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(1,631 words)

Author(s): Schmolze, Martin
1. Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents a central figure in Catholic theology and practice of piety. Veneration of Mary as the Madonna emerges from mutually independent cultural horizons, in Poland (pilgrimage to Czestohowa/Czenstochau; → Orthodox Churches), and in Italy (→ Mediterranean Region). Presented as of great importance, but nearly always with reference to her Son, she meets with great reverence in the Eastern and Southern European Orthodox Churches. Finally, she is only a peripheral figure for the Protestant Churches (and Islam). 2. The Catholic Church hierarchy—for …