How old was Mary when she gave birth to baby Jesus?

How old was Mary when she gave birth to baby Jesus?


Luke 1 : 26-35 

…..the  angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and  the virgin’s name was Mary. 
And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favoured one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 
Then  the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found  favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,  and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of  the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his  father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his  kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How  can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said  to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of  the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will  be called holy, the Son of God….

Mt.1,18 “Now this is how  the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed  to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child  through the holy Spirit.”


Her age:

It is very clear  that Mary was betrothed to Joseph and marriage was imminent.  The usual  age for marriage under Jewish law is 13 for boys, 12 for girls.   Considering the circumstances described in the Gospel and giving enough  weight to Jewish practices 2000 years back Mary was 13 when angel  Gabriel appeared before her.  Please also note that Mary was not  subjected to a physical relation with God.  According to our best knowledge she was 14 at the time of giving birth to Jesus.

According to Jewish tradition in those days, consummation of marriage usually happened as soon as the girl entered puberty and started menstruating. Even though Mary conceived Jesus miraculously, I’m sure God stuck to the normal timeline for these things. So Mary could have been anywhere between 10 to 14 years old when she conceived and then gave birth nine months later. Personally, I think she was probably around 12 or 13.


The great Jesuit, Francisco Suárez (1548-1617), who is considered the father of systematic Mariology, provides a survey of the Church Fathers and theologians on this issue in his 1592 treatise, “On the Mysteries of the Life of Christ.” Suárez reports the consensus to be that Mary was around 14 when she conceived Jesus.

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