Mary, commonly referred to as Saint Mary or the Virgin Mary, is believed to be the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. The name Mary was a form of the name Miriam. This name was common among Jewish women in those days. The New Testament states her as a virgin, since she conceived her son miraculously by the act of the Holy Spirit. At that time, she was the wife of Saint Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of Jewish marriage - the formal home-taking ceremony.
As believed, Mary was born in Jerusalem to Joachim and Ann. However, some early sources state that she was born in Nazareth. No matter where she was born, Mary has spent her life in staunch Jewish settlement of Nazareth. When she was 15 or so, her parents planned for her marriage because it was customary in those times. Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, was chosen for her husband. She got engaged and returned home to wait for a year before she would go to live with her husband as his wife. But then, according to the New Testament, Gabriel heralded the divine selection of Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
While the non-biblical writings proclaim that she was the daughter of Joachim and Saint Anne. The Bible accounts Mary's role in major events of Jesus' life from his virgin birth to his crucifixion. However, other fictional writings state of her subsequent death and bodily assumption into heaven. Christianity holds various doctrines regarding Mary. One of the primary doctrines is that Mary - being the mother of Jesus - became Theotokos which literally means "God-bearer", or "Mother of God". Most of the Christians, including the Catholic and the Orthodox, offer prayers to God through Mary and worship her as intercessor and mother of the church. However, many Protestants don't like devotions to Virgin Mary.
Birth of Jesus
Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Since there was shortage of space in the inn, she had to use a manger as a cradle. Eight days after the birth, the boy was circumcised and named Jesus, compliant with the instructions that the angel gave to Joseph. After these customary ceremonies, Jesus was taken to the temple in Jerusalem and then, was visited by the Magi. Thereafter, the family fled to Egypt and returned after the death of King Herod the Great to live in Nazareth.
Apart from the birth of Jesus, the other major occasions where Mother Mary has been mentioned are: