Mary or Mariam of Nazareth is a key figure in Christianity, especially for the Orthodox and Catholics, who call her the "Mother of God" and refer to her as "Holy Mary", "Virgin Mary", "Blessed Virgin" and "Our Lady". There is little archaeological evidence of her life and Mary's historicity is difficult to ascertain.
Mary is said to have been born into a pious Jewish family in Galilee, to parents Joachim and Anne. She was betrothed at the age of thirteen to Joseph of the line of David. Shortly afterwards, Mary will give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem, Judea. She will accompany and support her son throughout his life.
In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Mary is the object of greater veneration than that accorded to the saints and angels, which is an important point of divergence with Protestantism. This Marian devotion has been manifested since the beginning by numerous representations of Mary in Christian iconography, the celebration of several Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar, and the construction of shrines and buildings dedicated to her.