prophet, whom he will send to the people of Israel in order that they may walk in his laws withtruth of heart.'The virgin answered: 'Now how shall I bring forth sons, seeing I know not a man?' The angelanswered: 'O Mary, God who made man without a man is able to generate in thee man with-out a man, because with him nothing is impossible.'Mary answered: 'I know that God is almighty, therefore his will be done.' The angel answered:'Now be conceived in thee the prophet, whom thou shalt name Jesus: and thou shalt keephim from wine and from strong drink and from every unclean meat, because the child is anholy one of God.' Mary bowed herself with humility, saying:'Behold the handmaid of God, be it done according to thy word.'The angel departed, and the virgin glorified God, saying: 'Know, O my soul, the greatness of God, and exult, my spirit, in God my Saviour; for he hath regarded the lowliness of hishandmaiden, insomuch that I shall be called blessed by all the nations, for he that is mightyhath made me great, and blessed be his holy name. For his mercy extendeth from generationto generation of them that fear him. Mighty hath he made his hand, and he hath scattered theproud in the imagination of his heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hathexalted the humble. Him who hath been hungry hath he filled with good things, and the richhe hath sent empty away. For he keepeth in memory the promises made to Abraham and tohis son for ever'.
Chapter 2The warning of the angel Gabriel given to Joseph concerning theconception of the Virgin Mary.
Mary having known the will of God, fearing the people, lest they should take offense at her being great with child, and should stone her as guilty of fornication, chose a companion of her own lineage, a man by name called Joseph, of blameless life: for he as a righteous manfeared God and served him with fastings and prayers, living by the works of his hands, for hewas a carpenter. Such a man the virgin knowing, chose him for her companion and revealedto him the divine counsel.Joseph being a righteous man, when he perceived that Mary was great with child, wasminded to put her away because he feared God. Behold, whilst he slept, he was rebuked bythe angel of God, saying 'O Joseph, why art thou minded to put away Mary thy wife? Knowthat whatsoever hath been wrought in her hath all been done by the will of God. The virginshall bring forth a son, whom thou shall call by the name Jesus; whom thou shalt keep fromwine and strong drink and from every unclean meat, because he is an holy one of God fromhis mother's womb. He is a prophet of God sent unto the people of Israel, in order that hemay convert Judah to his heart, and that Israel may walk in the law of the Lord, as it is writtenin the law of Moses. He shall come with great power, which God shall give him, and shallwork great miracles, whereby many shall be saved'. Joseph, arising from sleep, gave thanksto God, and abode with Mary all his life, serving God with all sincerity.
Chapter 3Wonderful birth of Jesus, and appearance of angels praising God.