Minnesota in Egypt

Presentation of Mary

later tradition from the apocryphal text

The text is first known to us from an Egyptian manuscript, and possibly was composed in second century Egypt

back to introductory page or site map or second century

The apocryphal life of Mary was never condemned, as someapocryphal books were. It could be recommended for praising Mary, even if its details were not reliable. The account tells us that as a three year old child Mary went to live in the Temple in Jerusalem, welcomed by the High Priest.

Some scholars cite this episode to show that the author did not have a Jewish background, since such a procedure would have been unthinkable.

Eastern representations often emphasize the parents' care, and the High Priest's welcome.

Ikon, Novgorod School, nineteenth century.

Fresco in the Protaton Church on Mt. Athos attributed to Manuel Panselinos, fourteenth century.



. Western representations often use a flight of steps to emphasize the distance between Mary's former life and the temple.

Giotto, Arena chapel, Padua

Trés riches heures.

Titian: whole painting at top, and, below, detail of Mary on steps.

Novgorod Icon http://www.auburn.edu/academic/liberal_arts/foreign/russian/icons/present-virgin-temple.html
Icon at Hilandar http://www.rs.risjak.net/chilandar/Icons.html--has
Fresco in Chora  
Fresco in Protation http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/Athos/AthosArt.html
Fresco in Arena Chapel  
Tres Riches Heures http://www.christusrex.org/www2/berry/f137.html
Other manuscripts http://www.bnf.fr/enluminures/images/jpeg/i8_0052a.jpg