Mary (mother of Jesus)

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Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst

Mary is the name of the mother of our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea to a young virgin, by the Holy Spirit. The gospel of Matthew describes the virgin birth of Jesus as fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. The gospel of Luke relates that the angel Gabriel visited Mary in order to announce to her that she had been chosen to bear the Son of God.[1]

There is an interesting contrast in the portrayal of Mary by the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John,[2] which were independently written having very little overlap.

Various Names


Inmaculada de "El Escorial" by Bartolome Murillo

Mary was present during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ along with other women who had followed Jesus from Galilee.

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, "there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own" (John 19:25-27).

Differing Views of Mary

Various Christians have varying views regarding whether Mary should be adored/venerated, prayed to, and whether or not she retained her virginity eternally. Generally, the Catholic view is that the veneration of Mary is an essential belief of the Catholic Church. Additionally, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglo-Catholics tend to venerate Mary. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] However, Protestant views tend to be split, with some Protestants holding the belief that veneration of Mary is counter to what the Bible teaches. [8] [9] [10] [11] For some Anglican Christians Mary has an special position within God's purpose of salvation. (Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans, tend to make a clear distinction between veneration (which may be due to other saints) and adoration which is due only to God).

When it comes to Mary, Catholics and Protestants have often been at odds. However, there are growing signs that differences over Mary may become less apparent. Some Protestant leaders are evaluating whether a greater emphasis on Mary may need to be considered. [12]

The Website ReligionFacts states:

....most Protestants have shown a great deal of honor and respect for Mary. Martin Luther said Mary is "the highest woman," that "we can never honour her enough," that "the veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart" and that we should "wish that everyone know and respect her." John Calvin said, "It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor." Zwingli said, "I esteem immensely the Mother of God," and, "The more the honor and love of Christ increases among men, so much the esteem and honor given to Mary should grow." [13]

Mary's passage into Heaven is celebrated by Roman Catholics as The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 25 and August 15). This Feast is a Public Holiday in many countries. In 1950, Pope Pius XII formally declared to be dogma the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary, which is known as the Assumption of Mary.

Scripture and tradition agree in ascribing to Mary the greatest personal sanctity; She is conceived without the stain of original sin; She shows the greatest humility and patience in her daily life (Luke 1:38, 48); She exhibits an heroic patience under the most trying circumstances (Luke 2:7, 35, 48; John 19:25-27)... within the first fifty years after the death of St. John the veneration of Mary is proved to have flourished in the Church of Rome. [14]

The Orthodox Church expresses reverence toward the Blessed Virgin by the many feast days commemorating the various events in her life. In prayers the Virgin Mary is called Theotokos, which in Greek means the Mother of God, since the One Who was born from her was at the time of conception and always will be the true God.[15]

“Henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Mary, Luke 1:48.

Marian Prayers

Virgin Mary and Child

There is controversy over whether one should pray to Mary and the saints, as many hold the belief that prayers should be offered directly to God or Christ. Catholics hold that Mary does intercession for the faithful and that as sinners, it is unholy for persons to approach God. This is contrary to the protestant view, which says that Christ came to tear the veil of the temple so that Christians may have direct communion with God, not through a Judge or Prophet, but with Christ. This does not however, have any direct implication on the beauty of prayers created by either Protestant or Catholic churches.

Classical Catholic Prayers

The Catholic prayer "Hail Mary" (Ave Maria) has its roots in Luke 1:42 where Elizabeth (who is Mary's cousin) salutes Mary and in Luke 1:28 where the Arch Angel Gabriel salutes Mary.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women[16] and blessed is the fruit of thy womb[17] Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Other Catholic prayers:

Virginity of Mary

There is evidence to suggest that Mary later had children by her husband Joseph, based on the view of the word "until" and (in some translations) "firstborn" in Matthew 1:25[18], as well as references to brothers and sisters of Jesus, with James the Just among those listed, in Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3, and Galatians 1:19.[19] [20] [21]. However, many Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus citing that historical use of words like "brethren" and "brothers and sisters" could also apply to stepbrothers, cousins, and other relatives,[22] and that, historical uses of "until" do not necessarily imply an end, for example, "until the end of time" in Matthew 28:20, when time has no end in Christianity.[23] [24]

Major Apparitions


In the US, Lady of Prompt Succor, (New Orleans, United States, 1809). Wind-blown fire changes directions, sparing the convent; President of the United States Andrew Jackson credits the Lady with the victory in the famous Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Outside Christianity

Several hundred years after Mary lived, Muhammad mentioned her (Marian) and his words were recorded by his followers in the Koran. It should also be noted that Fatima, a Portuguese town where a major apparition took place, was named after one of Muhammad's daughters[25]

See also

External links

Mary Flag.jpg


Virgin and Child, Emmanuel Tzanes of Crete, 1664.
  1. Luke 1:26–38
  3. The Saints and the Virgin Mary
  4. Problems with the Mary of Roman Catholicism
  5. The Biblical, Catholic, and Occult View of Mary
  6. Cult of Mary - Part One
  7. Cult of Mary - Part Two
  8. Problems with the Mary of Roman Catholicism
  9. The Biblical, Catholic, and Occult View of Mary
  10. Cult of Mary - Part One
  11. Cult of Mary - Part Two
  12. Understand The Times MARYIANITY by Roger Oakland
  13. Mary in the Reformation and Protestantism
  14. Catholic Encyclopedia.
  15. Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary
  16. Luke 1:28,42
  17. Luke 1:42
  18. Matthew 1:25
  19. Matthew 13:55
  20. Mark 6:3
  21. Galatians 1:19
  22. According to The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia;
  24. Matthew 28:20