The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; according to Christian teaching she conceived Jesus while a virgin, through the Holy Spirit. The miraculous conception took place when she was already betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.
The Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was assumed directly into Heaven; this is known in the Christian West as the Assumption.
Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, and is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion. She is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God (Greek: Θεοτόκος, translit. Theotokos, lit. 'God-bearer'). There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, and her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, based on the argued brevity of biblical references. Mary also has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her.
Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam. The English name "Mary" comes from the Greek Μαρία, which is a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament.
In Christianity, Mary is commonly referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary (often abbreviated to "BVM"), Saint Mary (occasionally), the Mother of God (primarily in Western Christianity), the Theotokos (primarily in Eastern Christianity), Our Lady (Medieval Italian: Madonna), and Queen of Heaven (Latin: Regina Coeli), although the title "Queen of Heaven" was also a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime. Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Mormons, and other Christians.