Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, Queen of All Saints. Mary bore and raised Jesus, assisted in his ministry, witnessed his resurrection, and was (according to Catholic tradition) assumed bodily into heaven. That’d be miraculous enough for anyone, but Mary wasn’t content with that. She’s had an astonishingly active Biblical career, according to pious legend. She is, among other things, click over here patroness of Mexico, of the United States (the US being hostile to Catholics until one became President, the American Church must have figured that they needed the biggest guns they could find), and of France (that’s why many prominent French cathedrals are entitled Notre Dame, “Our Lady”). Known by a myriad of titles you can find an “Our Lady of” just about anything. Beloved and revered in many ways all around the world. Her major feasts are January 1 (her motherhood, celebrated by Roman Catholics, as substitute for the feast of the circumcision of the newborn Jesus, held as per Jewish tradition eight days after his birth), May 31 (her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant with John the Baptist [see June 24]), August 15 (the anniversary of her Assumption), August 22 (the eighth day after the Assumption, celebrated by Roman Catholics as her queenship), September 8 (her birthday), November 21 (her presentation in the Temple of Jerusalem, according to an apocryphal account), and December 12 (her conception, nine months before September 8); in addition, Roman Catholics also celebrate her apparitions at Lourdes in France (February 11), F in Portugal, (May 13), Mount Carmel in Israel (July 16), and Guadalupe in Mexico (December 12), as well as her titles as Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15) and the Rosary (October 7).
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