The Easter hymn Exultet speaks about felix culpa ("happy fault"):

O felix culpa,
quæ talem ac tantum méruit habére Redemptórem!

O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

Does it mean that the first sin was good for something?

1 Answer 1


In context, the hymn is saying the 'fortunate fault' brought about the greater good, salvation from Jesus.

It traces its idea back to Augustine, who wrote:

For God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist. (Enchiridion 8)

  • 3
    The Felix culpa Wikipedia article (which was linked from the Exsultet article) mentions that "The Catholic saint Ambrose also speaks of the fortunate ruin of Adam in the Garden of Eden in that his sin brought more good to humanity than if he had stayed perfectly innocent." and also mentions that "Thomas Aquinas cited this line".
    – user3331
    Oct 20, 2014 at 23:26

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