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St Mary's Catholic Church
St Mary's Road
East Hendred
Wantage OX12  8LF

 

 

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Patron Saint Mary

Mary (Aramaic and Hebrew: מרים, Maryām Miriam), usually referred to by Christians as Saint Mary or the Virgin Mary, was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, identified in the New Testament[2] as the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. The New Testament describes her as a virgin (Greek parthénos)[3] – who conceived her son miraculously by the agency of the Holy Spirit. This took place when she was already the betrothed wife of Saint Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of Jewish marriage, the formal home-taking ceremony.

The New Testament begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, the appearance to her of the angel Gabriel heralding her divine selection to be mother of Jesus. However early non-biblical writings state that she was the daughter of Joachim and Saint Anne. The Bible records Mary's role in key events of the life of Jesus from his virgin birth to his crucifixion. Other apocryphal writings tell of her subsequent death and bodily assumption into heaven.

Some parts of Christianity hold a number of important doctrines concerning Mary. Primary among these are that Mary lived a sinless life, and that as mother of Jesus, she became Theotokos, literally the "God-bearer", or "Mother of God". This doctrine was confirmed by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in the year 431. Christians of the major ancient traditions including the Catholic and the Orthodox offer prayers to God through Mary and venerate her as intercessor and mother of the church. Many Protestants, however, dislike these devotions. Mary is also honoured in Islam as the virgin mother of Jesus.

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