Why did Jesus give Mary to be John's Mother, and not to Peter or another apostle?


I was reading another thread and wanted to ask this question, but thought to ask it in a new thread.

I was wondering why did Jesus give Mary to be John’s Mother and John to Mary to be Her son? I know that somehow it represents Jesus giving his mother to the Church or something like that. But why John?, why not Peter who was the first among the apostles.

I just wanted to see if there was some significance. I was looking in my commentaries and could not find an answer.


God bless.

Little One0307

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament has this to say on John 19:26 (I have removed the portion of the footnote that do not directly correspond to your question).

Jesus honors his Mother by entrusting her to the protective care of the Apostle John, presumably because Mary had no other children to assume the responsibility. John is not just an individual disciple, he is portrayed by the evangelist as an icon of every disciple whom Jesus loves. In this sense, Mary is given to all beloved disciples of Christ, just as every disciple is given to the maternal care of Mary. The assumption here is that family relations are extended beyond the limits of natural lineage, so that every baptized believer has God as a Father, Christ as an eldest brother, Mary as a Mother, and the saints as brothers and sisters (CCC 501, 964, 2679)

Below are the paragraphs of the Catechism as cited.

501 Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother’s love."160

160 LG 63; cf. ⇒ Jn 19:26-27; ⇒ Rom 8:29; ⇒ Rev 12:17.


**964 **Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”;502 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."503

502 LG 57.
503 LG 58; cf. ⇒ Jn 19:26-27.


**2679 **Mary is the perfect Orans (prayer), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes,39 for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. the prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.40

39 Cf. ⇒ Jn 19:27.
40 Cf. LG 68-69.


John was a Levite. Why else would he be acquainted with the High Priest(John18:15)? And of course Mary is the Ark(Rev.11:19-12:1). Everybody knows that only the Levites could handle the Ark(Deut.10:8). That’s why Obed-edom had to be a Levite(2Sam 6:11, Lu.1:56).
So when David saw how the Ark blessed Obed-edom’s house he had it brought up to Jerusalem(2Sam.6:12). In like manner when Jesus the Son of David(Mat.1:1) saw how Mary the new Ark(Rev.11:19-12:1) blessed John’s house (John 19:27) He brought her up(The Assumption): to the Heavenly Jerusalem(Heb.12:22, Ps.132:8-9, Lu.24:50-53).

A simple explanation is that John was the only Apostle present during the crucifixion.
As stated, John represents all of us. In given Mary to John, Christ gave her to each one of us as our Mother.

because John was standing with Mary at the foot of the cross at the time. Peter and the other apostles were not there.


Did you get that information from a book or work it out yourself, just wondering if you had a reference if you read it somewhere. I have often wondered about Johns beloved status!

Thanks :slight_smile:

I’ve always wondered about John as well. At the shores of Tiberius, John is following Peter and Jesus. Peter’s says, ‘what about him?’ Jesus says something like, ‘if I want him to remain until my return what is it to you?’ It then says some took this to mean John would never die.

Don’t mean this to be a threadkiller. There does seem to be something significant or different about John. His Gospel is also very different from the others.

There is also good evidence that John’s mother Salome was Mary’s sister, which would have made John Mary’s nephew, and thus her closest male relative. That would probably be the simplest explanation.


I’d have to agree that it was because John, who was also a close friend of Jesus, was there at the crucifixion. As a consequence to that role as guardian of the Blessed Mother, he was the only apostle spared a martyr’s death.

My own opinion would be that john stood faithfully with our lord to the very end just like our lady did. He didn’t become frightened of what people might say about him since he was obviously close to our lord. Many disciples ran away out of fear. May our lord grant me such strength and courage like that of john so that i would witness for him all my life . Amen.


Thanks guys for all your replies. I really appreciate you taking your time out to answer this question. Question is answered.

God bless you all guys. And have a Blessed and Spirit-filled and peaceful Easter Season.

Little One0307

Jesus and John had a special relationship — the desciple whom Jesus loved.

Peter to my knowledge was not at the foot of the cross.

Maybe, John was family.

Maybe this? :thumbsup: – sounds interesting, and well researched. I’ll have to do a followup, but…see this: youtube.com/watch?v=kUdYeYy3NQA
for some clarification about Mary.

Edit: I found an article about John the Baptist maybe being a Levite not John the Evangelist. However, John the Evangelist was a follower of John the Baptist (apparently) prior to him meeting Jesus. (See: newadvent.org/cathen/08492a.htm for more information). Looks to me that it probably has more to do with John being related to Jesus through James.

BTW, this is a good question. I had never thought of it, and it made me think…so did some of these answers :slight_smile:

Well, Peter and the other apostles were not at the foot of the cross. John was there, representing all discipiles of Christ. In giving Mary to John, Jesus was in affect, giving His mother to ALL of us.

They weren’t there. All except John and the women deserted Him.

The part about John possibly being a Levite I got from Pope Benedict’s “Jesus of Nazareth” Vol.I. The rest are my own meditations.

Your deduction is absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing. Incidentally, I’m reading that book now. I think I’m on page 35, or something (just started it).

I read Jesus of Nazareth as a Protestant, I want to read it again before I move onto the 2nd volume, with my becoming catholic glasses on. Such a beautiful book, so much to take in.

I also like the link Threadkiller made with the ark going up to Jerusalem in the old testament with Mary’s assumption.