“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.” (John 2:1)

In Luke’s Gospel we learn of the remarkable power associated with Mary’s voice, for as soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s voice “the child leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41). Amazing, but true!

The power of Mary’s voice is also highlighted by John at the marriage at Cana. The first thing John tells us in his account is that there was a “marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there” (John 2:1). One might have thought that John would have said, “There was a marriage at Cana, and Jesus was there,” but no, John first tells us that Mary was there. Mary’s important intercessory role is thus being emphasized by John.

But John makes an even more remarkable point in this story. He tells us that Jesus’ time to perform his first miracle had not yet arrived. Jesus says, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2: 4). Would Mary dare tamper with the plans of Divine Providence, with the laid down tracts of predestination? Apparently so!

The power of Mary’s voice thus sounds again: “Do whatever he tells you,” she said to the servants (2:4), and so Jesus obeyed and right then and there changed the jars of water into wine! How significant was this miracle? John tells us: “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (2:11).

“Mary intervened at Cana for the needs of others, so she continues to make heavenly intercession for the needs of the saints on earth” (ICSB relying on CCC 969).

Oh Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!

Thomas L. Mulcahy, M.A.

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  1. Mary acted as the mother of the Divine Bridegroom. The wedding feast in Cana prefigures the marriage feast of the Lamb. Mary is our mother because we are the bride of Christ, namely the Church. Incidentally, the wine apparently failed on the 5th day of the week-long marriage ceremony – this being the Chuppa in Jewish tradition. In this stage of the feast, the groom’s mother danced with the bride and her parents as a gesture of uniting the two families. It was she who solemnized the family union. Mary acted on our behalf when she said, ‘They have no wine, ‘ or in Jewish eschatology, the Messianic wine of salvation (the third cup of four in the Jewish Passover meal which Jesus and the apostles partook of in the Last Supper). Our Lord drank from the fourth cup (the cup of completion) on the cross after he was offered the sour wine on a hyssop branch (the branch the Jews used to wipe the lamb’s blood on their door posts on the first Passover night in Egypt). When Jesus said, ‘It is completed,’ he meant the Last Supper which essentially was a marriage feast. The best wine saved for last is the blood of Christ poured out for the remission of sin through Mary’s intercession three years earlier. The nuptial covenant between God and redeemed humanity was established at the moment Jesus spoke his last words and gave up his spirit.


  2. Wonderful insights, our Blessed Mother’s role is more hidden, yet rich rewards by pondering as she did.
    Also, the significance of the wine at Cana, makes me wonder if you know of a tie later to the Last Supper.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog.


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