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My Christian training emphasized the uniqueness of the Christ as the only human ever directly created since Adam,thus the only one ever born of woman that could offer a propitiatory sacrifice that would exactly cover the fall of Adam.

Catholics and some Protestants regard Mary as having had a similar special conception that left her perfect to be the mother of God.

My question is if Jesus had to have a perfect mother to be perfect, would not Mary also have had to have a perfect mother to be born perfect?

And her mother the same and her mothers mother the same and her mothers mothers mother the same etc....

Would it not make much more sense to conclude that just once in all history the Creator of Adam created another perfect human by miraculously adding the necessary spark that initiated the process known as fetal development from the ovum of Mary?

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    "Those who adhere to the immaculate conception" is sufficiently narrowly scoped. Good question. – ThaddeusB Oct 19 '15 at 2:16
  • Working on it; give me a bit. – Matt Gutting Oct 19 '15 at 4:01
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    If your hypothesis that "Jesus had to have a perfect mother to be perfect" is intended to represent Catholic doctrine, then I think you've misunderstood the doctrine. It was, indeed, appropriate for the Son of God to have a completely sinless mother, but that was not a necessary prerequisite for His being perfect. Jesus is God; He would have been perfect no matter what His mother was or did. – Andreas Blass Oct 19 '15 at 10:47
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    @Kris In the history of this doctrine's development there have, at times, been 'immaculate conceptions' popping up all over Mary's lineage. Thomas Aquinas was a strong critic of this doctrine. – Mike Borden Apr 5 at 12:50
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No, they do not. Jesus was born without sin by virtue of being God. Mary, who was conceived in the usual way, would have had to have some other approach to be sinless. After some thought about how that might have occurred, theologians concluded that

the soul of the Blessed Virgin, in its creation and infusion into the body, was endowed with the grace of the Holy Spirit and preserved from original sin.

(Apostolic Constitution "Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum", Alexander VIII, 1661; quoted in "Ineffabilis Deus", Pius IX, 1854)

In particular, the Catechism states:

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 491)

That is, essentially, Mary was redeemed, sanctified, and justified (as we all are at baptism) in the moment of her conception, by the merits of her Son's sacrifice extended back in time. There was no need for her to be born of a sinless mother. It was the supreme glory of the Divinity that made it appropriate for Mary herself to be sinless, but she herself didn't have to be born of a sinless one to become that way.

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  • "... appropriate for Mary herself to be sinless, but she herself didn't have to be born of a sinless one to become that way." That seems to suggest an odd argument that you're saying Christ would otherwise had not been sinless had Mary been "in sin" (not immune from the stain of original sin) and He born of/from her. – SLM Mar 8 '19 at 5:30
  • I'm not seeing how that argument arises, but let's clarify. Christ would have been sinless regardless of Mary's condition, but it was more appropriate (in view of his divinity) that she be sinless. But since Mary wasn't God, the same argument doesn't hold for her. – Matt Gutting Mar 8 '19 at 6:21
  • Thanks for clarifying. Yes, Christ was sinless regardless of Mary's condition. The "more appropriate" idea has been around since Origen that I'm aware of. – SLM Mar 8 '19 at 17:59
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No, it is not believed in that way. Immaculate conception is not about the way that the blessed virgin was conceived. She was conceived by normal biological way (unlike Jesus Christ). Immaculate conception means, she was conceived without being burdened by original sin. This can be found in bull of pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (only most important part is cited there, whole bull is about immaculate conception):

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

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  • Welcome to Stack Exchange. We are glad you stopped by and hope you stay. When you have a chance,you may want to check out how this site is a little different than others. This is not a comment on the quality of your answer, which is fine, but rather a standard welcome message. – ThaddeusB Oct 19 '15 at 5:49
  • A doctrine revealed by God where and in what way? – Mike Borden Apr 4 at 15:35
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    @MikeBorden Like the way Peter answered Jesus "You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God". Peter have not read it in scriptures nor heard it in synagogue not even from the Rabbi's. Blessed John Duns Scotus like St.Peter directly received the inspiration from God because they both have "contemplative heart", and they manifest it thru their lips. In the case of Peter, Jesus gave him the Chair after this, while Blessed Scotus need Blessed Piux IX in 1854 to dogmatized his inspiration. – itzsophia's vlogs Apr 4 at 18:55
  • @itzsophia'svlogs You are equating Peter's confession of Christ (which is given to us as Scripture) with a doctrine formalized in 1854 and unfounded in Scripture. – Mike Borden Apr 5 at 12:34
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    @MikeBorden Dont forget Peter has the key to proclaim any dogma, he can define all things in matters of faith & morals here on earth and it will be bound in Heaven. The Berean can search all the scriptures but they cannot bind a single doctrine without Peter, it's useless, dont you think Even St.Paul has to go to Peter to bind his inspirations not to circumcise the gentiles. So, try to ponder Matthew16:18-19 more deeply. – itzsophia's vlogs Apr 7 at 22:03
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Do people who adhere to the immaculate conception of Mary believe that Mary and Jesus were both conceived in the same fashion?

NOTE: The Catholic Church teaches Mary is not a Divine Creature. The blood of Jesus that redeemed mankind, came from the "three drops of blood" from Mary's Immaculate Heart.

The Catholic answer is YES!. Jesus and Mary were both conceived without sin and their humanity were both created in the order of grace, and were both fashioned by the same Holy Spirit in the womb.

