Saint Mary

(18B.C. - 33. )

Saint Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary or Blessed Virgin Mary, holds a central and revered position in Christianity, particularly within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Anglican Communion. She is also esteemed in Islam. Mary’s life and character have been the subject of devotion, theological study, and artistic representation for centuries. St. Mary’s is the name of the church of Ireland parish, church and graveyards and a number of roads in the Crumlin area.

Mary is believed to have been born in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee, around the beginning of the 1st century BC. She was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter, according to the Gospel accounts. The New Testament describes her as a young virgin who was visited by the angel Gabriel, who announced that she would conceive and bear a son through the Holy Spirit, whom she was to name Jesus. Mary’s humble acceptance of this divine calling is known as the Annunciation.

Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born in a manger. The Gospels recount Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus, her presence at key events in his life, including his crucifixion and resurrection, and her continued presence among the early Christian community.

After Jesus’ ascension, Mary is said to have lived with the Apostle John in Jerusalem, according to some traditions. The exact details of her later life are not recorded in the New Testament, but various apocryphal texts and traditions provide accounts of her later years, including her assumption into heaven.

Mary is venerated as the Mother of God and is regarded as a model of faith, humility, and obedience. She is revered for her role in the Incarnation and her steadfast support of Jesus throughout his life. Devotion to Mary includes prayers, hymns, and the recitation of the rosary, a form of prayer that meditates on the mysteries of Christ’s life through the eyes of Mary.

Mary holds a special place in liturgical calendars, with various feasts and celebrations dedicated to her throughout the year. Among the most prominent are the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25), the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8).

Mary’s significance extends beyond Christianity, with Muslims also honouring her as the mother of the Prophet Jesus (Isa) and holding her in high esteem for her piety and virtue.

Mary has been depicted in countless works of art throughout history, often portrayed as a young woman dressed in blue and white, with a veil covering her head. She is frequently shown holding the infant Jesus or standing at the foot of the cross. Iconographic images such as the Madonna and Child and the Pieta are among the most famous representations of Mary in Western art.

Mary’s influence extends beyond religious devotion to encompass cultural, social, and political spheres. She has inspired countless works of literature, music, and poetry and has been invoked as a symbol of compassion, grace, and maternal care. Mary’s universal appeal transcends denominational boundaries, uniting believers of various faith traditions in reverence and devotion.

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Connection with area: Saint for whom the Church, parish, graveyard and road is named after