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Understanding Our Lady through the women of the Bible

Whispers of Mary - Ascension Press

Ascension Press | Ashley van Dyck | Shutterstock | Collage by Aleteia

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 06/01/24

If you’d like to grow closer to the real person of Mary and understand her history and heritage, you’ll love 'Whispers of Mary.'

As Catholics, we believe that Mary is our mother. From the Cross, Jesus entrusted his beloved disciple St. John to Mary, telling him to see her as his own mother (Jn 19:27). Since that moment, all Christians have seen her as our mother.

Yet as often as we invoke her name and call on her motherly aid, we might find it difficult at times to see the real person behind the title. 

Our Lady is so often pictured as a shining statue on a pedestal that we might forget she was a real, living, breathing, flesh-and-blood Israelite woman. She walked this earth, laughed, slept, ate, and lived a life that looked fairly ordinary from the outside.

If you’d like to grow closer to the real person of Mary and understand her history and heritage, you’ll be glad to know about a beautiful new book, Whispers of Mary: What Twelve Old Testament Women Teach Us About Mary.

A journey through Scripture

Throughout the history of the Bible, incredible women have played a part in the story of salvation. Steeped in Scripture, the Blessed Mother would have known and pondered the stories of these women, and perhaps recognized parts of their story in her own.

“Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary,” the Catechism tells us. Now, we can learn their stories and learn to know and love them as Mary did.

Following the Great Adventure Bible Timeline, the same one used in The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) podcast, Whispers of Mary invites Catholics to explore how Old Testament women like Eve, Esther, and Judith foreshadowed Our Lady.

The author is Gayle Somers, who writes with long and thoughtful experience in just this kind of careful Scriptural study. Somers is an instructor with the Institute of Catholic Theology at St. Thomas the Apostle and a research fellow with the St. Paul Center, and has been writing and leading Bible studies since 1996. 

Growing in relationship through stories

Whispers of Mary serves as a resource to grow in relationship with the Blessed Mother through powerful stories of biblical women, reflection questions that provoke deep thought about how each Bible story applies to our lives, and space for journaling at the end of every chapter. 

With thought-provoking commentary and hundreds of Scripture verses, Whispers of Mary brings readers deeply into the story of salvation by revealing how the lives of heroic Old Testament women pointed toward Mary, and through Mary, to God.

If you’ve ever wanted to enter deeply into the stories of women in the Bible, and especially if you want to know and understand our Blessed Mother’s story, Whispers of Mary is the book you’ve been waiting for. It would be perfect for a book club or parish discussion series, and I can’t wait to share this one with my women’s group at church!

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