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Mary

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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Early Christianity: Biographies


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