The feast day of St. Mary of Cleophas is celebrated on April 9.
Three women stayed near Jesus on the day of the Crucifixion. St. Mary of Cleophas was one of these fearless women. She is believed to be the mother of St. James the Less and the wife of Cleophas. It is possible that she was the sister in law to the Bl. Virgin Mary, as Cleophas is believed to be the brother to St. Joseph.
Many legends surround St. Mary of Cleophas. One such legend says that Mary of Cleophas was put on a boat with others by the Jews in the year 47 and pushed out to sea without oars. She died in France. After her miraculously safe journey from Jerusalem she landed on an Island which is now named les Saintes-Maries- de-la-Mer (The Holy Marys of the Sea). It was named after St. Mary of Cleophas, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Mary Salome.
The Gospel of John 19:25 states: “meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
While it is uncertain how Mary of Cleophas is related to Jesus, there is no doubt that she was one of his disciples. She was present with the Virgin Mary at the time of his death. In a time of grave danger she showed great love and compassion for Our Lord. Each of us needs to have the courage of St. Mary of Cleophas as we try to be Christian disciples.
Let us meet at the foot of the cross, where we will find strength and courage.
Quote of St. Bernadette; Feast day April 16
April is the Month of the Eucharist.