Catholic Pocket Dictionary – Nativity of the Blessed Virgin

detail of a stained glass window depicting the Nativity of Mary; date and artist unknown; Church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption in Château-Landon, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France; photographed on 25 June 2011 by GFreihalter; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Nothing is known about the place, date, or circumstances of the Blessed Virgin’s birth. Joachim and Anne are known to have been her parents, and this knowledge comes from the earliest authority, which is the “Protevangelium Jacobi,” an apocryphal Gospel of early date. It is recognized by Saint John of Damascus and James, bishop of Edessa, while the “Liber Pontificalis” mentions in the life of Pope Leo III that he had the history of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne painted in the Basilica of Saint Paul. The feast of Saint Anne on July 26, which is mentioned in the Roman and other Martyrologies, was sanctioned for the whole Church by Gregory XIII in 1584. Leo XIII raised both feasts (Saint Joachim and Saint Anne) to be doubles of the second class.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Nativity of the Blessed Virgin”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 8 March 2021. <>