Life After Mary

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Verily I have delivered a female, and the male is not like the female, for a girl will not be a prophet," to which Allah replies in the Quran Allah knows better what has been delivered[]. When Allah bestowed Jesus to Mary, he fulfilled his promise to Imran. Mary was declared uniquely along with Jesus to be a "Sign of God" to humanity; [] as one who "guarded her chastity"; [38] an "obedient one"; [38] "chosen of her mother" and dedicated to Allah whilst still in the womb; [] uniquely amongst women "Accepted into service by God"; [] cared for by one of the prophets as per Islam Zakariya Zacharias ; [] that in her childhood she resided in the Temple and uniquely had access to Al- Mihrab understood to be the Holy of Holies , and was provided with heavenly "provisions" by God.

The Quran relates detailed narrative accounts of Maryam Mary in two places, Quran —47 and — It mentions how Mary was informed by an angel that she would become the mother of Jesus through the actions of God alone. In the Islamic tradition, Mary and Jesus were the only children who could not be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God imposed a veil between them and Satan. Do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, and do not say anything of Allah but the truth.

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Give up this assertion — it is for your own good to do so. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah suffices as the One to be relied on, to Whom affairs should be referred. The Quran says that Jesus was the result of a virgin birth. The most detailed account of the annunciation and birth of Jesus is provided in Suras 3 and 19 of the Quran, where it is written that God sent an angel to announce that she could shortly expect to bear a son, despite being a virgin.

The statement that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her first born son" Matthew DouayRheims has been debated among scholars, with some saying that she did not remain a virgin and some saying that she was a perpetual virgin. Other biblical verses have also been debated, e. From the early stages of Christianity, belief in the virginity of Mary and the virgin conception of Jesus, as stated in the gospels, holy and supernatural, was used by detractors, both political and religious, as a topic for discussions, debates and writings, specifically aimed to challenge the divinity of Jesus and thus Christians and Christianity alike.

Christian devotion to Mary goes back to the 2nd century and predates the emergence of a specific Marian liturgical system in the 5th century, following the First Council of Ephesus in The earliest known Marian prayer the Sub tuum praesidium , or Beneath Thy Protection is from the 3rd century perhaps , and its text was rediscovered in on a papyrus in Egypt.

Maria Maggiore in Rome. According to the 4th-century heresiologist Epiphanius of Salamis the Virgin Mary was worshipped as a mother goddess in the Christian sect of Collyridianism , which was found throughout Arabia sometime during the s AD. Collyridianism had women performing priestly acts. They made bread offerings to the Virgin Mary. The group was condemned as heretical by the Roman Catholic Church and was preached against by Epiphanius of Salamis , who wrote about the group in his writings titled Panarion. The adoption of the mother of Jesus as a virtual goddess may represent a reintroduction of aspects of the worship of Isis.

According to Sabrina Higgins, "When looking at images of the Egyptian goddess Isis and those of the Virgin Mary, one may initially observe iconographic similarities. These parallels have led many scholars to suggest that there is a distinct iconographic relationship between Isis and Mary. In fact, some scholars have gone even further, and have suggested, on the basis of this relationship, a direct link between the cult of Mary and that of Isis. Ephesus is a cultic centre of Mary, the site of the first Church dedicated to her and the rumoured place of her death.

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Ephesus was previously a centre for worship of Artemis a virgin goddess; the Temple of Artemis there is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The cult of Mary was furthered by Queen Theodora in the 6th century. Phipps, in the book Survivals of Roman Religion [] "Gordon Laing argues convincingly that the worship of Artemis as both virgin and mother at the grand Ephesian temple contributed to the veneration of Mary.

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The Middle Ages saw many legends about Mary, her parents, and even her grandparents. The Virgin's popularity increased dramatically from the 12th century. In paintings, Mary is traditionally portrayed in blue. This tradition can trace its origin to the Byzantine Empire, from c. A more practical explanation for the use of this colour is that in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the blue pigment was derived from the rock lapis lazuli , a stone imported from Afghanistan of greater value than gold.

