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All About Mary

Madonna, History of Term

Q: In what century and where was the word "Madonna" used to describe the Blessed Virgin?

A: Origin seems to be the first to have used the expression su emae kuria (you, my lady = queen, empress, "domina"). It is from this expression that the titles: Notre Dame, Nuestra Senora, etc. were formed. Madonna is a contraction of Mia Donna. The expression "mia donna" was used by Dante, the more popular "madonna" entered official usage in post-Dante times; the exact time eludes me.

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