Mary, also called Mother Mary, the Virgin Mother, or Mary Magdalene, is the loving mother of Jesus Christ in Christian belief. According to beliefs, she was chosen by God to bear His only son and believed to be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. She had a significant role as the mother of Jesus. She also protected Jesus from Herod the Great's attempts to kill Jesus when he was still a baby.
Most Christian denominations honor her, in varying degrees.
In the Bible
First Heroic Deed
Mary is first shown as a young woman in Israel who is engaged to Joseph. One day, the Angel Gabriel descends from Heaven to tell her that she will bear a son who will be called the Most High. Although she is frightened by the experience, she faithfully accepts this duty.
Mary visits her sister Elizabeth, who is expecting a child. When Mary enters her house, Elizabeth's baby leaps in her womb. Mary's response, a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God, is known as the Magnificat.
The Christmas Story
A census is held by the Roman government, and all have to go to their hometowns to register. Mary and Joseph begin the journey. Mary is now pregnant with the child promised by God. When they reach Bethlehem, it is late at night and all the residents reject the couple. However, one inn/guest house allows them to stay in the stable, with the animals and supplies. Mary gives birth to a son who she names Jesus. He is placed in a manger. Soon the manger is visited by shepherds (who were told by an angel to come here) and 3 wise men (who followed a star above the manger). The wise men present gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby. The family flees after hearing about Herod the Great's plot to kill all the babies in the area. They eventually settle in Nazareth.
Mary presumably raises Jesus for much of his early life. One day, she and Joseph lose track of Jesus while in the Temple district. They frantically search until they find him in the Temple, debating and talking with the religious scholars. When Mary asks him why he is in here, he says that he is "about his Father's business." (referring to God, his true father). Mary was also present when Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding.
Mary appeared at the cruxifixction, weeping at seeing her son die. Jesus consoles his mother as he bears the cross. After he has died on the cross, his body is removed and placed into Mary's arms.
After Jesus's death
Mary is not mentioned largely after the events of Jesus's life. Some denominations believe that the "heavenly woman" described in Revelation is Mary. While her actual death is not recorded, Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that Mary was taken up into Heaven by God in an event called the Assumption of Mary.