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, the mother of Jesus
Mary, in the Bible, mother of Jesus. Christian tradition reckons her the principal saint, naming her variously the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and Mother of God (Gr., theotokos). Her name is the Hebrew Miriam.

Her Life

The events of her life mentioned in the New Testament include her betrothal and marriage to Joseph; the archangel Gabriel's annunciation to her of Jesus' birth; her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; Jesus' nativity; her purification at the Temple; her station at the Cross, where Jesus instructed that she and his disciple John should consider themselves related as mother and son; her visit to Christ's tomb after his resurrection; and her attendance in the room with the Twelve Apostles at Pentecost.

Although few other details of her life are mentioned or implied in the Bible, tradition has it that she was the daughter of St. Joachim and St. Anne, announced miraculously to them; that she was presented and dedicated at the Temple as a virgin; and that she was “assumed” directly into heaven, a doctrine that did not appear until the 5th cent. In 1950, Pope Pius XII's bull Munificentissimus Deus made Mary's bodily assumption into heaven an article of faith.

Her Significance in Christianity

Virginity and Immaculate Conception

Since the early church the theme of Mary's virginity has served as an important emblem of Christianity's ascetic ideal. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and some Protestant traditions teach the perpetual virginity of Mary, placing a nonliteral interpretation on New Testament references to Jesus' “brothers.” The Roman Catholic Church additionally has proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (declared in the bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pius IX, 1854), according to which Mary was conceived without original sin. The Roman Catholic Church further teaches that Mary was freed from actual sin by a special grace of God.

Intercession and Veneration

From earliest times Mary's intercession was believed to be especially efficacious on behalf of humankind and the church; since the Middle Ages, recitation of the rosary has been among the most popular expressions of Marian devotion. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the mediatrix of all graces. The body of doctrine about Mary is called Mariology; Mariolatry is an opprobrious term used since the Reformation to mean the worship of Mary—a criticism leveled by many Protestants at the cult of Mary within the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics maintain that the veneration (hyperdulia) accorded Mary, while higher than that accorded any other creature, is infinitely lower than the worship (latria) reserved for Jesus. The principal feasts honoring Mary are those of the Assumption (Aug. 15), the Birthday of Our Lady (Sept. 8), the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), the Purification (Feb. 2: see Candlemas), and the Annunciation or Lady Day (Mar. 25).


Apparitions of the Virgin have been reported since ancient times, and some have led to new cultuses and shrines, typically associated with cures. These apparitions include those at Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1531, associated with a miraculous painting (Our Lady of Guadalupe); at Paris (Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) in 1830; at Lourdes, France, in 1858; and at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. The most well-known apparitions since then have been those at Medjugorje, Bosnia; since they began in the early 1980s they have attracted many pilgrims but have not been officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Two great pilgrim shrines of medieval England were Our Lady of Glastonbury and Our Lady of Walsingham (Norfolk). Our Lady of Częstochowa has been a rallying point of Polish nationalism.

Patroness and Artistic Subject

Mary in her aspect of the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States, and Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Empress of all the Americas by Pope Pius X. With Lumen Gentium (1964), Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary as Mother of the Church. In the 1980s, while it was still a part of the USSR, Pope John Paul II dedicated Russia to her. Artistic representations of Mary are innumerable; for differing aspects, see Christian iconography under iconography. She has been the subject of countless works from the time of the pseudepigrapha.


See H. C. Graef, Mary (2 vol., 1963–65); H. A. Oberman, The Virgin Mary in Evangelical Perspective (1971); S. Benko, Protestants, Catholics and Mary (1978); H. Küng, ed., Mary in the Churches (1983); M. O'Connell, ed., Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1983).


, 1867–1953, queen consort of George V of England
Mary, 1867–1953, queen consort of George V of England. Daughter of the duke of Teck and great-granddaughter of George III, she was engaged first to George's elder brother, the duke of Clarence, who died in 1892. She married George, then duke of York, in 1893. Among her sons were Edward VIII and George VI.


, persons in the Bible
Mary, in the New Testament. 1 Mary, the Virgin. 2 Mary Magdalene. 3 Wife of Cleophas. 4 Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha. She sat at Jesus' feet while Martha served. She has come to symbolize the life of contemplative love of God. Some identify her with St. Mary Magdalen. 5 Roman lady saluted by Paul. 6 Mother of St. Mark. 7 Mother of Saint James the Less.


, city, Turkmenistan
Mary or Mari (mäˈrē), city (1991 pop. 94,900), capital of Mary region, SE Turkmenistan. Lying in a large oasis of the Kara Kum desert, on the Murgab River delta, Mary is the center of a rich cotton-growing area. It is a rail junction and carries on extensive trade in cotton, wool, grain, and hides. Mary is also a major center of the natural gas industry. Mary arose in 1884 as a Russian military-administrative center c.20 mi (30 km) from the site of ancient Merv and was itself called Merv until 1937.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the mother of god, the Virgin Mary, the Madonna; in Christian mythology the mother of Jesus Christ.

In the Gospels it is said of Mary that she was the wife of Joseph, that she immaculately conceived and gave birth to Jesus Christ, and that she was present at the execution of Jesus. The Apocrypha tell about Mary in more detail. In Christianity the cult of Mary formed under the influence of pagan cults of the mother-goddess or fertility goddess (Isis, Astarte, and others).

