The months of Anna’s pregnancy were fulfilled, and in the ninth month she gave birth. Anna said to the midwife. “What have I borne?” and she answered, “A girl.” Anna said. “This day my soul is magnified,” and she laid the child in a cradle. The days of Anna’s cleansing were fulfilled and she gave her breast to the child, and she called her Mary. (The Lost Gospel of Mary. CA 100 AD, Transl. by Frederica M. Greene)
Many in the western church know precious little about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Questions that were easily answered by those in the early church are now issues of huge contention between groups that do not know where most of this information came from . Without proper knowledge about Mary we are unable to answer many of these very basic questions regarding her place in the church. Consider these questions: Should we call her the Blessed Virgin Mary, or just Mary? Is it proper to call her the Mother of God, and if so why? Where was she born, and to whom? Did she remain a virgin, or is that did she have children with Joseph? Was she kept free of sin by grace, or did she sin just like everyone else? And finally, did she die normally, or was she taken bodily to the side of her Son? The fact is that most of these questions cannot be answered directly by Scripture alone; we need an accurate history to help us respond. This is not to say that all history is flawless, but at very least reading the history of the church we can learn what the early church believed, and why they believed it. It is indisputable that the majority of early Christians knew the answers to the above questions, and many of those answers are found in one of the finest accounts known asThe Lost Gospel of Mary. The above quote comes from a version translated by Frederica M. Greene, I highly recommend it.