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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 6

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 6.

And when the circle of three years had rolled round, and the time of her weaning was fulfilled, they brought the virgin to the temple of the Lord with offerings.  Now there were round the temple, according to the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, 1696 fifteen steps going up; for, on account of the temple having been built on a mountain, the altar of burnt-offering, which stood outside, could not be reached except by steps.  On one of these, then, her parents placed the little girl, the blessed virgin Mary.  And when they were putting off the clothes which they had worn on the journey, and were putting on, as was usual, others that were neater and cleaner, the virgin of the Lord went up all the steps, one after the other, without the help of any one leading her or lifting her, in such a manner that, in this respect at least, you would think that she had already attained full age.  For already the Lord in the infancy of His virgin wrought a great thing, and by the indication of this miracle foreshowed how great she was to be.  Therefore, a sacrifice having been offered according to the custom of the law, and their vow being perfected, they left the virgin within the enclosures of the temple, there to be educated with the other virgins, and themselves returned home.



Ps. cxx.-cxxxiv.  The fifteen steps led from the court of the women to that of the men.

Next: Chapter 7

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