The Catholic Virgin Mary

Freda Harcourt

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780719077531
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700709 | DOI:
The Catholic Virgin Mary

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This chapter describes the Catholic portrait of the Virgin Mary as the sinless Mother of God who participated in her son's work. This traditional portrait of the Virgin Mary re-entered public discourse in England beginning in the 1830s as a result of the growing public presence of Roman Catholics and the development of Tractarianism and ritualism. This Virgin Mary was an important part of the devotional life of Catholics; invoking her also allowed Catholics to shape an identity based in part on a rejection of Protestantism. This image of the Virgin Mary showed Catholics' receptivity to the figure of an idealised woman, as well as their reluctance to allow her power, prerogatives, or prominence to be accessed by other women.

Keywords: Catholic portrait; Roman Catholics; Tractarianism; ritualism; Protestantism

Chapter.  20028 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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