religious figure; mother of Jesus of Nazareth
Mary was a first-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus, according to the canonical gospels and the Quran (Mary in Islam).
The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin. In Matthew and Luke she is betrothed to Joseph. According to Christian theology she conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit while still a virgin. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.According to Catholic and Eastern Christian teachings, at the end of her earthly life God raised her body directly into heaven; this is known in the Christian West as the Assumption.Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, and is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion. She is said to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Theotokos (Mother of God) (Greek: Θεοτόκος, romanized: Theotokos, lit. 'God-bearer'). There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, and her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the lack of biblical support for any beliefs other than the virgin birth (actually a virginal conception). Mary also has the highest position in Islam among all women. She is mentioned in the Quran more often than in the New Testament, where two of the longer chapters of the Quran are devoted to her and her family.
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characters: Virgin Mary4
novel by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre