The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary on September 8, one of the few feasts in the Church that honors the birth of an individual.
It is traditionally believed that her parents were named Joachim and Anne, and that she was an only child.
Where was the Virgin Mary born?
The Bible does not state the location of the Virgin Mary’s birth, but does give her residence at approximately the age of 14.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.Luke 1:26-27
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “A certain tradition maintains that she was conceived and born in the same house in which the Word became flesh.”
This would mean that Mary was born in Nazareth, in the house where the annunciation took place.
However, “Another tradition based on the Gospel of James [a noncanonical work that has inspired art and tradition] regards Sephoris as the earliest home of Joachim and Anne, though they are said to have lived later on in Jerusalem, in a house described by St. Sophronius of Jerusalem.”
In the 12th century, there was constructed the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate and Pools of Bethesda, where there is a grotto built on a site believed to be the birthplace of Mary.
The site of this church is based on an early tradition that the parents of Mary lived near the Temple in Jerusalem.
Wherever Mary was born, the Church celebrates her birth and honors the memory of her role in salvation history.