb, so I’m sure she believed in Jesus’ word that he would rise on the third day and so would have no need to go and anoint his body Sunday morning. Though it is not recorded in the gospels, Christ may have appeared to his Blessed Mother before any other of the disciples on that first Easter Sunday as not a few saints also believe.


I also have heard (do not remember what writings) that there is a very strong tradition in the Church that our Blessed Mother was the first one Jesus appeared to, although it is not spoken of in the Gospel.


I believe in the Jewish culture there is a period of mourning after a sibling’s or child’s death. The parents must stay home, things like that. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Richard Feynman


This makes complete sense to me. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it seems logical. I also believe Jesus would have appeared to Mary before anyone else. She is the living Tabernacle after all.


Yes, there is a period of mourning in the Jewish traditions, however, that would not have prevented the Blessed Mother from going to the tomb. I lean toward the idea that the first person Jesus would have shown himself to was His beloved Mother.


I just did a little research and you might be right about how Mary could’ve gone to the tomb. But it wasn’t ideal and still isn’t ideal in Jewish culture. Here is the link I used. I don’t disagree with you, she could’ve gone to the tomb. I’m just doubting that she truly would’ve wanted to go to the tomb. Especially when there were others around her in the “shiva house” comforting her during this time of need. Maybe she sent the other Marys to check out the tomb for her? :shrug: because other people have to run errands for the one in mourning. I’m not quite sure on the topic! I do hope I’m helping!



Because she just knew.


You provided a very good link here! I have never attended a “shiva”, but I have heard the Kaddish recited by observant Jews on the Anniversary of a death, or on the seventh day after a death, when I visited a synagogue for this service by invitation. It is a brief, but very beautiful remembrance. If I remember correctly, only men recite the Kaddish, at least publicly. In the case of a parent, it is normally a son (& if there is no living son, usually a nephew or other male relative, or if a mother died, it is usually the widower who recites it,) except at synagogue when it is said by a group of men, the number making up the required number for prayer.


She has seen her son brutalized. Murdered. She is a MOTHER and a MOTHER always protects and loves her children. After seeing what her Son endured I can only think she was in total shock and emotional agony.
She is Our Blessed Mother. Our Queen. She is a MOM.


Just a small observation. Some people do try to identify Mark’s “Mary of James” (presumably the same woman as “Mary of James the younger and Joses” of Mark 15:40 and “Mary of Joses” of 15:47; cf. Matthew 27:56; Luke 24:10) or Matthew’s “the other Mary” (27:61; 28:1) as referring to Mary the mother of Jesus, pointing out how in John’s account Mary Jesus’ mother was present with other women at Golgotha (just like how Mary James’ and Joses’ mother was present with other women in Matthew’s and Mark’s account) and how in Mark 6:3 (cf. Matthew 13:55), Jesus is identified as “the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon.” But there’s still a difficulty: if the ‘Mary’ referred to here is really the mother of Jesus as these people claim, why was she identified in association with Joses or James (assuming that they were the ‘brothers’ mentioned in Mark 6:3) instead of Jesus - which would have been more easy?


Matthew 27:55-56 “many women … among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother] of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (“looking on from a distance”)
Mark 15: “women … among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary [the mother] of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome” (“looking on from a distance”)
Luke 23:49 “all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee” (“stood at a distance”)
John 19:25 “His mother and his mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (“standing by the cross of Jesus”)

Jesus’ Burial

Matthew 27:61 “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary”
Mark 15:47 “Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother] of Joses”
Luke 23:55 “The women who had come with him from Galilee”

Empty Tomb

Matthew 28:1 “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary”
Mark 16:1 “Mary Magdalene, Mary [the mother] of James, and Salome”
Luke 24:10 “Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary [the mother] of James and the other women with them”
John 20:1 “Mary Magdalene”


She was at home, simply remembering all her Son had told her, and praying ardently that all things would be as the Lord had promised her.
If she truly had faith that the Lord would be resurrected on the third day, then she wouldn’t need to go to the tomb to make sure, or check up on him, because her faith would have been so strong that she realized it as truth, and remained at home, praying for multitudinous reasons as to what occurred might come into fruition. Because God answers her prayers, who is the mother of God.


Though the tradition is not quite apostolic, saints such as St. Albert the Great, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila and Bl. John Paul II have believed in a prior apparition to the Blessed Virgin. St. Thomas Aquinas however with an amount of early tradition does not think so. Cf. Did Jesus appear first to his Mother after the Resurrection?


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