Mary and the Birth and Infancy of Christ


The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

The months passed, and the child grew. When she was two years old, Joachim said to Anna: Let us bring her up to the temple of the Lord, that we may fulfil the promise which we made, lest the Lord send some evil upon us and our gift become unacceptable. And Anna replied, Let us wait until the third year, that the child may then no more long after her mother and father. And Joachim said: Very Well. And when the child was three years old, Joachim said: Let us call the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews. and let each one take a lamp, and let these be burning, in order that the child may not turn back and her heart be enticed away from the temple of the Lord. And he did so until they went up to the temple of the Lord. And the priest took her and kissed her and blessed her, saying: The Lord has magnified your name among all generations; because of you the Lord at the end of days will manifest his redemption to the children of Israel. And he placed her on the third step of the altar, and the Lord God put grace upon the child, and she danced for joy with her feet, and the whole house of Israel loved her. (Apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, 7 1-3, translated by E. Hennecke)


The Annunciation

... And the Angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. ... (Lk. 1 28-9)

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The Adoration of the Magi

... Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him ... And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh ... (Matt. 2 1-11)

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Our Lady with the infant Christ and St John the Baptist


Christ Teaching in the Temple

And when Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the manner of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and ; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been of the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. ... (Lk 2 42-7)

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