In 431 the Council of Ephesus decreed the Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God.
The Greek for Mother of God, Μήτηρ Θεοῦ, is often abbreviated to MP ΘY, as we can see in the tondo above the central door of Santa Maria in Trastevere, thought to be the first church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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