RNS file photo by Nick Crettier / National 
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Colm Toibin’s Virgin Mary is far from meek and mild

(RNS) The traditional Christmas image of the Virgin Mary — silent, obedient, observant — has cemented a potent ideal in the Western imagination. Now the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version in “The Testament of Mary.'' By Karen Long.