In the fourth century Mary was declared by Christian theologians to be “immaculate” and “ever virgin” (despite references in the New Testament to the brothers of Christ). At the Ecumenical Council of 431, Mary was officially declared the mother of god. The image of Mary proved to be more comprehensible to the masses of believers than the abstract Trinity. The cult of Mary (the “intercessor” for mankind) gained widespread popularity, especially among Catholics. Many religious holidays and icons are dedicated to Mary. Certain dogmas absent from Eastern Orthodoxy have been proclaimed in Catholicism, including in 1854 the dogma of Mary’s own immaculate conception by her mother and in 1950 the dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption (after her death) into heaven. In 1964, Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary the “mother of the church.”

The theme of the blessed virgin and child occupies an important place in medieval art. During the Renaissance great canvasses by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and others were devoted to the image of Mary (the Madonna).




(until 1937, Merv), a city, administrative center of Mary Oblast, Turkmen SSR. Situated on the Murgab River and the Karakum Canal. Junction of railroad lines to Tashkent, Krasnovodsk, and Kushka. Population, 67,000 (1973; 8,500 in 1897; 37,000 in 1939; 48,000 in 1959).

Industry in Mary includes a big wool-washing factory, a cotton gin, a machine-building plant, a housing-construction combine, food enterprises, (a flour mill, a bakery, a meat combine, and a dairy plant), leather enterprises, and rug-making enterprises. The Mary State Regional Electric Power Plant, which is located nearby, went into operation in 1973. Mary is the site of medical and teacher-training colleges, the Museum of History and Revolution, and a drama theater.

Mary arose in 1884 as the military and administrative center of Merv District. The ruins of ancient Merv are 30 km east of the city.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the Madonna; beatific mother of Christ. [N.T.: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; Christian Iconography: NCE, 1709]


apotheosized as mother of Christ. [N.T.: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. New Testament
a. Saint. Also called: the Virgin Mary. the mother of Jesus, believed to have conceived and borne him while still a virgin; she was married to Joseph (Matthew 1:18--25). Major feast days: Feb. 2, Mar. 25, May 31, Aug. 15, Sept. 8
b. the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:38--42; John 11:1--2)
2. original name Princess Mary of Teck. 1867--1953, queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1910--36) by marriage to George V


New Testament
a. Saint. Also called: the Virgin Mary. the mother of Jesus, believed to have conceived and borne him while still a virgin; she was married to Joseph (Matthew 1:18--25). Major feast days: Feb. 2, Mar. 25, May 31, Aug. 15, Sept. 8
b. the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:38--42; John 11:1--2)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


An extensible, machine-oriented superset of ALGOL68 developed by Mark Rain.

Mary is maintained (and used) by Kvatro Telecom AS. Although dated, it still offers a nice strongly typed 3GL with macros but without most of C's flaws.

It runs on SPARC and x86 computers.

Hidden on the back cover of the manual: MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB - COERCION IMPOSSIBLE.

["Mary Programmer's Reference Manual", M. Rain et al, R Unit, Trondheim Norway, 1974].

["Operator Expressions in Mary", M. Rain, SIGPLAN Notices 8(1), Jan 1973].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin, 1424-34, Fra Angelico, tempera with oil glazes and gold on panel, 61.8 x 38.3cm (panel).
JEZZINE, Lebanon: Jezzine Mayor Khalil Harfouche Sunday announced the launch of the town's summer festival, which coincides with the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to a crowd of local political figures and residents.
In another chapter the Ineffable is suggested by giving examples then leaving the rest to the imagination like Assumption of the Virgin by Correggio or this list of Christian demons.
The list included paintings such as "The Sistine Madonna," "The Last Supper," Whistler's painting of his mother, Titian's "The Assumption of the Virgin," Millet's "The Gleaners," da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," Rembrandt's "Night Watch" and "Elizabeth Bas," "Mother and Child" by Correggio, and pictures of the Grand Canyon and Europe.
His Assumption of the Virgin originally served as the central image for a monastery chapel in Toledo, Spain, built with a donor's bequest.
* Marie Eugenie de Jesus (Anne-Eugenie Milleret de Brou), French, founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1817-1898).
SLIP into the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin in the heart of the city (free).
Iconic as the missing member of the 12 apostles unwilling to accept without physical proof the post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus, Thomas figures as a doubter still later in his life in "The Assumption of the Virgin and Saints" by Bicci di Lorenzo (1373-1452).
Aside from the jarring dissonance of Josh Schmidt's incidental music and the oddly gaudy pictorial centerpiece of Titian's "Assumption of the Virgin" over the mantel, the mise-en-scene aptly conveys the smugly tasteful comforts of a minister's home.
The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577, Oil on canvas, 158" x 90" (401 x 129 cm).
The authors reject the view of some art historians that this painting be entitled either the Assumption of the Virgin or The Immaculate Conception.
Set in Little Portugal and south Riverdale in downtown Toronto, Saint Monica follows the travails of Monica, a 10-year-old Portuguese-Canadian girl determined to appear in a parade to honour the Assumption of the Virgin Mary as an angel with a beautiful pair of snowy white wings.

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