Scripture and Tradition: How Catholics know what we know about the early life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

November 21 is the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast has always been celebrated as a commemoration of Mary being presented in the Temple at the age of three years by her parents St Joachim and St Anne. Mary lived in the Temple precincts until the age of 14* when she was betrothed to Saint Joseph.

Modern “sophisticated scholars” cast doubt on this tradition as pious legend. However, by the 400s it was universally believed that Mary lived at the Temple from the age of 3 till 14.** Moreover, the Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church confirm that the Blessed Virgin was in fact consecrated at the Temple to serve therein.

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Our Lady’s Life Before the Annunciation


What was Mary’s life like before the angel Gabriel appeared to her?

Mary’s early years are shrouded in mystery. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about her existence before the Annunciation. However, the few details that the Gospel of Luke provides allow us at least to catch a glimpse of Mary’s life before the fateful day when she would become the mother of the Messiah.

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