The veneration of the Virgin Mary probably existed in early Christianity. In Christian theology, she is the New Eve. God announced that there would be enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). Christians read this as a prophecy predicting the coming of Jesus as the seed of the woman could represent the virgin birth of Jesus. The church fathers may have invented the virgin birth story of Jesus to replace the birth of Adam from Eve. Later developments turned the Virgin Mary into a surrogate mother goddess.
The Church recognised the Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of God.’ Christians made statues and icons of the Virgin with the child Jesus similar to those of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis with her child Horus. And so, the Mother Goddess Mary, eliminated from the Gospels, may have re-entered the Church via a back door. As Christians prayed to the Virgin, she became a proxy for God.
The Protestant Reformation aims at returning to the scriptural roots of Christianity. And so, Protestants do not venerate the Virgin Mary. For Protestants, the scriptures are the only source. In this way, they may have lost the essence of Christianity. The Mary-with-child imagery could refer to Jesus as the Son of God the Mother. The Virgin Mary appeared more often than Jesus, and she performed more miracles than the other saints. Many Roman Catholics pray to the Virgin Mary rather than God or Jesus.
The Quran dedicates chapter 19 to her. Some Muslims indulge in arcane numerological explanations as to why the number 19 is special because the Quran refers to this number in the chapter named Hidden Secret. And so, the Quran may hold a hidden secret related to this number. Perhaps, the Virgin Mary plays a central role in the greater scheme.
The star and crescent became the symbol of Islam. This symbol has a long history predating Islam as it was associated with a Moon goddess. In the Bible, the Moon refers to the woman and the star to the child (Genesis 37:9). Hence, the Islamic symbol may represent the Madonna with the child Jesus or the relationship between Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Muhammad. She was fifteen years older, so She could have been his mother.
The St. Mary of Zion Church in Ethiopia is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant. Legend has it that the Ark came to Ethiopia with King Menelik after he visited his father, King Solomon. The Ark of the Covenant symbolises Mary of Zion. The Ark is supposed to be the residence of Yahweh, the God of Israel, but apparently, Her name is Mary.1
Featured image: Madonna and Child, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Public Domain.
Other images: Isis with Horus. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.
1. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. Wikipedia.