While the Divine Principle text itself hardly mentions Mary, Reverend Sun Myung Moon has spoken often about her in his talks, both public and private. He strongly praises her early attitude of faith in conceiving Jesus at the risk of her life, but also criticizes her for several later failures in supporting Jesus at various stages in Jesus' life and later in his ministry. In his 1996 public speech, "View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation," Reverend Moon gave a detailed account of Mary's role:
Mary, when she was engaged to Joseph, received from the Archangel Gabriel the surprising message that the Messiah would be born through her (Luke 1:31). In those days, if an unmarried woman became pregnant, she would be killed. But Mary accepted the will of God with absolute faith, saying, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).
Mary consulted with the priest Zechariah, who was her relative and was highly respected. Zechariah's wife Elizabeth, with the help of God, was pregnant with John the Baptist. She said to Mary, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:4243). With these words she testified to the coming birth of Jesus.
In this way, God let Mary, Zechariah, and Elizabeth know about the birth of the Messiah before anybody else. All of them had the absolutely crucial mission of following the will of God and serving Jesus. Zechariah's family let Mary stay in their house. Jesus was conceived in the house of Zechariah…. Mary had to achieve something that could not be understood by common sense, nor easily tolerated under the law of those times. Mary, Elizabeth, and Zechariah had been spiritually moved. They followed the revelation that came from God, and unconditionally believed that it was the will and desire of God.
Although the Son of God could be born on earth, he needed a wall of protection to grow up safely in the satanic world and fulfill the will of God. God had hoped that these three people in the family of Zechariah would establish that protective foundation... In the Bible it is recorded, "And Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months, and returned to her home" (Luke 1:56). After that, there is no biblical record of any further communication between Mary and Elizabeth and Zechariah. From the time Mary left Zechariah's house, difficulties began for Mary and Jesus. The family of Zechariah should have been the wall of protection for Jesus until the very end.
A short time later, Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant. How great must have been his shock at that moment! Mary, his beloved fiancée, without having had any relationship with him, had become pregnant after a three-month stay in another place. It was natural for Joseph to question Mary about who the baby in her womb belonged to. What would have happened if at that time Mary had explained everything candidly? If she had exposed everything, it could have been the end of a clan. So Mary simply responded that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Mary's pregnancy began to show, and the people of the surrounding area became aware of it. What would have happened if Joseph had declared that he didn't know anything about it? But Joseph was a righteous man. He believed in the revelation of God and defended Mary, saying the pregnancy was his responsibility. Mary may have been ridiculed for becoming pregnant during her engagement, but she had avoided death by stoning.
Joseph, who loved Mary, protected her this way in the beginning. However, there was a great deal of anguish deep in his heart. Once Jesus was born, Joseph's suspicions about the father of Jesus only increased and his heart ached. As Jesus grew older, the two became more and more distant in heart. And because of this, family problems frequently arose. Jesus was viewed as an illegitimate son, and lacking the protection of Zechariah's family and the love of Joseph, he grew up with an indescribable loneliness in his heart…
We should also consider the influence that Joseph and Mary's relationship had on Jesus. Mary had to restore the positions of Eve and Tamar through indemnity, so she should have remained as only the fiancée of Joseph. Providentially, they could not be husband and wife. It was God's desire that they not have sexual relations either before or after Jesus' birth. Joseph still loved Mary after Jesus was born, but Mary should have wanted to separate from Joseph to raise Jesus as the Son of God.
But the real circumstances did not make this easy to do. Even though Mary's original mind told her that she should not do so, she had sexual relations with Joseph. They had children, which was a repetition of Eve's mistake. With this condition, Satan invaded them. With the exception of Jesus, everyone who should have protected Jesus came under the dominion of Satan: his father, his mother, his Abel-type brothers (John the Baptist and his brothers) and his Cain-type brothers (the children of Joseph).
Reverend Moon also indicates that Mary should have helped Jesus find a suitable bride, whom he identifies as a sister of John the Baptist. Because of the apparent estrangement between Mary and Elizabeth, however, Mary was unable or unwilling to do so. Earlier, she and Joseph had prevented Jesus from continuing his successful dialogue with prominent Jewish teachers in the Temple of Jerusalem. She also sought to force him to return home to Nazareth during his public ministry, thinking him "out of his mind" and prompting his famous question: "Who are my mother and my brothers? He who does the will of God is my mother and my brother."
Nevetheless, at the crucifixion, Mary and Jesus were reconciled, and Jesus, in effect, adopted her into his "true" family by having her assume the role of mother to John, the Beloved Disciple. Thereafter, she became a member of the Christian community in Jerusalem.
Although Unificationists do not venerate Mary as traditional Christians do, they have no objection to this practice for others. Indeed, in giving comfort to countless Christians throughout church history, the spirit of Mary seems to be playing the role of the Holy Spirit as conceived by Unificationism: the feminine or motherly aspect of God, originally intended to incarnate in the wife of Jesus as the True Mother.