THE BIRTH OF MARY THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, AND VERY GLORIOUS MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST.

(1) (Protoevangelium of James)
1. IN the records of the twelve tribes of lsrael was Joachim, a man 
rich exceedingly; and he brought his offerings double, (2) saying: There 
shall be of my superabundance to all the people, and there shall be the 
offering for my forgiveness (3) to the Lord for a propitiation for me. (4) 
For the great day of the Lord was at hand, and the sons of lsrael were 
bringing their offerings. And there stood over against him Rubim, saying: 
It is not meet for thee first to bring thine offerings, because thou hast 
not made seed in Israel. (5) And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and went 
away to the registers of the twelve tribes of the people, saying: I shall 
see the registers of the twelve tribes of lsrael, as to whether I alone 
have not made seed in lsrael. And he searched, and found that all the 
righteous had raised up seed in lsrael. And he called to mind the patriach 
Abraham, that in the last day (6) God gave him a son Isaac. And Joachim was 
exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he 
retired to the desert, (7) and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty 
days and forty nights, (8) saying in himself: I will not go down either for 
food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer 
shall be my food and drink.
2. And his wife Anna (9) mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two 
lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my 
childlessness. And the great day of the Lord was at hand; and Judith (10) 
her maid-servant said: How long dost thou humiliate thy soul? Behold, the 
great day of the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for thee to mourn. But 
take this head-band, which the woman that made it gave to me; for it is 
not proper that I should wear it, because I am a maid-servant, and it has a 
royal appearance. (11) And Anna said: Depart from me; for I have not done 
such things, and the Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some wicked 
person has given it to thee, and thou hast come to make me a sharer in thy 
sin. And Judith said: Why should I curse thee, seeing that (12) the Lord 
hath shut thy womb, so as not to give thee fruit in Israel? And Anna was 
grieved exceedingly, and put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her 
head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the ninth hour went down 
to the garden to walk. And she saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed 
to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as 
Thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and didst give her a son Isaac. (13)
3. And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrow's nest in the 
laurel, (14) and made a lamentation in herself, saying: Alas! who begot me? 
and what womb produced me? because I have become a curse in the presence of 
the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in 
derision out of the temple of the Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? 
I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven 
are productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am
not like the beasts of the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are 
productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not 
like these waters, because even these waters are productive before Thee, O
Lord. Alas! to what have I been likened? I am not like this earth, because 
even the earth bringeth forth its fruits in season, and blesseth Thee, O 
Lord. (1)
4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the 
Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shall bring forth; 
and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the 
Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a 
gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all 
the days of its life. (2) And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: 
Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. (3) For an angel of 
the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath 
heard thy prayer Go down hence; for, behold, thy wife Anna shall conceive. 
And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: Bring me hither ten 
she-lambs without spot or blemish, and they shall be for the Lord my God; 
and bring me twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests and 
the elders; and a hundred goats for all the people. And, behold, Joachim 
came with his flocks; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw Joachim coming,
and she ran anti hung upon his neck, saying: Now I know that the Lord God 
hath blessed me exceedingly; for, behold the widow no longer a widow, and I 
the childless shall conceive. And Joachim rested the first day in his 
house.
5. And on the following day he brought his offerings, saying in 
himself: If the Lord God has been rendered gracious to me, the plate (4) on 
the priest's forehead will make it manifest to me. And Joachim brought his 
offerings, and observed attentively the priest's plate when he went up to 
the altar of the Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said: Now 
I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my 
sins. And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and departed 
to his own house. And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth (5) month 
Anna brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? 
and she said: A girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. 
And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was 
purified, and gave the breast to the child, (6) and called her name Mary.
6. And the child grew strong day by day; and when she was six (7) 
months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could 
stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she 
snatched her up, saying: As the Lord my God liveth, thou shall not walk on 
this earth until I bring thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a 
sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass 
through her. And she called the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and 
they led her astray. (8) And when she was a year old, Joachim made a great
feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all 
the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests; and 
they blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give 
her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people 
said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; 
and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and 
bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever. And her mother 
snatched her up, and took her into the sanctuary of her bed-chamber, and 
gave her the breast. And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will 
sing a song to the Lord my God, for He hath looked upon me, and hath taken 
away the reproach of mine enemies; and the Lord hath given the the fruit of 
His righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly endowed before Him. Who 
will tell the sons of Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, ye twelve 
tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And she laid her to rest in the 
bed-chamber of her sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. And 
when the supper was ended, they went down rejoicing, and glorifying the God 
of Israel. (9)

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