Friday, December 11, 2009

Mary, mother of Jesus

Annunciation, Artist: Andrea Del Sarto, c. 1528. Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), FlorenceAccording to the New Testament, Mary was the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, who at the time of his conception was the betrothed wife of Joseph of Nazareth (cf. Matt 1:18-20, Luke 1:35). According to non-canonical works, her parents were Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. A theory says that her father's name was Heli, mentioned in the lineage of Jesus in Luke 3:23-38. According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary, being a virgin at time, learned from Gabriel the archangel, a divine messenger sent by God, that she would conceive Jesus, "the Son of God", through a miracle of the Holy Spirit.

Mary is the subject of much veneration due to Luke 1:48 ("for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed") in the Christian faith, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, and is also highly regarded by Muslims. The area of Christian theology concerning her is Mariology.

The feast of the nativity of Mary is celebrated in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Churches on 8 September. The Orthodox and Catholic Churches also celebrate many other feast days in honour of Mary.

Titles Given to Mary
Mary's most common titles include The Blessed Virgin Mary or Our Lady (Notre Dame, Nuestra SeƱora, Madonna).

Mary is frequently referred to by the Orthodox Church and related traditions within the Catholic Church as Theotokos, a title recognized at the Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431. Theotokos is often translated into English as "Mother of God," or more literally as "Godbearer" or "Birthgiver of God." The theological significance of the title is that Mary's son, Jesus, is fully God as well as fully human, and that Jesus' two natures (divine and human) were united in a single Person.


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