Conception of Jesus

St.Augustine teachings was affirmed by Mary of Agreda's vision and supported by St.Gabriel and St'Elizabeth that says "Blesssed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus".

St.Elizabeth specifically point the location of conception is the pure womb of Mary hours only from the pronouncement of St.Gabriel that the Logos will incarnate.

486 The Father's only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is "Christ", that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples.123 Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power."124

494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."139 Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:140

Conception of Mary

490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace".133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature".138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

Jesus Christ was born with the dignity as the only begotten Son of the Abba Father, and Mary was born with a dignity destined to become the Mother of the Messiah.

My question is if Jesus had to have a perfect mother to be perfect, would not Mary also have had to have a perfect mother to be born perfect? And her mother the same and her mothers mother the same and her mothers mothers mother the same etc....

The perfection does not depend on the Mother but it depends on the Will of the Father and the action and power of the Holy Spirit.

Mary was perfect, sinless & immaculate not because of Her merits but because the Abba Father had chosen Her to be the Mother of the Messiah in eternity before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:3-5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) The Father’s Plan of Salvation. 3 [a]Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,[b] 4 as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love 5 he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will,

How about St.Anne, does she need to be perfect too? The answer is NO!, Mary was born perfect not by the merit of St.Anne nor of St.Joachim but by the merit of Christ redemptive sacrifice applied to Mary at the first instant of her conception as define in the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

This can be further understood by the revelation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St.Catherine of Laboure in 1830:

"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

LAST QUESTION

Would it not make much more sense to conclude that just once in all history the Creator of Adam created another perfect human by miraculously adding the necessary spark that initiated the process known as fetal development from the ovum of Mary?

ANSWER

The fetal development does not takes place in the ovum of Mary rather in the Mother's womb or uterus, as evident in the Ave Maria prayer...

"Blessed is the fruit of thy womb/uterus, Jesus"

St.Augustine teachings was affirmed by Mary of Agreda's vision and supported by St.Gabriel and St'Elizabeth that says "Blesssed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus".

St.Elizabeth specifically point the location of conception is the pure womb of Mary. Incarnate Word was immediately formed from the "three drops of blood" coming from the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the womb and from the ovum as fertilized egg.

TAKE NOTE: St.Elizabeth greetings came hours only from the pronouncement of St.Gabriel that "Mary shall conceive" and so the theory of "ovum" definitely contradict the words of St.Elizabeth in the gospel of St. Luke.

Jesus human nature does not come from the seed of man wherein it needed to fertilized an egg in a Woman's ovum. In the case of Mary, there's no fertilized egg in the ovum but a "three drops of blood" was conceived in the womb/uterus.

The mystics say that at the Annunciation/Incarnation three drops of the Blessed Virgin Mary's blood received the Divine Power of the Holy Spirit and the Second Person of the Triune God became the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

...her most pure heart, as it were by natural consequence, was contracted and compressed with such force, that it distilled three drops of her most pure blood, and these, finding their way to the natural place for the act of conception, were formed by the power of the divine and holy Spirit, into the body of Christ our Lord. Thus the matter, from which the most holy humanity of the Word for our Redemption is composed, was furnished and administered by the most pure heart of Mary and through the sheer force of her true love. The Mystical City of God, Venerable Maria of Agreda

Why not a fertilized egg?, if Mary had release Her egg in the ovum it would need a "physical/carnal sensation" and this is not possible because Mary is not subject to concupiscence of the flesh, She is free from all stain of sins. Mary was not living in a flesh but in Spirit, as She said in Magnificat "My Spirit rejoices in God my saviouir".

John 3:5-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) 5 Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.

Jesus human nature does not come from the seed of man, but rather it cames from the "three drops of blood" coming from the Immaculate Heart of Mary.Before Mary conceived Jesus in Her pure womb, She had conceived first Jesus in Her Immaculate Heart.

St.Augustine of Hippo

Mary freely accepted the plan of God and by faith conceived the Son of God in her heart before He was formed in her womb.

A virgin conceives, yet remains a virgin: a virgin is heavy with child; a virgin brings forth her child, yet she is always a virgin. Why are you amazed at this, O man? It was fitting for God to be born thus when He deigned to become man” (Serm. 186, 1).https://www.homeofthemother.org/en/resources/virgin-mary/fathers/8477-s-augustine

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    Mary was conceived through natural intercourse between St. Joachim and St. Anne. Our Lord was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Honestly your theology is heretical. These two conceptions are not the same. Please stop making up Catholic theology. – Ken Graham Apr 4 at 14:19
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    I'm not sure what you mean when you say that "Jesus humanity came from 'blood cell' of Mary alone". – Matt Gutting Apr 4 at 20:42
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    Catholics are not obliged to put any stock into private revelations. – Ken Graham Apr 4 at 21:06
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    One could easily say that it came from the 23 chromosomes found in Mary's ovum. I can grasp your theology, and I'm sure Ken can as well. We just don't see it as standard Catholic teaching, which this answer ought to supply. – Matt Gutting Apr 4 at 22:01
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    My main objection, and the reason for my downvote, is this statement: "The fetal development does not takes place in the ovum of Mary rather in the Mother's womb or uterus... In the case of Mary, there's no fertilized egg in the ovum..." The ovum is the egg - it's what becomes fertilized and makes its way to the womb. An egg, that is, an ovum, is naturally released in a fertile woman every 4 weeks or so without need for any "physical/carnal sensation"; nor is there need for such a sensation for conception to happen. Your argument falls down there. – Matt Gutting Apr 5 at 3:55

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