The most interesting mosaic of Mary’s life, running right along the bottom nearest you, relays a story I’ve never heard before. Fifteen-year-old Mary wasn’t so keen on getting married and wanted to stay with the priests who raised her. But God told them to gather all her suitors, who had to lay their walking sticks on the table. The owner of the stick that sprouted green leaves was to be her husband. Mary looks on, not seeming too pleased that the winning rod belonged to Joseph, a 50-year-old dude who already had a passel of kids from a previous marriage.

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