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Epithets of the Virgin Mary

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Anthony van Dyck painted this portrayal in 1628-29 of the Virgin Mary ascending into Heaven. Angels surround her holding objects signifying Christ's Passion. A wreath of roses is being placed on her head, representing her role to intercede on behalf of humankind for God's mercy. 

History

Marian epithets are titles given to the Virgin Mary that reflect different aspects of her character, role, or relationship to God. These titles have been used throughout Christian history to honor Mary and to deepen the devotion of believers.

The origins of Marian epithets can be traced to the early centuries of Christianity, when the Virgin Mary was already venerated as a holy figure and as the mother of Jesus. One of the earliest titles used for Mary was Theotokos, which means "God-bearer" or "Mother of God" in Greek. This title was first used by the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD to affirm the belief that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.

Over the centuries, other titles were added to reflect different aspects of Mary's character and role. Some of the most common epithets include Queen of Heaven, Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Star of the Sea. Each of these titles emphasizes a different aspect of Mary's relationship to God or her role in the life of believers.

The use of Marian epithets has continued to evolve and expand in the modern era, reflecting the diversity of cultures and traditions within the Catholic Church. 

Ark of the Covenant

Destroyer of Heresy

Gate of Heaven

Health of the Sick

Immaculate Heart

Joy of the Just

Morning Star

Mystical Rose

Seat of Wisdom

 

Untier of Knots

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