On September 8th the Church celebrates the feast of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While the Bible never mentions the birth of Mary, this is not a reason not to celebrate the feast since we know for certain that she was born! We also know for certain that she had a mother, who is given the name Anne by tradition, and that her parents would have been the ones to teach her that she was a member of the people of Israel who had been chosen by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In this scene from a stained glass window, Anne is showing her young girl an artistic curl of paper that clearly represents a scroll. Since books had not yet been invented, the story of God’s dealings with the people of Israel and His great love for them were all recorded on scrolls. It is possible that Mary learned to read, although only the men read the scrolls in the synagogue (Luke 4:16-30 is how we know for certain that Jesus knew how to read Hebrew and that He did read in the Synagogue).
Mary certainly learned the stories from those scrolls, and this picture shows the future Mother of God being inspired to prayer and adoration by the stories of God’s power and love. This is a nice reminder of the importance of teaching children from a young age to know God and to pray to Him.