Mary, also known as St. Mary the Virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, Mary Mother of God or the Virgin Mary is believed by many to be the greatest of all Christian saints. The Blessed Virgin Mary is often cited as the patroness of all humanity and is also associated with protecting many occupations and locations.

Mary is believed to be born in Jerusalem on September 8th as the daughter of Sts. Joachim and Anne. She was presented in the Temple and took a vow of virginity. While living in Nazareth, Mary was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who announced to her she would become the Mother of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. She then became betrothed to St. Joseph and visited her cousin, St. Elizabeth, who was bearing St. John the Baptist, on many occasions. Elizabeth acknowledged Mary as the Mother of God.

Once Emperor Augustus declared a census throughout the Roman Empire, Mary and St. Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

Mary played an important role in Jesus’ first recorded miracle. She was also present at the Crucifixion in Jerusalem where Jesus presented her into St. John the Apostle’s care. And she was with the disciples in the days before the Pentecost, and it is believed she was present at the resurrection and Ascension.

No scriptural reference speaks of Mary’s last years on earth. However, the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into heaven is one of the oldest traditions of the Catholic Church and was declared a Catholic dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950. The three other Catholic dogmas are Mother of God, Perpetual virginity of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception.
In art, Mary is traditionally portrayed in blue. Her attributes are a blue mantle, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, roses, and/or woman with child.

Hundreds of thousands of pieces of Marian artwork and sculptures have been created over the years from the best and most brilliant artists, like Michelangelo and Botticell, to simple peasant artists.

Mary is celebrated with more than one feast day. January 1 is the feast day for Mother of God, March 25 is the feast day of the annunciation, August 15 is the feast day of the Assumption of Mary and December 8 is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

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