Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is conceived without inheriting the original sin. They believe that Mary was never a sinner (source).

Are Catholics allowed to call Mary 'perfect' by virtue of her Immaculate Conception?

Note that by perfection, sinlessness is meant.

  • Born sinless she would have been like Adam in the beginning free will turned Adam from perfect to imperfect sinner so the question seems to be asking if Mary's IC made her incapable of sin during her life
    – Kristopher
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 14:52
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    Note that by perfection, sinlessness is meant. By whom? By the Church? If the Church uses "perfect" to mean "sinless", it might say that "perfect" was an appropriate epithet for Mary; but if it doesn't, then it might be appropriate to call Mary "sinless", but not to call her "perfect". Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 14:59
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    The Blessed Virgin Mother is not perfect in the sense that she could not make progress in the spiritual life; she is perfect in the sense that she is free from from all sin.
    – Geremia
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


Your own question contains the answer

If by "perfect" you mean "sinless", and that the Immaculate Conception as the Church teaches means Mary was conceived immaculate in the womb of her mother i.e. without contracting original sin, then her Immuculate Conception was just the beginning.

Think of Eve [and Adam] created sinless and in innocence until they fell.

In CCC 493, the Church teaches that by the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long, and therefore from your taking sinless to mean perfection, Catholics can say mary was perfect all her life long because by the grace of God she remained sinless all her life long.

Please note that all of us are called to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect except our path unlike that of Mary is by forgiveness of our sins and our purification from them.

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