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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Who delivered Baby Jesus?

I've always wondered about this. I have a hard time believing Mary would have delivered Him herself. I think we can eliminate St. Joseph, as that wouldn't really have been considered "men's work" at the time.

And then I suppose it depends which account of the gospels you want to go on. given the two different versions - I suspect either "the innkeeper's wife" [I would think this would be a skill an innkeeper's wife might well have had, given the numerous traveller's and situations such a person might have encountered] OR perhaps, Mary's kinswoman, Elizabeth? If Mary had gone to assist Elizabeth )and I'm not saying she delivered John, either) perhaps Elizabeth returned the favor, coming in her time of need to help out?

How privileged that unknown person was to have been the first besides the BVM to touch the "Word made flesh."

21 comments:

Patricius said...

I think there may have been two midwives. In some narrative icons of the Nativity they may be seen bathing the Baby.

Anonymous said...

According to the Protoevangelium of James, her name was Salome, and her hand was miraculously withered (but then miraculously healed) for daring to test the Blessed Mother's virginity manually after our Lord's birth. Text at chapter 19 and 20, http://tinyurl.com/mwsv5f

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

I thought the stork delivered the Child (or was He found under the cabbage leaf)?

gemoftheocean said...

AA: perhaps the Easter bunny?

Thanks, anon. -- never heard one before!

Patricius, also an interesting thought.

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Nah. E.B. was the one who Rolled the Stone Away on Easter.

Angela M. said...

I bet Baby Jesus just slipped out. The BVM had no labor pains, right?

RJW said...

I thought Mick Jagger rolled the stone. But I could be confusing that with something else.

gemoftheocean said...

Angela, it's AMAZING what Darvon can do..."Fly me to the moon..." And I'm sure, like all good Jewish mothers, she came to when the hairdresser showed up!

[Apologies to Joan Rivers!]

gemoftheocean said...

And let's not forget "Brown" or Western Union, or the Wells Fargo Waggon.

Tara said...

Well, if the Holy Spirit could come and overshadow Mary and create Himself in human form miraculously, why couldn't He come and miraculously take Himself from the womb???

Corinne said...

I like Tara's answer best. I like to go with Venerable Mary of Agreda's story in her book Mystical City of God - Mary goes into an ecstasy, kneels and begins to pray - she is given a vision of heaven (Joseph has retired to another part of the cave) there is a brilliant light that surrounds her, Jesus emits from her side and is received by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who present her to Mary...

but, read it for yourself in her book - it's laid out much better than that...

mum6kids said...

The midwife was named Salome as Anon said or there is a legend of Abigail who I think was the innkeepers wife.

I always liked the idea a couple of midwives were there-very reminiscent of Shipnah and Puah delivering the Israelite babies rather than killing them as Pharaoh had wanted.

But most people apparently think it was a miraculous birth and I have got it in the neck occasionally because I like the story of Abigail. Ah well.
Happy Christmas and 2010 Karen. God bless lots

gemoftheocean said...

Interesting thoughts re: Mary being spared any pain -- but I'm going with vaginal birth.

I expect a midwife ofr two would be most plausible. [Yes, I read the "Good Earth" by Pearl buckk, whereas Mamasan feels labor pains coming on, and then goes and knwas the cord with her teeth and is back in the field 5 minutes later -- but that story always sounded BS to me too!!!!]

By guess about that "miraculus birth" was that those were a bit of fantasy by St. Augustine, whom, I think thought that if the hymen was broken durning the birth that somehow that made Mary non virginal.

I would have thought that the source of the Virginal Birth came from Mary herself to the apostles - I'd think she'd have mentioned something about, ":Yeah, and then these angles were there to take Jesus out of me, and then I felt fine and had steak for dinner delivered by from the Tavern on the Green" might have been a bit much!

gemoftheocean said...

Sheesh. "GNAWS the cord with her teeth."

SometimesI wonder. [How come at work I can catch dumbass errors in company letters within two seconds of them being handed to me to send?

tubbs said...

So what do theologically sound/magisterially okay'd Christologists say about this? I'm very suspicious of medieval obsessions with obstetritic detail.
IMHO, The virginal conception of Jesus is all-important; otherwise, and I'd be a Unitarian. But virginal birthing???...that smacks of something very chauv nistic or patriarchal.
But let's party on, Folks! Yuletide goes on thru Feb 2nd, Candlemas, the feast of Our Lady's mikveh.

JD Curtis said...

The virginal conception of Jesus is all-important; otherwise, and I'd be a Unitarian. But virginal birthing???...that smacks of something very chauv nistic or patriarchal

I might be skeptical too. Were it not for someone like Jesus of Nazereth who was born in such a manner. Link

Gem, if you get a chance (or any others as well,) please post here in this forum what you think of the above link re: the virgin birth and we can discuss how it was presented.

tubbs said...

I'm not arguing against the virginal conception of Christ, but I was inquiring about the apocrophal legends of Christ's delivery - those bizarre stories of Jesus going from uterus to manger in a StarShipEnterprise/BeamMeUpScotty ray-of-light manner. I have since asked some very erudite priest friends of mine who have assured me that such legends are exactly that (apocrophal) and not required belief.

margaret said...

This is chronologically impossible, of course, but the Scottish Gaels had a legend about St Bride being carried by angels to Bethlehem to be the 'aid woman' of Mary and there are some lovely little prayers and poems about it in the Carmina Gadelica and here is a link to John Duncan's painting of the angelic journey (much nicer way to fly than BA) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/Saint_Bride_(1913).jpg

tempus putationis said...

Why should we hesitate at the thought of the Blessed Virgin being spared any pain during the birth of her Son?

Genesis tells us that labour pains are a result of original sin: "..in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children", God tells Eve. We do not have to insist on a literal interpretation of the story, but neither can we escape the spiritual truth encapsulated.

God made mankind for a 'paradise of pleasure', but we messed it up. Stained with original sin, and inclining towards sin even after baptism in Christ, our lives are lived in toil and struggle. (Fortunately, there is also sanctifying grace, but that is another 'story').

We bring forth children in sorrow, unless we are unstained by both original sin and by individual sin, which was of course the case with the Blessed Virgin Mary, aka the Immaculate Conception.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all the goofy comments people are leaving here. I think it's almost sacriligeous. Almost.

The mystics of the Church have written that Jesus just burst forth from Mary's womb in a swath of heat and light, with no pain to her. It was miraculous.

Anonymous said...

Of course Mary was spared the pain of childbirth because she was sinless. But how 'it' happened we don't know. My special saint is St Anne and I'm sure she'd have been involved in delivering the baby. She was the Grandmother and her daughter was only a young teenager, for heaven's sake. How could she NOT be there???

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