Mary the Virgin and Adoption
According to tradition and the apocryphal Gospel of the Birth of Mary, she was placed in the Temple at Jerusalem by her parents at the age of three (see Oblates) and stayed there until her betrothal to St. Joseph when she was 12. As the mother of Christ she could be considered to be one of the most influential women in history.
Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by F.L. Cross. (London: Oxford University Press, 1957) Encyclopedia of Religion. 16 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1987) The Complete Who's Who in the Bible, edited by Paul Gardner. (London: Marshall Pickering, 1995) Veritas. "Mary" [Links page]. Available at: www.utexas.edu/students/veritas/mary.html#biography