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Mary (the mother of Jesus)

Mary, in the Bible, mother of Jesus. Christian tradition reckons her the principal saint, naming her variously the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and Mother of God (Gr., theotokos). Her name is the Hebrew Miriam.

Her Life

The events of her life mentioned in the New Testament include her betrothal and marriage to Joseph; the archangel Gabriel's annunciation to her of Jesus' birth; her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; Jesus' nativity; her purification at the Temple; her station at the Cross, where Jesus instructed that she and his disciple John should consider themselves related as mother and son; her visit to Christ's tomb after his resurrection; and her attendance in the room with the Twelve Apostles at Pentecost.

Although few other details of her life are mentioned or implied in the Bible, tradition has it that she was the daughter of St. Joachim and St. Anne, announced miraculously to them; that she was presented and dedicated at the Temple as a virgin; and that she was "assumed" directly into heaven, a doctrine that did not appear until the 5th cent. In 1950, Pope Pius XII's bull Munificentissimus Deus made Mary's bodily assumption into heaven an article of faith.

Her Significance in Christianity

Virginity and Immaculate Conception

Since the early church the theme of Mary's virginity has served as an important emblem of Christianity's ascetic ideal. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and some Protestant traditions teach the perpetual virginity of Mary, placing a nonliteral interpretation on New Testament references to Jesus' "brothers." The Roman Catholic Church additionally has proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (declared in the bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pius IX, 1854), according to which Mary was conceived without original sin. The Roman Catholic Church further teaches that Mary was freed from actual sin by a special grace of God.

Intercession and Veneration

From earliest times Mary's intercession was believed to be especially efficacious on behalf of humankind and the church; since the Middle Ages, recitation of the rosary has been among the most popular expressions of Marian devotion. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the mediatrix of all graces. The body of doctrine about Mary is called Mariology; Mariolatry is an opprobrious term used since the Reformation to mean the worship of Mary—a criticism leveled by many Protestants at the cult of Mary within the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics maintain that the veneration (hyperdulia) accorded Mary, while higher than that accorded any other creature, is infinitely lower than the worship (latria) reserved for Jesus. The principal feasts honoring Mary are those of the Assumption (Aug. 15), the Birthday of Our Lady (Sept. 8), the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), the Purification (Feb. 2: see Candlemas), and the Annunciation or Lady Day (Mar. 25).

Apparitions

Apparitions of the Virgin have been reported since ancient times, and some have led to new cultuses and shrines, typically associated with cures. These apparitions include those at Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1531, associated with a miraculous painting (Our Lady of Guadalupe); at Paris (Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) in 1830; at Lourdes, France, in 1858; and at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. The most well-known apparitions since then have been those at Medjugorje, Bosnia; since they began in the early 1980s they have attracted many pilgrims but have not been officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Two great pilgrim shrines of medieval England were Our Lady of Glastonbury and Our Lady of Walsingham (Norfolk). Our Lady of Częstochowa has been a rallying point of Polish nationalism.

Patroness and Artistic Subject

Mary in her aspect of the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States, and Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Empress of all the Americas by Pope Pius X. With Lumen Gentium (1964), Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary as Mother of the Church. In the 1980s, while it was still a part of the USSR, Pope John Paul II dedicated Russia to her. Artistic representations of Mary are innumerable; for differing aspects, see Christian iconography under iconography. She has been the subject of countless works from the time of the pseudepigrapha.

Bibliography

See H. C. Graef, Mary (2 vol., 1963–65); H. A. Oberman, The Virgin Mary in Evangelical Perspective (1971); S. Benko, Protestants, Catholics and Mary (1978); H. Küng, ed., Mary in the Churches (1983); M. O'Connell, ed., Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1983).

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Mary

Mary

Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth, occupies a preeminent position in the theology and piety of the traditional Eastern and Western Churches.

Information about the life of Mary is extremely sparse (Matthew 1 and 2; Luke 1 and 2). It is clear that for Matthew and Luke in their Gospels, Mary's conception of Jesus was miraculous, involving no human paternity, and that her son was the Messiah expected by Israel. Mary belonged to the house of David (Luke 1:26), was engaged to a man called Joseph (Matthew 1:18), and lived in Nazareth in lower Galilee (Luke 1:26). The Gospel relates how an angel of God announced that she, though a virgin, would conceive the son of the "Most High," to be named Jesus, and that he would found a new Davidic kingdom (Luke 1:31-33). Mary consented. Joseph discovered that Mary was with child and wished to dissolve the engagement quietly. In a dream, however, God's angel admonished him to marry Mary because the son she would bear was the result of a divine intervention (Matthew 1:19-21).

Before her marriage, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and on that occasion more prophetic utterances made quite clear that Mary's future son would be the fulfillment of Israel's hopes. No further personal details are given of Mary. Her silent presence at the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:12-21; Luke 2:1-7) is recorded. When the child was presented at the Temple to be redeemed according to Jewish law, the aging Simeon told Mary that she would suffer much (Luke 2:21-35). Later, when Jesus at the age of 12 was lost for 3 days, his parents found him among the doctors of the law, and the first of Mary's two recorded statements appears: "My son, why have you acted so with us? Your father and I have looked for you in sorrow" (Luke 2:41-48). Luke adds: Mary kept all these happenings in her memory.

Mary appears again (John 2:1 ff) at a marriage in the town of Cana when her second recorded statement occurs: "They have no wine," she told Jesus. Jesus thereupon turned water into wine. She appears with the relatives of Jesus in an attempt to see him during his public life (Mark 3:3 ff) and at the foot of Jesus' cross when he entrusts her to the care of John the Apostle (John 19:26 ff). She is also mentioned briefly in the Acts of the Apostles (1:14).

