Sep 5, 2010 / 03:03 am
The Catholic Church will soon celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of September 8, nine months after the December 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anna.
The circumstances of the Virgin Mary's infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.
These accounts, although not considered authoritative in the same manner as the Bible, outline some of the Church's traditional beliefs about the birth of Mary.
The “Protoevangelium of James,” which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century, describes Mary's father Joachim as a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joachim was deeply grieved, along with his wife Anna, by their childlessness. “He called to mind Abraham,” the early Christian writing says, “that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac.”