Her mother Anna was childless. The other women kept themselves away from her in the Temple. She and her righteous husband Joachim were exceedingly sad. Anna prayed to God with a lowly heart saying, "If You give me a child I shall dedicate it to You." The Lord God answered her prayers and gave her this pure saint and she called her Mary.
Anna reared her for three years after which she took her to live with the virgins in the Temple. Saint Mary dwelt in the sanctuary for twelve years. She was fed from the hands of angels until the time when our Lord Jesus came into the world and was Incarnated of this elect of all women.
After that, the Priests counseled together concerning to whom they might give to protect her for she was consecrated to God; they were not allowed to keep her in the Temple after this age.
They decided that she be officially engaged to a man who could look after her. They gathered twelve righteous men from the Tribe of Judah from which to choose. The Priests took the staffs of these men to the Temple. A dove flew and rested on the staff of Joseph the carpenter. They realized that this matter was from God.
Joseph took the Virgin Mary to his household
and she dwelt with him until the Archangel Gabriel gave her the
good tiding and told her that the Son of God was incarnated of
her, for the salvation of the human race.