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Articles on Virgin Mary

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People pray inside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, with sail-like drapes covering mosaic figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. AP Photo/Yasin Akgul

Hagia Sophia has been converted back into a mosque, but the veiling of its figural icons is not a Muslim tradition

In reconverting Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Turkish officials have emphasized veiling of Christian icons to create a Muslim prayer space. Experts explain why the veiling is in fact a Byzantine practice.
Madonna with child and angels by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, 1674. The cult of the Virgin is emblematic of the way the church silences women and marginalises their experience. Wikimedia Commons

How the cult of Virgin Mary turned a symbol of female authority into a tool of patriarchy

Belief in the eternal virginity of Mary has inflicted damage to women, who can never attain her sexless motherhood or unsullied 'purity'. Yet in the Gospels, Mary is strong-minded and courageous.
Haiti’s black saint known as Grann Sainte Anne Charitable in her European Catholic form and Ti Saint Anne, in Vodoo form. Guilberly Louissaint

I went on a Voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti

A scholar went on a Voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti and learned how an oppressive slave past has shaped its religious present.
In 2014, in, a small town in northern Israel, Christian worshippers gathered next to a statue of the Virgin Mary, that they said ‘weeps’ oil. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

What is behind belief in weeping Virgin Mary statues

Throughout Catholic history, miracles have been attributed to Virgin Mary's power. She is understood to cry not only over the sins of the world, but over the pain she experienced in her earthly life.
The Virgin Mary may not be able to pull Brazil out of a deep recession, but her church-sponsored house calls do wonders to ease economic malaise among participating Catholic families. Pilar Olivares/Reuters

This old Catholic ritual is giving Brazil’s economy a small boost, one Virgin Mary statuette at a time

For a century, Brazil's Catholic Church has sent holy statues out to parishioners' homes. A new study finds that these visits create a local subeconomy, benefitting families and the church.

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