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The Marriage of the Virgin Mary in Chora 

tags: Chora

The Marriage of the Virgin Mary in Chora 

Editor: Rasim Terzi (Wed, Jul 3, 2024 2:28 PM)

The mozaic of  Marriage of the Virgin Mary in Chora 

The Marriage of the Virgin Mary in Chora 


**Historical Context:**

At the age of 12, the Virgin Mary reached a pivotal moment in her life. The priests at the temple believed that since Mary had entered puberty, she needed to marry to prevent the temple from being defiled. They proposed that she should marry a widower. In response to this situation, High Priest Zechariah experienced a divine encounter with the angel Gabriel. 

**The Selection Process:**

The angel instructed Zechariah to gather the staffs of all the widowers in the region. Zechariah then bowed before Mary and asked her to choose one of the staffs. Mary, who wished to dedicate her entire life to the temple, was reluctant. She declared that if she were to marry, she would need a divine sign. In an extraordinary event, one of the staffs began to bloom, signifying a divine choice. Mary chose to marry the owner of the blooming staff, who was Joseph.

**Symbolism and Church Interpretation:**

The Catholic Church views the marriage of Joseph and Mary as unique, distinct from typical marriages. Joseph's role was seen as that of a guardian of Mary's purity rather than a traditional husband. According to the Gospel of James, a dove emerged from Joseph's staff, symbolizing divine approval. However, in the mosaics at the Chora Church, Joseph's staff is depicted as flowering at the tip. This artistic choice is interpreted as the artist's decision not to reuse the dove symbol, which represents the Holy Spirit, in this scene.


The marriage of Mary to Joseph is a profound narrative filled with divine intervention and symbolism. It highlights Mary's dedication to her faith and Joseph's role as a protector, reflecting their unique positions within Christian theology. The blooming of Joseph's staff serves as a divine affirmation of their union, marking a significant moment in religious history.

Wed, Jul 3, 2024 2:28 PM

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