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Freebase Commons Common /common

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  • Mary, also known as Saint Mary or the Blessed Virgin Mary, is identified in the Bible as the mother of Jesus, the founder of the Christian religion. Christians hold her son Jesus to be the Christ or messiah foretold in Jewish scripture, and the God made flesh. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament describe Mary as a virgin. Traditionally, Christians believe that she conceived her son miraculously by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Muslims believe that she conceived her son miraculously by the command of God. This took place when she was already betrothed to Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of marriage, the formal home-taking ceremony. She married Joseph and accompanied him to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Dale Allison states that in ancient Jewish custom, Mary could have been betrothed at about 12, but does not claim that this did happen in her case. There is no direct evidence of Mary's age at betrothal or in pregnancy. The Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus.

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