Patrice at Spiritual Woman writes about the four Marian dogmas to which every Catholic is obligated to assent. They are:
* The Immaculate Conception (Mary was conceived without original sin, and remained sinless her entire life by the grace of God and the merits of her Son, Jesus, because of her role as the "Ark of the New Covenant."
* The Perpetual Virginity of Mary (Mary remained a virgin throughout her life because she was the spouse of the Holy Spirit, by whom she conceived the Incarnate Christ, and gave birth to Him without losing her virginity. How God accomplished both these miracles, we won't know until we get to heaven -- the Catholic faith is full of mysteries -- but we are obligated to believe it nonetheless.)
* Mary is the Theotokos (the God-bearer). This dogma developed as a direct result of the Trinitiarian andChristological dogmas of the early Church Fathers.
* The Assumption of Mary, body and soul into heaven.
Patrice has a gift for explaining core tenets of the faith with simplicity and grace. Be sure to check out her post. Please also check out Ebeth's interview at "A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars"