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When Madonna rang in her 51st birthday last month with a swanky shindig in Italy, she supposedly made a toast in which she hailed 22-year-old model-squeeze Jesus Luz as "the love of my life."

Was that just an ostensible moment of birthday-induced mushiness, or could the Big M be contemplating making a commitment to the oh-so-fittingly named Brazilian vealcake just a year after sticking a fork in her marriage to Guy Ritchie?

Despite earlier denials that a Kabbalah ceremony was in the works, Madonna biographer Randy Taraborrelli believes there's a possibility that the red string-connected duo could swap vows by the end of the year.

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"Madonna is crazy about Jesus, and has been telling close friends and family ... 'It can go either way. But, why not? I could definitely see myself marrying him. Yes, it's definitely on the table,'" the author alleges in Hello! magazine (via the London Daily Mail).

He also claims that if the Popeye-bicepped, smooth-faced pop icon, who wed Guy Ritchie in 2000 during an elaborate production at Scotland's Skibo Castle and said "I do" with Sean Penn in 1985 at a seaside home in Malibu with paparazzi hovering in helicopters overhead, does tie the knot again, she'd have another "lavish ceremony."


Because she "knows that's what Jesus wants," maintains a Madonna family member (probable relationship: it's the ex-wife of a third-cousin twice-removed who hasn't seen the star since her communion). "She has a lot of wonderful memories of both of her weddings. She doesn't want to slip off and do it quietly. She definitely wants a big and rather fantastic affair."

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Madonna met Luz last December during a photo shoot for W magazine in Rio de Janeiro, and since then he's reportedly made himself at home in her New York digs and with her family -- Lourdes, 12, Rocco, 9, Mercy, 4, and David, 3. He also recently stretched his acting chops by playing a boy-toy in her video for the song "Celebration."

"He respects her, that's number one," enthuses another source. "He has learned so much from her. He's amazed at how well-rounded she is, the way she juggles her career with her life as a mother, for instance. He understands that she's self-involved, too."

But the confidant loses credibility (and our lunch) by adding, "Of course, the sex between them is scorching hot. To be candid, it's what's driving things."

Madonna supposedly told a pal that she doesn't want her friends and family to think she's having "a mid-life crisis" by dating a man who's only a decade older than Lourdes.

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"When she realized she was starting to have feelings for him," explains another mole, "she started to become self-conscious about the relationship."

But now she's purportedly telling friends, "What we have is strong and powerful and I want it in my life."

But would Madonna really risk another aisle-walk so soon after she shelled out a multi-million-dollar divorce settlement to Ritchie just because the nookie is apparently top-notch?

Madonna's rep didn't respond to our request for comment on the nuptial rumors, which she dismissed as "totally untrue" back in May. Luz also brushed them off at the time, insisting, "There are no wedding plans, no wedding presents. She's just a friend."

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