Veneration of Mary in the Catholic Church

In the 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.[1][2] 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".[3] There are significantly more titles, feasts, and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than in other Western Christian traditions.[4] 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.

Blessed Virgin Mary
Mother of God
Queen of Heaven
Mother of the Church
Mediatrix of all graces
Our Lady
BornSeptember 8 (Nativity of Mary)
DiedThe Catholic Church teaches that, at the end of her natural life, she was assumed into heaven, body and soul (Assumption of Mary)
Venerated inCatholic Church
CanonizedPre-Congregation
Major shrineSanta Maria Maggiore, others (see Shrines to the Virgin Mary)
FeastSee Marian feast days
AttributesBlue mantle, white veil, Immaculate heart, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, halo with 12 stars, roses, woman with child
PatronageSee Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Belief in the incarnation of 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.[5]

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, the most recent being the 2008 approval of certain apparitions from 1665.[6][7]

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 Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fátima, Akita, and other reasons.[8]