The Feast of Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace is celebrated today, January 1, 2012. Here are some of the most interesting things about one of the most famous religious figures in the history of mankind – the Virgin Mary.
1.) Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ is commonly referred to as “Mary, Mother of God”, “Mother Mary”, “Saint Mary”, the “Blessed Virgin Mary” and the “Virgin Mary”.
2.) Catholics refer to her as Our Lady and venerate her as the Mother of the Church and Queen of Heaven.
3.) The Hebrew form of Mary is Miriam and its Aramaic and Arabic form is Maryam.
4.) Mary, the mother of Jesus, is referred to by name fewer than twenty times in the New Testament.
5.) Mary was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee who lived in her own house.
6.) Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zechariah according to Luke.
7.) Mary is both identified in the New Testament and in the Quran as the mother of Jesus through divine intervention.
8.) Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned as Maryam, more in the Quran than in the entire New Testament.
9.) Mary enjoys a singularly distinguished and honored position among women in Quran. A chapter in the Qur'an is titled “Maryam”, which is the only Sura or chapter in the Qur'an named after a woman.
10.) The story of Mary and Jesus is recounted according to the Islamic view of Jesus on the abovementioned chapter of the Quran.
11.) The angel Gabriel announced to her on the first stage of Jewish marriage that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah by conceiving Him through the Holy Spirit.
12.) She was 12 years old when she was engaged to Joseph and 13 when she gave birth to Jesus.
13.) Her parents were an elderly couple, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne although they are not mentioned in the Bible.
14.) Mary, throughout the ages, has been a favorite subject in Christian art, music, and literature.
15.) Most Christian churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God and the Theotokos, literally Birthgiver of God.
16.) Mary’s date of birth is unknown but it is celebrated every 8th of September.
17.) Jesus had "brothers and sisters", as reported in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56. The canonical Gospels name four brothers, James, Joseph, Judas and Simon, but only James is known to history.
18.) The death of Mary is not recorded in scripture but according to Catholic and Orthodox tradition and doctrine, her body was taken into Heaven.
19.) According to Sacred Tradition, Mary died surrounded by the apostles in Jerusalem (in some account in Ephesus) between three days and 24 years after Christ's ascension.
20.) Historically, Hyppolitus of Thebes claims that Mary lived for eleven years after the death of her Son Jesus and died in 41 CE.
21.) Christian devotion to Mary goes back to the 2nd century. Beneath Thy Protection or Sub tuum praesidium is the earliest known Marian prayer. It is from the 3rd century CE and its text was rediscovered in 1917 on a papyrus in Egypt.
22.) Of all the saints whom the Orthodox venerates, the most honored is Mary, who is considered “more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim."
23.) Although the Catholics and the Orthodox may honor and venerate Mary, they do not view her as divine, nor do they worship her.
24.) The Christian doctrine of Perpetual Virginity holds that Mary remained a virgin all her life, even after the act of giving birth to Jesus.
25.) The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major is the largest Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy.