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Assembly Title

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group

To look at the life of Mary, mother of Jesus

Faith Group
Christian. especially Catholic

Time of Year
May or October, months dedicated to Mary
March 25th Feast of the Annunciation
August 15th Feast of the Assumption
September 8th Mary's birthday
Mothering Sunday, Mothers' Day (fourth Sunday in Lent)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today, we are going to tell you a story about a little girl, who grew up to be a very important and famous lady.
See if you can guess who the story is about.

2. Once upon a time, about 2000 years ago, in a hot, dry, dusty place near Jerusalem, there lived a woman called Anne and a man called Joachim.

3. They were married and loved each other very much. Only one thing spoiled their happiness - they had no children.
They were both old, so it looked like they would NEVER have any children now.

4. Anne and Joachim were very rich. They lived in a big house with a lovely garden.

5. They were also very generous. Every year, Joachim divided their money into three equal parts. He kept a third for Anne and himself. He gave a third to the poor. And he gave a third to the temple.

6. The day came for Joachim to bring the money to the temple.
Usually the High Priest was very pleased, but this time things were different.

7. The High Priest refused to accept the money. He said that Joachirn must be a very bad sinner - and that was why God did not let him have any children.

8. Joachim was very upset. He ran into the desert and fasted for forty days, as a penance for his sins.

9. Anne stayed at home. She was very lonely without her husband. She went out into the garden and cried.

10. She stood beside a blossom tree. In it was a nest full of baby sparrows.
Suddenly, an angel appeared. The angel said that Anne would soon have a child.
The angel also went and told Joachim, in the desert.
Joyfully, Anne and Joachim rushed to meet each other.
They met at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem.

11. Nine months later, Anne gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
They called her Mary.

12. Mary was a very clever baby. She did not cry much - and she could walk when she was six months old.

13. When Mary was one, Joachirn invited many priests and important Jews to her birthday party. Anne and Joachim were very proud of their baby.

14. When Mary was three, her parents brought her to the temple. The priest put Mary on an altar step. Mary danced and everyone clapped. After that, Mary often went to the temple to pray.

15. At home, Mary used to help Anne with the housework. She was obedient and never sinned.
Anne taught Mary how to read the Bible. When the reading lesson was over, Mary would go out to play with the local children.
She would also visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was much older and was married to Zacharias, the High Priest.

16. When Mary was a teenager, Zacharias chose Joseph, a carpenter, to be her future husband.
Then, one day, an angel appeared to Mary ...

17. By now, you have probably guessed that this story is about Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
We are not sure if the story is completely true, but we do know that God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son, even before Mary herself was born.
We also know that Mary said yes as soon as she was old enough.

18. Indeed, she remained loyal and grateful throughout her life. She said,
"My heart sings with thanks.
God is great and good.
Holy is his name.

"God has smiled on me.
God looks kindly on all poor people.
Holy is his name.

"God is mighty and powerful.
He has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.

"God remembers his people.
He has done marvellous deeds for me.
Holy is his name."

19. She was also a good mother to Jesus and a good wife to Joseph when she herself grew up.
She is an example for us to follow.
The Book of Proverbs describes a good wife and mother:

A truly good wife is worth more than precious gems.
Her husband can trust her. She will help him all her life.
She is a woman of strength and dignity.
When she speaks, her words are wise and kind.
She watches carefully everything that happens in her house and she is never lazy.
Her children stand and bless her, so does her husband.
Her husband says, " There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all."

During May, we think about Mary - and we try to live like her.
One thing we can do is pray. We never pray TO Mary, but we ask Mary to pray for US - and to help carry our prayers to God.
Think about that as we say the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

21. The first half of that prayer is what the angel said to Mary, when telling her that she would be Jesus's mother.
The second half is what Elizabeth said to Mary, when SHE was told the good news.

22. Let us pray for a while in silence. Maybe we could ask God to help us to be quicker to say yes sometimes. Or we could pray for our own mothers.

23. We will now sing "As I Kneel Before You" by Maria Parkinson (Hymns Old and New number 45)

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 18-7-12.