Five Virtues We Can Learn from Mary, the Mother of God

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria

Isioma Ononye
7 min readMay 12, 2024

Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

Mary is a significant and powerful woman in the Bible as she’s the woman who God chose to bear the Saviour of the World: Jesus Christ.

Mary is also prominent in our lives because as Christian women, there are many virtues we can learn from her.

From Mary, we learn the virtue of trust because when given the message by Angel Gabriel that she would bear the son of God, she did not doubt that it would come to pass.

From Mary, we also learn the virtue of humility as she gave birth in a mere manger, was obedient in giving her son the name of Jesus and then gave thanks to God.

There are many virtues women can learn from Mary, our Mother of God.

1. Through Mary, We Learn the Virtue of Trust

1 Luke: 27–38.

He had a message for a girl promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. The girl’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said: “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”

Mary was deeply troubled by the angel’s message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a King, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the King of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!

Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?”

“The angel answered “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason, the holy child will be called the Son of God.

Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary: may it happen to me as you have said. And the angel left her.”

Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become pregnant and have a son.

When the Angel told Mary this, Mary was surprised because she was a virgin and unmarried but the Angel told her that it would come to pass.

Though Mary was surprised, her response was: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.”

Mary’s response shows the virtue of trust.

The angel prophesied what would happen to Mary and she trusted that it would come to pass as she considered herself to be a humble servant of the Lord.

2. Through Mary, We Learn the Virtue of Humility

2 Luke: 4–7.

“Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judaea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary; who promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger — there was no room for them to stay in the inn”

Mary imbibes the virtue of humility.

First of all, we know she was to be married to a simple man: Joseph, a carpenter.

Then we know she got pregnant and when she was about to give birth, she wasn’t able to stay in the inn.

She gave birth in a manger; a rack used to hold food for animals.

Most people would not accept to give birth in a manger but Mary did and accepted her faith with humility because she remembered what she was told.

In 2 Luke: 19- 20, we read that:

Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. The shepherd went back, singing praises to God for all they heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

Through Mary, we learn about humility and what it means to be humble; and humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.

Mary was never proud or arrogant. She never thought too highly of herself.

From accepting that she would give birth through the Holy Spirit to having the Saviour of the world in a manger.

In Mary’s life, we learn that God calls us to be humble.

3. Through Mary, We Learn the Virtue of Obedience

2 Luke: 21–24.

“A week later, when the time came for the baby to be circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name in which the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every first-born male is to be dedicated to the Lord. They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the law of the Lord.”

Mary was obedient to the message of the Angel and was told to give her son the name of Jesus and so she did.

Also, according to the Law of Moses, she was to make a sacrifice of a pair of doves and two pigeons and so she did.

We must be obedient to the Lord’s request as Mary is because it is not by our power and might but by God’s will that things are made possible in our lives.

When we are obedient to God, we live our lives in accordance to the will of God.

4. Through Mary, We Learn the Virtue of Purity

1 Luke: 34- 38

Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?”

“The angel answered “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason, the holy child will be called the Son of God.

Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary: may it happen to me as you have said. And the angel left her.”

Another virtue that women can learn from Mary is that of purity.

Mary had not partaken in sexual intercourse.

That’s why she was surprised when the Angel told her that she’d give birth but it was a divine birth of the Holy Spirit.

As women, we learn about the importance of living like Mary because that is the way to honour God as our bodies do not belong to us but God.

As Mary remained pure, we too must strive to have the virtue of purity.

Even if one falls into the sin of lust and pursuing sex before marriage, we know there is still grace as long as there is confession and repentance.

5. Through Mary, we Learn the Virtue of Wisdom

2 John: 1–10

Two days later, there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine had been given out, Jesus’ mother said to him. They have no wine left.

You must not tell me what to do. Jesus replied.

My time has not yet come.

Jesus’ mother then told the servants. Do whatever he tells you.

The Jews have rules about ritual washing, and for this purpose, six stone water jars were there, each one large enough to hold about a hundred litres.

Jesus then said to the servants, “Fill these jars with water.”

They filled them to the brim, and then he told them. Now, draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast. They took him the water, which now had turned into wine, and he tasted it. He did not know where this wine had come from (but of course, the servants who had drawn out the water knew); so he called the bridegroom and said to him: Everyone else serves the best wine first, and after the guests have had plenty to drink, he serves the ordinary wine. But you have kept the best wine until now!

Through Mary, we learn wisdom because it was because of her that Jesus performed his very first miracle.

To turn water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana.

When Mary first told Jesus that the wine had run out, Jesus initially replied that his time had not yet come.

After Jesus told Mary this, she did not respond in a combative way to Jesus but instead told his servants to do whatever he told them; and when the time was right, Jesus performed a miracle.

Wisdom is knowing when to speak and when to be quiet.

Through Mary, we learn the impact of applying wisdom before our actions.

In Conclusion

In the Bible, there are many great women we can study and learn from and Mary is certainly one of them.

In Mary, we learn the qualities all women can aspire for.

There is the virtue of obedience in taking God’s instruction and doing as he said.

There is the virtue of humility in not thinking too highly of yourself but knowing that God is the most important person in our lives.

Then, there is wisdom in having patience and knowing when to speak and when to remain quiet.

Through Mary, there is much that women can aspire for and so we glorify her as we sing “Ave Ave Ave, Maria.”

--

--

Isioma Ononye

👩‍💻I write about self-esteem, faith, mental health, women’s issues, social media & TV + Film Reviews. 📩Newsletter: https://substack.com/@isiomaononye