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Marian Terms

Advocate - a role signifying Mary's special power of intercession.  This term is first mentioned by St. Irenaeus of Lyons in Adversus Haerses - "that the Virgin Mary should become the advocate of the virgin Eve."

St. Anne - mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Annunciation - the announcement from the Archangel St. Gabriel to Mary that she would be the Mother of the Redeemer and Savior (Jesus Christ).

Apocrypha - writings that are not considered the "Word of God" and therefore are not part of the official canon of the Bible.

Apparitions - appearances by the Blessed Virgin Mary on earth to one or more
Christians after her assumption into Heaven.

Assumption - The entrance of Mary's body and soul into heaven.  This is not to be confused with the Ascension of Christ.

Ave Maria - "Hail Mary."

Christokos - Christ-bearer.

Co-Redemptrix - this term originated in the 14th century.  It refers to Mary's cooperation in the redemption of mankind by consenting to give birth to the Messiah.  This is an indirect, remote cooperation as opposed to her Son's direct redemption.  It certainly does not diminish Christ's salvation of the human race.

Cult - this term is used in the positive sense as in devotion towards.

Dormition - the falling asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Since Mary was without Original Sin, she did not deserve death.  The Church has never stated that Mary "died" in the traditional sense, but that her "earthly life ended."

Ephesus - an ancient city in Asia Minor (now Turkey) where St. John the Apostle and the Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly lived.

Feast - a day set aside to honor a saint or an event in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ.

Fiat - literally "Let it be done."

Hyperdulia - special honor given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as opposed to the honor given to the saints (dulia) and to the higher honor and adoration given to God Himself (latria).

Icon - an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a saint or Jesus Christ painted on wood or some other material.  Generally, icons are within the Eastern church.

Immaculate Conception - the doctrine stating that the Blessed Virgin Mary was
conceived without the stain of Original Sin.

Immaculate Heart of Mary - a devotion to the spotless, sinless heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Immanuel (Emmanuel) - the personal name of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14).

Incarnation - the act of God Himself coming down to earth in the form of a human being (Jesus Christ), born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Intercession - Mary's willingness to intercede on our behalf to her Son, Jesus Christ.

St. Joseph - foster father of our Lord, Jesus Christ and husband of Mary.

St. Joachim - father of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Magnificat - the hymn of Mary in Luke 1:46-55.

Marian - of or relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Marian Confraternities - religious associations of lay people whose members practice a special form of public devotion.

Marian Congresses - public assemblies of clergy and/or laity for the study of topics related to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mariology - the study of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to Christology (the study of Jesus Christ).

Mediatrix - a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she occupies a "middle" position between Jesus Christ and His creatures, because, together with Christ and under Him, she cooperated in the reconciliation of God and mankind when she was here on earth and because she distributes the graces that God bestows on His children.

Miraculous Medal - a medal commissioned by the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1830 to have minted by St. Catherine Laboure.

Mother of God - title given officially to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Council of
Ephesus in 431 A.D.

New (or Second) Eve - a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the second Eve just as Christ is the new Adam (Ephesians 4:24; Romans 5:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:45)

Novena - a public or private prayer of nine days for some special occasion or intention.

Perpetual Virginity - the belief that Mary was a virgin before the birth of Christ, during the birth of Christ and after the birth of Christ.

Queen - a title given to Mary by Tradition since the 4th century.  As Jesus Christ is king, His Mother is Queen Mother.

Rosary - a set of prayer beads which are generally composed of the prayers - "Hail Mary," the "Lord's Prayer" and the "Doxology."  Meditation on the mysteries of Christianity are to be observed during these prayers.

Sabbatine Privilege - refers to the pious belief that those who (1) wear the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,  (2) observe chastity according to their state of life, and (3) daily recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays or faithfully observe some other similar work will be aided "by Mary's unceasing intercession, devout pleadings, merits, and special protection - especially on Saturday, the day dedicated to the Holy Virgin."

Salve Regina - the best-known Western anthem to the Blessed Virgin Mary - "Hail Holy Queen."

Scapular - a special piece of cloth generally connected by a piece of string or a habit worn by Christians dedicated to Mary.

Shrine - a special place dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ or some other saint.

Sub Tuum - "We fly to your patronage."  The oldest petition to the Blessed Virgin
Mary found on papyrus in the 3rd century A.D. in Egypt.

Theotokos - Mother of God, God-bearer.

Virginal Conception and Birth - the belief that Mary conceived Jesus Christ and gave birth to Him without having "known man."



Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved