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Our readers asked:

Does the Name Mary Mean Anything?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

CNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic

Mary is the English translation of the Hebrew name Miriam. There are different opinions on what it means; some sources say that it means “bitter,” or “beautiful one,” while others say that it derives from the Egyptian word that means “beloved.” It was a common female name at the time of Jesus, as is evident from all the different Marys who show up in the Gospels. This popularity is likely due to the fact that Miriam was the name of the sister of Moses, a well-known woman in the Jewish tradition.

The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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  • Joe

    It’s also been said that it means “sea of bitterness” more specifically. This would connect Genesis where the old creation is brought forth from the Spirit hovering over the waters, to the new creation, Jesus, coming into being by the Spirit overshadowing “the sea” of Mary. Hence, one of the reasons why blue is associated with her as a color.

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