Mary was born to Ann and Joachim. Mary was born in an obscure town in Israel - Nazareth. Her Jewish name was actually Miriam. You will not find the names of her parents or much of the tradition about her in the bible - but in other writings. Tradition tells us that Ann and Joachim prayed fervently for a child – promising the child to God – if born. We also know from tradition that Mary’s parents were devout Jews who gave the best 1/3 of what they had to the temple – the next best 1/3 as alms – keeping the last and lowest 1/3 for themselves.

Mary – like most of the women of the time – prayed for the arrival of the Messiah. As a member of the Jewish faith Mary was steeped in scriptures and they prophesized that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. The women of Israel – including Mary – prayed for the arrival of the Messiah and that they might be the privileged virgin.