Overview of Mary's Life

The young Virgin of Nazareth has an exceptional place in God's plan of Salvation. Her unique destiny in human history was foretold from the very beginning of time and her efforts will continue to the very last day.


Mary was associated to Jesus in the prophecies of the Old Testament - when the "completion of time" came - her "yes" as a mother allowed the Incarnation of God in the flesh at Nazareth. Mary accompanied Jesus throughout the first thirty years of the earthly life of the Redeemer. She was present at many of the events when Jesus brought His saving grace to the world. She faithfully supported the Church from the very beginning, just as she does today and will do forever and ever.

"Jesus Christ, is the centre of the universe and of history" (Saint John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1979, §1): the Holy Virgin who gives Jesus to the world is also since the beginning of time in the thought of God.

The beautiful Eastern tradition of the 10 Septenaries (periods of seven years) of the life of the Virgin Mary

In the Eastern tradition, the life of the Virgin Mary lasted 70 years that can be divided into 10 septenaries, or 20 half-septenaries (3 and a half years: a period often found in the Bible. See Rev 11:2 or Rev 13:5: "42 months"; Rev 11:3 or Rev 12:6: "1,260 days"; Rev 12:14: "one period of time, two periods of times, and half a period of time").

Mary’s birth, in the year 19 BC, coincided with Herod the Great’s decision to start rebuilding the Second Temple (see Jn 2:20), an image of the true Temple representing the Virgin.

The Annunciation and the Birth of Jesus came in 5 BC and 4 BC, after 2 septenaries, spent with Anne and Joachim first, until the age of 3 and a half according to Tradition, then at the Temple.

Between 4 BC and 30 AD, there are five septenaries, two of which correspond to Jesus' childhood, first in Egypt, then to Nazareth, until his Bar Mitzvah and his finding in the Temple, then 3 septenaries of life hidden in Nazareth, with Joseph then without him, after his death. The last half-septenary corresponds to the three and a half years of Jesus’ public life.

Between 30 AD and August 15th in the year 51, date of the departure of Mary to Heaven according to tradition, there are 3 septenaries, which correspond to the cycle of Pentecost, then to the time in Ephesus where John and Mary remained hidden by leading a contemplative life and meditating on the mystery of God for three and a half years because of persecution, before the return to Jerusalem where Mary spent the last years of her earthly life after transmitting to Saint Luke the infancy narrative as well as parables on the Mercy and Passion.

In summary, here are the 10 septenaries of Mary's life:

19-12 BC: With Anne and Joachim (1/2 septenary)

12-5 BC: At the Temple of Jerusalem

5-2 BC: Annunciation, Nativity and flight to Egypt (1/2 septenary)

3-10 AD: Childhood of Jesus in Nazareth until his finding in the Temple

10-17 AD: Hidden Life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth

17-24 AD: Death of Joseph and life alone with Jesus

24-30 AD: Departure of Jesus and his public life (1/2 septenary)

30-37 AD: Pentecost and birth of the Church, with martyrdom of Stephen

37-44 AD: Flight to Ephesus (1/2 septenary) and return to Jerusalem, until the martyrdom of James the Just (Bishop of Jerusalem)

45–51 AD: Transmission of parts of the Gospel to Saint Luke, until the Assumption