Biography of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Biography of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Published in 2012

ISBN 978-81-92837109

Mor Adai Sudy Centre, Kerala.

Translated into English from Malayalam text (which was translated from the original Syriac/Aramaic texts).

Contact me by email to purchase printed copies of this book (£4.99).   Also available on Kindle.

This is the first full translation into English of the 1st Century original in Syriac, narrating the events in the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, from her birth to her death.

It is a compilation of six short ‘Sepros’ or books purported to have been written by four separate authors:

Books I and II by St. James who was one of Jesus’ half-brothers, Book IV by St. Thomas the Apostle, and Book V and VI by all the Apostles working together. These  were written in the 1st century AD.

Book IV is claimed to have been written by Cyril of Alexandria in the 4th century AD.

Each book presents a simple narrative similar in style to that of the Synoptic Gospels, brief and succinct. But they are also remarkable in the level of consistency and coherence in the accounts they give.

Dr. Sebastian Brock (Univ. of Oxford), a leading authority in ancient Syriac texts, has written the Foreword to this translation.

The following is an excerpt from Book 6 of the Biography of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and the pictures above and below are icons depicting the same narrative.

On Thursday when night was falling, the Holy Spirit said to the Apostles: when dawn breaks, take Mary and set off along the path that leads to the little brook that flows beside the Mount of Olives. There is situated one inside the other, three caves. Inside the inner small cave there is a raised platform. Take Mary and place her bed on that platform and minister to her until such a time as I speak to you.

At dawn the Apostles did as they were told. When the Jews saw that, they mocked them, saying: see how that traitor’s disciples are carrying Mary away. Because Mary was leaving Jerusalem the Jews said to each other: she is thinking she has won. Mary looked at them. Now there was a powerfully built bruiser of a man there called Juphanio. The Scribes of Israel said to him: Juphanio! Go up to Mary and just blow on her! She’ll fall off her bed! She and that traitor’s disciples think that they have won over Jerusalem.

Juphanio reached out his hands and took hold of Mary’s bed, and behold! The Angel of the Lord struck him with a fiery sword and cut off both his arms and they hung from the bed like rope. He came after the Apostles crying: O Apostles of the Messiah! Have mercy on me!

The Apostles said to him: why do you call upon us? Call upon Mary the Mother of God. Was it not her bed you tried to destroy.

Juphanio said: O Mother of God! Have mercy on me! And Mary said to Peter: take his arms off the bed and give them to him.

Peter took Juphanio’s arms off the bed and holding them against their places said: in the name of my Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary who is the Mother of God, may these arms cleave to their places. And they cleaved to their places. Peter took a dry staff and gave it to Juphanio and said to him: go to the Jews and by this staff show them the power of God. Perhaps they will be ashamed. Mary said to him: why did you do this? Then going from the Apostles to stand by the side of the bed Juphanio said: Mother of God, pray for me! Let me proclaim your glories among the Jews. I will reject all those who reject your Son.

Juphanio went away, and when he reached the gates of Jerusalem, he stuck that staff upright by the gate-jamb of the city. It forthwith took root and grew branches and leaves. Then Juphanio cried out in a loud voice and said: blessed is the Messiah born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Jews demanded of him: you tell us what has happened to you. Juphanio said to them: I have become a disciple of Jesus the Messiah who is the Son of the God of Glory. I glorify and exalt Mary His mother. When both my arms were cut off and were hanging from the bed like ropes I prayed to them and they were returned to me. By her power my arms were restored. They gave me a dry staff. You look and see, it stands with sprouted branches and leaves. Therefore I believe she is indeed the Mother of God.

The Jews said to him: O Juphanio! Are you mad? And Juphanio said to them: if as you say I am mad, think upon how the dry staff has sprouted. And the Jews said to him: you yourself explain that to us. Juphanio said to them: Peter gave me this staff and also said to me: if you touch any one suffering from any affliction with this staff that person will be healed. And then a man who had been blind from birth came to him and when that staff was placed on him he was healed. The blind man praised the Messiah. Now it turned out any one who was sick would receive healing if they touched Juphanio. Moreover, Juphanio ordered all those who were healed, that they should cry out with a loud voice that Mary was Blessed, and that the Messiah born of her was Blessed. God brought healing to many sick people through Juphanio. When the Apostles reached at the cave near the brook they discovered three caves. Placing the Mother of God in the inner cave situated to the east, the Apostles and Angels together ministered to her for three days and nights. The Jews sought them but they could not find them. The Holy Spirit had blinded their eyes. Without knowing it they happened to arrive at the mouth of the cave. While they were talking they were struck by the sweet scent of incense and the mouth of the cave was opened. When they looked they saw a bed placed and the Angels and the Apostles together ministering, and three of them insolently entered into that cave. But immediately a fire blazed out and killed them and their dead bodies were swallowed up by the earth.

When the friends of those men who had perished in the fire saw this happening, they ran away from there in terror. Because they publicised this everywhere, many came to believe in Mary and the Messiah.

But the Chief Priests bribed those men with money to stop from publicising the matter. To stop more people from believing in Mary and the Messiah they also advised them to deny that they ever knew about those men who had perished.

However, the Chief Priests gave them money as bribe in order that those men did not publicize the matter. They also advised them to speak as though they did not know those three men who were destroyed, so that the people did not come to believe in Mary and the Messiah.

Those men did as advised by the Chief Priests. It was common that as soon as they heard that anyone had gone to the Blessed Virgin Mary and had received any benefits from her, the Chief Priests would summon them and compel them with bribes not to publicise any help they received from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and directed them rather to say that they received healing from sickness by the Chief Priests placing the Book of Uraitho on their heads. Moreover, if any man declared that he had received any sort of help from the Blessed Virgin Mary they would have him killed and done away with, so intense was their spite towards that Most Blessed Lady. If Mary had not had the protection of the Messiah they would have killed her. They used to say: it’s not good for us that Mary remains alive; if she dies we must burn her body in fire.





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