|Blessed Virgin Mary
"The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."
Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven,
Mother of the Church,
||September 8 (
Nativity of Mary)
Santa Maria Maggiore, others (see
Shrines to the Virgin Mary)
Marian feast days
||Blue mantle, white veil, Immaculate heart, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, halo with 12 stars, roses, woman with child
Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Church, the veneration of
Mary, mother of Jesus, encompasses various
Marian devotions which include prayer, pious acts, visual arts, poetry, and music devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 Popes have encouraged it, while also taking steps to reform some manifestations of it.
[note 1] The
Holy See has insisted on the importance of distinguishing "true from false devotion, and authentic doctrine from its deformations by excess or defect".
 There are significantly more titles, feasts, and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than in other Western Christian traditions.
 The term
hyperdulia indicates the special veneration due to Mary, greater than the ordinary
dulia for other saints, but utterly unlike the
latria due only to God. The term "
Mariolatry" is a
Protestant pejorative label for perceived excessive Catholic devotion to Mary. Other, non-critical, terms for the veneration are Marianism and Marism. Derived terms, referring to someone who venerates Mary, are Marian, Marianist, and Marist.
Belief in the
God the Son through Mary is the basis for calling her the
Mother of God, which was declared a dogma at the
Council of Ephesus in 431. At the
Second Vatican Council and in
Pope John Paul II's encyclical
Redemptoris Mater, she is spoken of also as Mother of the Church.
Growth of Roman Catholic veneration of Mary and
Mariology has often come not from official declarations, but from
Marian writings of the saints, popular devotion, and at times reported
Marian apparitions. The
Holy See approves only a select few as worthy of belief; most recently the 2008 recognition of apparitions as far back as 1665.
Further pious veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary encouraged by
Popes are exhibited in the
canonical coronations granted to popular Marian images venerated in a particular locality all over the world, while
Marian movements and societies with millions of members have arisen from belief in events such as
Lourdes, and other reasons.