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Beyond a painter's retainer, patrons were expected to purchase any gold or lapis lazuli to be used in the painting. Hence, it was an expression of devotion and glorification to swathe the Virgin in gowns of blue. Transformations in visual depictions of the Virgin from the 13th to 15th centuries mirror her "social" standing within the Church as well as in society.

Over the centuries, devotion and veneration to Mary has varied greatly among Christian traditions.

For instance, while Protestants show scant attention to Marian prayers or devotions, of all the saints whom the Orthodox venerate, the most honored is Mary, who is considered "more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim ". A faith in Christ which does not include his mother is another faith, another Christianity from that of the Orthodox church.


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Although the Catholics and the Orthodox may honor and venerate Mary, they do not view her as divine, nor do they worship her. Roman Catholics view Mary as subordinate to Christ, but uniquely so, in that she is seen as above all other creatures. However, she is not considered a "substitute for the One Mediator" who is Christ. In Roman Catholic theology, the term hyperdulia is reserved for Marian veneration, latria for the worship of God, and dulia for the veneration of other saints and angels.

Devotions to artistic depictions of Mary vary among Christian traditions. There is a long tradition of Catholic Marian art and no image permeates Catholic art as does the image of Madonna and Child. The Anglican position towards Mary is in general more conciliatory than that of Protestants at large and in a book he wrote about praying with the icons of Mary, Rowan Williams , former Archbishop of Canterbury , said: "It is not only that we cannot understand Mary without seeing her as pointing to Christ; we cannot understand Christ without seeing his attention to Mary.

The earliest feasts that relate to Mary grew out of the cycle of feasts that celebrated the Nativity of Jesus.

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Given that according to the Gospel of Luke Luke , forty days after the birth of Jesus, along with the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Mary was purified according to Jewish customs, the Feast of the Purification began to be celebrated by the 5th century, and became the "Feast of Simeon " in Byzantium.

In the 7th and 8th centuries four more Marian feasts were established in Eastern Christianity. In the West , a feast dedicated to Mary, just before Christmas was celebrated in the Churches of Milan and Ravenna in Italy in the 7th century. The four Roman Marian feasts of Purification, Annunciation, Assumption and Nativity of Mary were gradually and sporadically introduced into England by the 11th century.

Over time, the number and nature of feasts and the associated Titles of Mary and the venerative practices that accompany them have varied a great deal among diverse Christian traditions.

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Overall, there are significantly more titles, feasts and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than any other Christians traditions. Differences in feasts may also originate from doctrinal issues—the Feast of the Assumption is such an example. Given that there is no agreement among all Christians on the circumstances of the death, Dormition or Assumption of Mary , the feast of assumption is celebrated among some denominations and not others. Protestants do not celebrate this, or any other Marian feasts.


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There is significant diversity in the Marian doctrines attributed to her primarily by the Catholic Church. The key Marian doctrines held primarily in Catholicism can be briefly outlined as follows:. The acceptance of these Marian doctrines by Roman Catholics can be summarized as follows: [11] [] []. The Council decreed that Mary is the Mother of God because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human. The Virgin birth of Jesus was an almost universally held belief among Christians from the 2nd until the 19th century.

The Gospel of Matthew describes Mary as a virgin who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah , mistranslating the Hebrew word alma "young woman" in Isaiah as "virgin", though. The doctrines of the Assumption or Dormition of Mary relate to her death and bodily assumption to Heaven. Whether the Virgin Mary died or not is not defined dogmatically, however, although a reference to the death of Mary are made in Munificentissimus Deus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church , the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is believed, and celebrated with her Dormition , where they believe she died.

Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary , as proclaimed ex cathedra by Pope Pius IX in , namely that she was filled with grace from the very moment of her conception in her mother's womb and preserved from the stain of original sin. The Latin Church has a liturgical feast by that name , kept on December 8. The Perpetual Virginity of Mary asserts Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made Man.

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All About Mary

Mary nursing the Infant Jesus. Early image from the Catacomb of Priscilla , Rome , c. Theotokos Panachranta , from the 11th century Gertrude Psalter. Flight into Egypt by Giotto c. Lamentation by Pietro Lorenzetti , Assisi Basilica, c. Our Lady of Vladimir , a Byzantine representation of the Theotokos. Peter's Basilica , Vatican City. Adoration of the Magi , Rubens , From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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