The Blessed Virgin Mary, sometimes shortened to The Blessed Virgin or The Virgin Mary, is a traditional title used by most Christians and most specifically used by liturgical Christians such as Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, and some others to describe Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Since the first century, devotion to the Virgin Mary has been a major element of the spiritual life of a vast number of Christians, primarily in Catholicism. From the Council of Ephesus in 431 to Vatican II and Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater, the Virgin Mary has come to be seen not only as the Mother of God but also as the Mother of the Church, a Mediatrix who intercedes to Jesus Christ and even a proposed Co-Redemptrix.
The key role of the Virgin Mary in the beliefs of many Christians, her veneration, and the growth of Mariology have not only come about by the Marian writings of the saints or official statements but have often been driven from the ground up, from the masses of believers, and at times via reported Marian apparitions, miracles and healings.
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