This feast is connected with the basilica constructed in the fifth century on the site of the pool at Bethesda. This is the supposed home of Ann and Joachim and where the basilica of St. Ann stands today. The feast was introduced by Pope Sergius I around 701. There are apocryphal accounts of Mary's birth, such as the gospel of pseudo-Matthew and another by St. Jerome. This feast opens the liturgical year in the East and was celebrated with an octave by Pope Innocent IV and with a vigil under Pope Gregory XI .
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