Blessed Virgin Mary
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Our Lady Mary inspired famous artists to paint beautiful portraits. She is the Madonna.
Mary (Judeo-Aramaic מרים, Maryām, from Hebrew Miriam), resident in Nazareth in Galilee, is known from the New Testament as the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, whom as a young maiden she had conceived by the agency of the Holy Spirit whilst she was already the betrothed wife of Joseph of the House of David and awaiting their imminent formal "Home-taking" ceremony (the concluding Jewish wedding rite). To many believers the accounts in the canonical "Birth narratives" suggest that she had still been a virgin at the time of the child's conception as well as at his birth. The New Testament also recounts her presence at important stages during her son's adult life and in the early Church (e.g. at the Wedding at Cana, at his crucifixion, during communal prayers in the Upper Room).
Stories of her life are further elaborated in later Christian apocryphal and Islamic traditions, their best known detail being the alleged names of her parents: Joachim and Anne.
Christian churches teach various doctrines concerning Mary, and she is the subject of much veneration. The area of Christian theology concerning her is known as Mariology. The conception of her son Jesus is believed to have been an act of the Holy Spirit, and to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin (or maiden) would bear a son who would be called Immanuel ("God with us").The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches venerate her as the Ever-Virgin Mother of God (Theotokos), who was specially favoured by God's grace (Catholics hold that she was conceived without original sin) and, when her earthly life had been completed, as assumed into Heaven. Some Protestants, including certain Anglicans, Methodists and Lutherans, embrace veneration of Mary and also hold some of these doctrines. Others, especially in the Reformed tradition, question or even condemn the devotional and doctrinal position of Mary in the above traditions. Mary also holds a revered position in Islam.
Devotion to the Virgin Mary as the "new Eve" lent much to the status of women during the Middle Ages. Women who had been looked down upon as daughters of Eve (first woman), came to be looked upon as objects of veneration and inspiration. The veneration of Mary both as woman and prototype of the Church was greatly responsible for transforming the Germanic Warrior code into the Code of Chivalry. This reinterpretation of women flowered in the Courtly Love poetry of Medieval and Renaissance France. Mary, as the original "vessel of Christ" may have also influenced the legends of the Holy Grail. Her selflessness, obedience and virginal humility were reinterpreted in the literary figure of Sir Galahad, finder of the Grail.