The Life of Mary: Nativity, Epiphany, Flight to Eygpt ©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Life, Nativity, Epiphany, Flight to Eygpt. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents VI. The Life of Mary / 2 f. Sacred Scripture:
New Testament Elements Infancy: Nativity and Epiphany
Lumen Gentium, 1964 Nativity
  • [she] joyfully showed her firstborn son to the shepherds 57
  • The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first born among many brethren. (Rom 8:29) 63
  • and the Magi 57
Redemptoris Mater, 1987 Nativity
  • his birth in the stable at Bethlehem [part of journey of faith] 26
  • the visit of the Magi who came from the East, after their homage ("they fell down and worshipped him") and after they had offered gifts (cf. Mt. 2:11) 16
Flight to Eygpt
  • Mary together with the child has to flee into Egypt in the protective care of Joseph, for "Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." (cf. Mt. 2:13) And until the death of Herod they will have to remain in Egypt. (cf. Mt. 2:15) 16
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989 Nativity
  • As guardian of the mystery "hidden for ages in the mind of God," which begins to unfold before his eyes "in the fullness of time," Joseph, together with Mary, is a privileged witness to the birth of the Son of God into the world on Christmas night in Bethlehem. Luke writes: "And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." (Lk 2:6-7) Joseph was an eyewitness to this birth ... 10
  • Later [Joseph with Mary] also witnessed the homage of the magi who came from the East. (cf. Mt 2:11) 10
Flight to Egypt
  • We read: "Now when [the magi] had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you'." (Mt 2:13) 14
Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994 Nativity
  • And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. (Lk 2:3-7) 2
Evangelium Vitae, 1995 Flight into Egypt
  • To save the life of her son from those who fear him as a dangerous threat, Mary has to flee with Joseph and the Child into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15). 104
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992

437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Lk 2:11) From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world," conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. (Jn 10:36: cf. Lk 1:35) God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit," so that Jesus, "who is called Christ," should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David. (Mt 1:20)

525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. (cf. Lk 2:6-7) Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest. (cf. Lk 2:8-20) The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:

The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal and the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible. The angels and shepherds praise him and the magi advance with the star, for you are born for us, Little Child, God eternal! ("Kontakion" of Romanos the Melodist)
[See also 725]

526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. (cf. Mt 18:3-4) For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God." (Jn 3:7 et al) Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. (cf. Gal 4:19) Christmas is the mystery of this "marvelous exchange": ...

O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.


528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. (Mt 2:1) ... [no Marian mention per se]

724 In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known. (cf. Lk 1:15-19; Mt 2:11)

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002 Nativity
  • In the months that followed she began to sense his presence and to picture his features. When at last she gave birth to him in Bethlehem, her eyes were able to gaze tenderly on the face of her Son, as she "wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger." (Lk 2:7) 10
  • Gladness also fills the scene in Bethlehem, when the birth of the divine Child, the Savior of the world, is announced by the song of the angels and proclaimed to the shepherds as "news of great joy." (Lk 2:10) 20
  • When prayed well in a truly meditative way, the Rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted. How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem, in the joyful mysteries, without experiencing the desire to welcome, defend and promote life, and to shoulder the burdens of suffering children all over the world? 40
Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003
  • And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion? 55

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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