Marian Doctrine and Devotion
The Roman Catholic Church holds many teachings associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four of these specific doctrines have been raised to the level of dogma, meaning in technical terms that they must be held by the faithful as essential to participation as Roman Catholics.
The four Marian dogmas that have been defined by the magisterium over the course of Christian history, using both Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the two elements of the one source of Revelation, as evidence for these proclamations are the following:
Mary the Mother of God
Perpetual Virginity of Mary
The Immaculate Conception
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
A Marian devotion in Christianity is a gift (total or partial) of oneself, or one's activities to the Virgin Mary, i.e. a willingness and desire to dedicate oneself to, or venerate her, either in terms of prayers or in terms of a set of pious acts. Such prayers or acts may be accompanied by specific requests for Mary's intercession to God.
Devotion to the Virgin Mary does not, however, amount to worship - which is reserved for God alone. Catholics view Mary as subordinate to Christ, but uniquely so, in that she is seen as above all other creatures.
In 787 the Second Council of Nicaea affirmed a three-level hierarchy of latria, hyperdulia and
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