Was Mary of Cleophas the sister-in-law of the Virgin Mary?


Full Question

In some old documents I found references to a woman named Mary of Cleophas, who was said to be the sister-in-law of the Virgin Mary. Is this speculation, or do we know something about this women?

Answer

In John 19:25 we read, "But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." The exact nature of the sisterhood between Jesus’ mother and Mary of Cleophas is unknown. It is possible that Cleophas was Joseph’s brother, which would make the Marys sisters-in-law. Or perhaps they were sisters in the sense an extended family (e.g., cousins).


Catholic Answers Staff