Here are some things we know about Mary:
Mary is shown as the virgin girl chosen by God to bear Jesus. She encourages Jesus to perform his first miracle at the wedding where he changed water into wine. She was also present at Jesus' crucifixion. The rest of Christian beliefs depend upon church doctrine and decrees.
Mary is honored as the mother of Jesus, and is mentioned by name over 50 times, even having a Sura (or book) dedicated to her. She is a perfect example of a woman who is obedient to God and chosen by God for special service.
This is the term used by the Catholic Church to describe the process whereby Mary does not die as all humans do, but is taken up. This was dependent upon her purity, as she was also declared by the Catholic Church to have been born without sin (Immaculata)
This is the word used to describe Mary's appearances in modern times. An "apparition" may take place just once, or a series of times. Usually there is a message to the world given, and a miraculous image appears. An example is the Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531 in Mexico. A local man saw a vision of Mary, which was not believed by the local priest, so the man was able to receive an image on his cloak which exists to this day. This image is part of national pride for Mexico and goes beyond religious belief. In addition to the famous apparitions investigated by the Catholic Church, there are many private individuals who have had dreams, visions, or other forms of contact from Mother Mary.
Mary appears in many movies, television shows, and plays, as well as popular art forms. She takes many roles, but is always distinguishable for her service to God and her aspect of mother. Variants of her name are given to girl children born every year, as well as boys.