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How Old Was Mary When She Had Jesus?

Mary is one of the most revered and influential figures in Christianity, but how old was she when she gave birth to Jesus? The Bible does not explicitly state her age, but there are some clues and traditions that can help us estimate it.

Mary’s Profile Summary

Name Mary
Birth name Unknown
Birthplace Nazareth, Galilee
Death place Jerusalem or Ephesus
Age at conception 14 or 16 years old
Age at birth Unknown
Age at death Unknown
Occupation Wife of Joseph and mother of Jesus
Role in Christianity Mother of God and model for believers

The Birth of Jesus

According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter from Nazareth, and they were engaged before Jesus was conceived. The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and bear a son who would be called the Son of God. Mary accepted God’s will and said: “I am the Lord’s servant; may your word to me be done.” (Luke 1:38).

The Gospel of Matthew also records that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem because Joseph was a descendant of King David and had to travel there from Nazareth for an official census ordered by Caesar Augustus. (Matthew 1:18-23).

How old is Mary?

The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, but scholars have calculated that he was born around 4 BC or 6 BC based on historical records and astronomical data. This means that Mary was probably between 14 and 16 years old when she conceived Jesus.

However, some traditions suggest that Mary was much younger than her age at conception. For example, some early Christian writers claimed that Mary was only nine years old when she became pregnant with Jesus. This idea may have been influenced by the Jewish custom of betrothal at an early age for girls who could not marry until they reached puberty.

Another tradition holds that Mary was only seven years old when she conceived Jesus through a miraculous visitation from the angel Gabriel. This story is found in some apocryphal writings known as the Protoevangelium of James and the Protoevangelium of James II. These writings are not considered authoritative by most Christians, but they reflect some popular beliefs about Mary’s childhood.

The Death of Mary

The Bible does not mention how or when Mary died, but some traditions claim that she died a natural death after living for many years on earth. According to one tradition, she died in Jerusalem around AD 33 or AD 34 under the protection of John the Apostle. Another tradition says that she died in Ephesus around AD 60 or AD 62 after being taken up into heaven by an angel while praying with John on Mount Sion.

Mary’s death is celebrated by many Christians as her assumption into heaven, which is also known as her Dormition or falling asleep in Greek. This doctrine affirms that Mary did not experience death as we know it, but rather passed from this life to eternal life with God.


Mary was a young woman when she became pregnant with Jesus through God’s grace and power. She gave birth to him in Bethlehem and raised him in Nazareth until his public ministry began at about age 30 according to Luke’s chronology (Luke 3:23). She witnessed his miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection with faith and love. She also interceded for him before God and shared his sufferings until his ascension.

Mary’s life is an example of obedience, humility, and devotion to God’s will. She is honored as the Mother of God by many Christian traditions and revered as a model for all believers.