Mary, The Mother of God

Entry of The Virgin Mary Into The Temple

Details of Mary’s Childhood

The visions of Blessed Catherine Emmerich as recorded in The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary give us an intimate portrait of what the life of a young girl without sin might have been like in the Temple: 

“I saw the Blessed Virgin in the Temple, ever progressing in learning, prayer, and work. Sometimes I saw her in the women’s dwelling with the other young girls, sometimes alone in her little room. She worked, wove, and knitted narrow strips of stuff on long rods for the service of the Temple. She washed the cloths and cleansed the pots and pans. I often saw her in prayer and meditation. I never saw her chastising or mortifying her body–she did not need it. Like all very holy people she ate only to live, and took no other food except that which she had vowed to eat. Besides the prescribed Temple prayers, Mary’s devotions consisted of an unceasing longing for redemption, a perpetual state of inner prayer, quietly and secretly performed. In the stillness of the night she rose from her bed and prayed to God. I often saw her weeping at her prayers and surrounded by radiance. As she grew up, I always saw that she wore a dress of a glistening blue color. She was veiled while at prayer, and also wore a veil when she spoke with priests or went down to a room by the Temple to be given work or to hand over what she had done. There were rooms like this on three sides of the Temple; they always looked to me like sacristies. All sorts of things were kept there which it was the duty of the Temple maidens to look after, repair, and replace.”


While these stories show Mary’s life as very holy and set apart in keeping with her dignity, they also give us a glimpse of her humanity. Though sinless, Mary was and is fully and only human. She shows us that it is only our common experience of fallen human nature that says, “to sin is only human.” In God’s plan, Mary models what St. Irenaeus of Lyons taught: 

“Man fully alive is the glory of God.”

From: Media, Ascension Press

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