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Mary, the wife of Cleopas

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Title: Mary, the wife of Cleopas  
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Subject: Disciple (Christianity), Salome (disciple), May 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics), June 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics), The Three Marys, Myrrhbearers
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Mary, the wife of Cleopas

Mary of Clopas (or of Cleopas) (Ancient Greek: Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ, Maria he tou Klopa), the wife of Clopas, was one of various Marys named in the New Testament.

Mary of Clopas is explicitly mentioned only in Crucifixion of Jesus:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

The expression Mary of Clopas in the Greek text is ambiguous as to whether Mary was the daughter or wife of Clopas, but exegesis has commonly favoured the reading "wife of Clopas" (as reflected in above translation). Hegesippus thought that Clopas was the brother of Saint Joseph.

Gospel parallels

Main article: Women at the crucifixion

According to some interpretations, the same Mary was also among the women that on Alphaeus" may be Greek spellings of the Aramaic name Hilfai.

In Joseph.

In chapter 24 of the gospel of Luke, there is an account of Jesus appearing to two people walking on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. Luke 24:18 identifies one of the persons as "Cleopas" who is believed to be Mary's husband. Some biblical scholars speculate the other person with Cleopas on the road was his wife, Mary.

New Testament Apocrypha

In a manner very similar to the Gospel of John, the apocryphal Gospel of Philip also seems to list Mary of Clopas among Jesus' female entourage:

There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.[note 1]

Adding to the confusion, the Gospel of Philip seems to refer to her as Jesus' mother's sister ("her sister") and Jesus' own sister ("his sister").


An early tradition within the Roman Catholic Church, first visible in the writings of Papias,[note 2] identify her sons James and Joses/Joseph referred to in scripture as the "brothers of Jesus" as his biological cousins, Mary of Clopas being the sister (or sister-in-law, or even cousin) of Mary the Mother of Jesus. Other traditions outside the Church make her the mother of the "brethren of the Lord".

In medieval legend the three Marys (Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome, and Mary of Clopas) were adrift in a boat that miraculously arrived off the coast of Provence, now called Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. In that legend Mary of Clopas is the mistress of her Egyptian servant Sarah, venerated by Gypsies.

In the Roman Martyrology she is remembered with Saint Salome on April 24. Some have regarded Mary as the daughter of Clopas, who was in turn one of the husbands of Saint Anne.[2]

Modernist historiography

James Tabor suggests that she is, in fact, Mary, the mother of Jesus and that Clopas was her second husband.[3]

See also



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