Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Mary, a feminine name derived from the Hebrew, and used so often in the New Testament as to lead to some confusion as to the different hearers of it. The most illustrious of these is the mother of Christ. Little is known of her parentage, though tradition has much to say on the point, and, as to her later life, the general idea is that after the crucifixion she was under the care of St. John the Divine. The belief in her perpetual virginity is first found in the Protevangelion Jacobi, which makes her to have been brought up in the Temple, and the idea became general in the 4th century, and received authoritative sanction at the Council of Chalcedon (451). The belief in her immaculate conception was the product of the 12th century, and the vindication of her title of Mother of God dates from as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries. Of the many festivals of the Virgin, some are common to several Christian churches; the festival, however, of the Assumption finds no place in the Anglican Church.