Saint Mary the Virgin

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Sandro Botticelli, Cestello Annunciation, 1489, tempera on panel, 150 x 156 cm, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Mary (also called the Virgin Mary or the Madonna) was the mother of Jesus Christ.  She was conceived by immaculate conception to Saint Anne and was thus free of original sin.  At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel delivered the news that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, who was conveiced through the Holy Spirit.  At the Nativity, she gave birth to Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem, where he was visited by the Magi.  Mary was present at the Crucifixion, and lamented Christ in a pietà.  When she died, she was assumed into heaven.

The Virgin Mary can be recognized in a variety of scenes. Aside from the Annunciation pictured here, she is frequently depicted as a child with her mother Anne, at the visitation with her cousin Elizabeth, at the Nativity, on the Flight into Egypt, at the foot of the Crucifixion, in a Pietà or Lamentation, and being assumed into heaven.  She is very often depicted just with the baby Christ.