The dates of Mary's life can only be surmised. Present researches place the birth of Jesus between 7 and 4 B.C. Granting Mary a minimal age of 16 to 18 years at the time of Jesus' birth, this would place her birth at sometime about 22-20 B.C. There is no precise information as to her death. In the later development of the Eastern and Western Churches, Mary was proclaimed the mother of God. Her position was further defined in the Roman Catholic Church, which in 1854 stated as an article of faith that she had been conceived without the original sin which affects all men. In 1950 Pius XII declared that at her death Mary's body had not corrupted in a grave but that God had taken her body and soul into heaven.

Further Reading

Most of the books written on this subject are either Roman Catholic devotional books, such as Juniper B. Carol, Mariology (1955), or Roman Catholic studies of theology. Nothing has been published concerning the archaeological excavations at Nazareth. For a view of Mary by a Protestant Church historian consult Giovanni Miegge, The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine (1950; trans. 1955). □

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Mary

Mary1 female forename, name of three saints.

Mary is the name of the mother of Jesus, known as the (Blessed) Virgin Mary, St Mary, or Our Lady. According to the Gospels she was a virgin betrothed to Joseph at the time of the Annunciation and conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. She has been venerated by Catholic and Orthodox Churches from the earliest Christian times, and her feast days are, 1 January (Roman Catholic Church), 25 March (Annunciation), 15 August (Assumption), 8 September (Nativity), 8 December (Immaculate Conception).
St Mary Magdalene in the New Testament, a woman of Magdala in Galilee. She was a follower of Jesus, who cured her of evil spirits (Luke 8:2), and was present at the Crucifixion. She went with other women to anoint his body in the tomb and found it empty; she is the first of those in the Gospels to whom the risen Christ appeared. Mary Magdalene is also traditionally identified with the ‘sinner’ of Luke 7:37 who anointed Jesus's feet with oil, and with Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Although the identification is now rejected in the Roman Calendar, it is implicit in traditional legends and representations. She may be shown with a jar of ointment, or in a scene of the Crucifixion, and her feast day is 22 July.See also the Magdalen.
St Mary of Egypt a 5th-century Egyptian saint who, according to her legend, after living as a prostitute was converted on a visit to Jerusalem and became a hermit. Taking three loaves for food, she withdrew to live in the desert, where she remained for the rest of her life, surviving on dates and berries. When she died, a lion helped to bury her body. She was sometimes referred to informally as Mary Gypsy. Her usual emblems are the three loaves, and the lion, and her feast day is usually 2 April, but may be celebrated on 9 or 10 April.

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Mary

Mary2 female forename.
Mary Bell order a court order prohibiting the publication of information which might lead to the identification of a ward of court, from the name of Mary Bell (1957– ), who in 1968 was convicted of the manslaughter of two younger children. Released from custody and living under another name, she gave birth to a daughter in 1984, and in order to protect the child's anonymity, the High Court made an order forbidding public identification of Mary Bell or her whereabouts.
Mary Celeste an American brig that was found in the North Atlantic in December 1872 in perfect condition but abandoned. The fate of the crew and the reason for the abandonment of the ship remain a mystery. She is sometimes referred to incorrectly as the Marie Celeste.
Mary Rose a heavily armed ship, built for Henry VIII, that in 1545 sank with the loss of nearly all her company when going out to engage the French fleet off Portsmouth. The hull, with some of the ship's contents, was raised in 1982, and is now on public display in Portsmouth dockyard.

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Mary

Mary (Blessed Virgin Mary) According to Christian belief, mother of Jesus Christ (believed active 1st century ad). She figures prominently in the first two chapters of the Gospels according to Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, which record Christ's birth. Mary has always been held in high regard in Christendom. In the early Church, the principal Marian feast was the Commemoration of St Mary, from which developed the feast of the Assumption (August 15). Other Marian feasts are: the Nativity (September 8), the Annunciation or Lady Day (March 25), the Purification or Candlemas (February 2), the Visitation (July 2), and (for Roman Catholics) the Immaculate Conception (December 8).

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Mary

260. Mary

See also 69. CATHOLICISM ;79. CHRIST ;80. CHRISTIANITY ;183. GOD and GODS ;349. RELIGION ;359. SAINTS ;392. THEOLOGY .

hyperdulia
the veneration offered by Roman Catholics to the Virgin Mary as the most exalted of human beings.
Jovinianist
an adherent of Jovinian, a 4th-century monk who opposed asceti-cism and denied the virginity of Mary.
Mariolatry
an excessive and proscribed veneration of the Virgin Mary. Mariolater , n. Mariolatrous , adj.
Mariology
1. the body of belief and doctrine concerning the Virgin Mary.
2. the study of the Virgin Mary. Mariologist , n.

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Mary (1867–1953, queen consort of George V of England)

Mary, 1867–1953, queen consort of George V of England. Daughter of the duke of Teck and great-granddaughter of George III, she was engaged first to George's elder brother, the duke of Clarence, who died in 1892. She married George, then duke of York, in 1893. Among her sons were Edward VIII and George VI.

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Mary

Mary OE. Maria, Marie, reinforced in ME. by (O)F. Marie — ecclL. Maríà — Gr. Mariá and Mariām — Heb. Miryām Miriam; in asseverations from XIV (cf. MARRY2).

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Mary

Maryairy, Azeri, canary, carabinieri, Carey, Cary, chary, clary, contrary, dairy, Dari, faerie, fairy, glairy, glary, Guarneri, hairy, lairy, Mary, miserere, nary, Nyerere, prairie, Salieri, scary, Tipperary, vary, wary •carefree • masonry • blazonry •Aintree • pastry • masturbatory •freemasonry • stonemasonry • Petrie

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