In this thread one of the answers states that Catholic tradition has Mary as sinless from conception (if I read it correctly). I don't want to sound flippant here but this begs the question: if God could do it for Mary with no problem, why not do it for everybody? I mean, why even bother with the crucifixion at all? If you think about it, He could have done the same thing with all of Adam's first generation and poof! Problem solved. Why go through all the trouble?


3 Answers 3


If God could make Mary sinless, why not anybody else?

God, being omnipotent, could have created the world differently and made us all "immaculate conceptions", but he chose not to. We must respect his decisions.

Mary did not have to be conceived immaculately, but God chose to accord this grace to her in light of the fact that she became the Mother of Jesus.

First of all, there are only two people the Catholic Church recognizes as being preserved from original sin: Jesus and Mary. However, there are two other people who were created prior to the fall and were thus at one time in a state of grace (sinless) and in union with God: Adam and Eve.

Your question now begs another. If mankind were to have been preserved from original sin, would that mean that we would have been completely sinless until we died?

Part of Mary's graces in receiving the gift of the Immaculate Conception is that she cooperated with the supernatural graces given her in order to avoid sin. Like all of us, Mary was tempted to sin. Unlike us, she conquered the temptation she experienced in this world and remained sinless.

One cannot stress enough the fact that the Virgin Mary, like us, had to diligently work out her own salvation, even though she received special graces being the mother of Jesus, who is called the Christ.

Although preserved from Original Sin, Mary still was a human being like the rest of us. She was, however, given preventative redemption, meaning the grace she was given at her conception was in anticipation of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.

What is true is that her very personal sinlessness gave her a deep sense of what sin and evil are, causing her moments of suffering to be intense to a point we cannot fully grasp.

If you want to ask what sin is, don’t ask an evil person. The one who knows sin is the one who is in a deep and loving relationship with God, and one who suffers from the evil of others.

The idea that Mary was never tempted is trumped by the simple fact that Jesus himself was tempted by Satan. For Satan, Mary would have been a real prize. So understanding Mary’s perfect humanity, consider what would be one of the most painful experiences she or anyone could have? - The Loneliness of Mary of Nazareth.

So in the end, God could have created us all sinless at birth , But would we have all preserved our sinlessness? Who knows what forms of temptation Satan could have mustered against us, then?

But for myself, the Exsultet says it all:

O certe necessárium Adæ peccátum, quod Christi morte delétum est!

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

O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

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

  • I think Mary's cooperation with God's grace (rather than a robotic/passive approach) has to be further stressed here. Did St. Thomas Aquinas write about this? Also, you might be interested in this question.
    – luchonacho
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 14:33
  • @rhetorician There are other places for Protestant answers. Please stick to constructive feedback in comments, not theological disagreement.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 2:21
  • @curiousdannii: Uh, your comment is attached to Ken Graham's answer. I do remember writing a refutation of Mary's supposed immaculate conception in my comments. I needed to do that for my own benefit. Frankly, I think I did a fairly good job of at least cementing in my brain the truth as I presented it in my comments. I saved my comments in a file on my PC. Who knows, I may have to retrieve them again sometime. By the way, I do not usually engage in theological disagreement in comments, but I'm glad I did on this rare occasion. Also, I'm not offended that my comments were canceled. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 2:39

Mary's immaculate conception, like our redemption, resulted from the merits of Jesus Christ, in particular His crucifixion. So that's why God had to "bother about the crucifixion".

In more detail, from the bull "Ineffabilis Deus" of Pope Pius IX defining the dogma of the 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."

Note in particular the phrase "in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race"; without Christ, Mary would have been in the same sad state as all the rest of humanity.

  • 1
    This answers "Why even bother with the Crucifixion?" but it doesn't address "If God could do it for Mary, why not for everybody?" You need to add that. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 2:31

If God could make Mary sinless, why not anybody else?

The simple answer can be found in the meaning of the word "chosen or predestined". All mankind including Mary was created, but not all are chosen or predestined for a specific role in God's Divine Plan.

Mary the Woman was chosen before Adam & Eve were created and even before the Heavenly Host were created. Mary the chosen Woman existed in the heart of God in eternity before the creation time begun.

Mary's predestination

488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him,125 he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":126

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.127


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