When Jesus was on the cross, he entrusted the care of his mother to the beloved apostle (commonly believed to be John). “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27) It’s probably a safe assumption that John followed Jesus’ directions and looked after Mary with reverence and filial love. We also know that Mary was present at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles (this is Mary’s last appearance in the Bible).
How involved was Mary in the ministry of the early Church? It’s hard to say for sure. It seems logical, though, that she would have been accorded tremendous respect by John and the other Apostles. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical letter Redemptoris Mater, talks about how the first band of disciples “knew that Jesus was the Son of Mary, and that she was his Mother, and that as such she was from the moment of his conception and birth a unique witness to the mystery of Jesus.” Mary was an invaluable source of knowledge about Jesus. It’s easy to imagine that the disciples would have been eager to hear her stories and memories, and would have respected the all-important role that she played in the life of the Savior.