Study of doctrines concerning Mary, the mother of Jesus, or the content of those doctrines. The New Testament contains little information about Mary, though the tradition that she remained a virgin despite giving birth to Jesus was accepted in the early church. Various feast days in her honour were established in both the Eastern and Western liturgical traditions, and she became an especially important figure in Roman Catholicism. Pius IX proclaimed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Mary is seen as the spiritual mother and heavenly intercessor of every Catholic and as a partner with Jesus in the redemption of human beings. In 1950 Pius XII proclaimed the doctrine that at her death Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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