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There is a statement in the Catholic Catechism that says that Mary is chosen from all eternity by God. Would this mean she pre-existed in eternity with God, or does "chosen" not really imply pre-existence?

Mary's predestination:

488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, 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":

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.

What does the Catholic Church teach on Mary's soul? Is there an official doctrine explaining that Mary's soul pre-existed in eternity?

  • Since you have made up that term for this question, what is the explicit definition of that term? Once you define that, someone offering an answer may be able to see if Catholic doctrine addresses pre-existent in eternity - your term. If what you are asking about is the general case of the pre existence of souls, that points toward a teaching of Origen whose teaching was rejected in about the 5th or 6th century. What does this term mean? (also, did you read to the three footnotes, 125, 126, and 127 - where did that point you?) – KorvinStarmast Feb 11 at 1:28
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    Doesn't Catholicism teach that God has chosen all the elect before eternity? – curiousdannii Feb 11 at 1:46
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    @TomislavOstojich If Mary was an exception to being created, she would be God. Are you actually asking this? – Sola Gratia Feb 19 at 13:33
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    @curiousdannii It is. Pre-destination and election are the same thing in Catholicism—they refer to the unfailing certainty with which those who will inherit heaven were chosen, like Christ was "slain, before the foundation of the world." The Calvinist notion of God creating people specifically for hell and heaven respectively is not Catholic—setting their wills to be such that they can either only end up in hell or heaven is not Catholic and not meant by election. Election, after all, means "chosen," not "determined beforehand." – Sola Gratia Feb 19 at 13:42
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+100

In 1661, Pope Alexander VII released the Bull "Sollicitudo omnium eccl.," which reads in part:

The devotion to the most blessed Virgin Mary is indeed of long standing among the faithful of Christ who believe that her soul, from the first instant of its creation and infusion into her body, was preserved immune by a special grace and privilege of God from the stain of original sin. (Denzinger 1100 – Latin "in primo instanti creationis atque infusionis in corpus")

This, combined with the general Catholic teaching in favor the creation of all souls (cf. Pope Pius XII, "Humani generis", "the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God") and the Church's opposition to the pre-existence of souls, indicates that Mary is not an exception to the rule: her soul was immediately created at the time of its infusion into her body, in the womb of her mother.

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Is Mary's human soul pre-existent in eternity?

Short Answer

"Mary is God's DREAMED whose "immaculate soul" was created and formed in "eternity". (Based on Blessed Emmerich vision and St.Maximilian Kolbe teachings and aided by Arch.Fulton Sheen reflections)

Note: The human "immaculate soul" of Mary was not pre-existent but Her "immaculate soul" was created or formed in eternity in the realm of the Most Holy Trinity. How?, since Mary existed as Eternal Thought the Abba Father can just Willed it also in eternity to exist in the fullness of time like Jesus. Let's look at words of Blessed Emmerich "

...Then I saw this brightness standing separate before the Face of God, turning and shaping itself— or rather being shaped, for I saw that while this brightness took human form, yet it was by the Will of God that it received a form so unspeakably beautiful.(Blessed Emmerich)

Below is the full text of Blessed Emmerich vision.

THE INFUSING OF MARY’S SOUL AND HER BIRTH.

4.1 THE UNITING OF MARY’S SOUL AND BODY. I had a vision of the creation of Mary’s most holy soul and of its being united to her most pure body. In the glory by which the Most Holy Trinity is usually represented in my visions I saw a movement like a great shining mountain, and yet also like a human figure; and I saw something rise out of the midst of this figure towards its mouth and go forth from it like a shining brightness. Then I saw this brightness standing separate before the Face of God, turning and shaping itself— or rather being shaped, for I saw that while this brightness took human form, yet it was by the Will of God that it received a form so unspeakably beautiful. I saw, too, that God showed the beauty of this soul to the angels, and that they had unspeakable joy in its beauty. I am unable to describe in words all that I saw and understood. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/emmerich/lifemary.vi.html

The first vision of Blessed Emmerich was the presence of the Most Holy Trinity forming the "immaculate soul" of Mary.

In the glory by which the Most Holy Trinity is usually represented in my visions I saw a movement like a great shining mountain, and yet also like a human figure; and I saw something rise out of the midst of this figure towards its mouth and go forth from it like a shining brightness. Then I saw this brightness standing separate before the Face of God, turning and shaping itself— or rather being shaped, for I saw that while this brightness took human form, yet it was by the Will of God that it received a form so unspeakably beautiful.

So, we can see that the "immaculate soul of Mary" was formed in eternity in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity and the brightness of "immaculate soul" of Mary comes out from from the mouth of God and separate before the Face of God. The formation of "immaculate soul" of Mary takes place in the realm of the Most Holy Trinity therefore it's timeless not bound by time.Mary's "immaculate soul" was formed in the eternity of God.

And then, the next visions after the formation of the "immaculate soul" was finished in the realm of the Most Holy Trinity only then it was shown in the Heavenly Realm which the glorified angels existed.

I saw, too, that God showed the beauty of this soul to the angels, and that they had unspeakable joy in its beauty.

The word "I AM" in the Dogmatic Title of Mary's words "I AM the Immaculate Conception" denote Divine character or origin was explain beautifully in the book Fr.Michael Gaitley 33 Days to Morning Glory page52.

At the apparitions in Lourdes, Mary did not say to St.Bernadette "I was immaculately conceived" but rather "I am the Immaculate Conception". This seems to be a problem. After all, Mary was immaculately conceived.In other words, through special grace from God, she was conceived in the womb of her mother, St.Anne, without any stain of original sin by the foreseen merits of her son.So, why does she speak so strangely? Why does she make the grace she received at her conception ***her very name*?** Doesn't this almost seems as if she making herself divine? Clearly, Mary is not God. Kolbe wrestled with this apparent "divinity problem" for decades, and it lead to the following solution.

The Immaculate Conception is divine.**But the one I'm talking about isn't Mary. It's the Holy Spirit. In other words. **Kolbe believed there are two "Immaculate Conception". Mary and the Holy Spirit. Mary is the created Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception. In other words,before there was created Immaculate Conception(Mary), for all eternity there is the uncreated Immaculate Conception, the One who for all eternity "springs" from God the Father and God the Son as an uncreated conception of Love and who is the *"prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe."*So, "the Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the conception that springs from their love."

This last words "the Spirit is the conception that springs from their love." is the expression of the Abba Father and the Logos of their Love towards the Theotokos. And when Love is conceived, Proverbs8:22-ff described what kind of "created Spirit" was formed.

That is why, through the centuries, Christian liturgy has applied to her the words of the Book of Proverbs. Because she is what God wanted us all to be, she speaks of herself as the Eternal blueprint in the Mind of God, the one whom God loved before she was a creature. She is even pictured as being with Him not only at creation, but before creation. She ex- isted in the Divine Mind as an Eternal Thought before there were any mothers. She is the Mother of mothers SHE is THE WORLD'S FIRST LOVE.

"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, be- fore He made anything, from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old, before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived; neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out; the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth. He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was present; when with a certain law and com- pass he enclosed the depths; when he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters; when he com- passed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits; when he balanced the foundations of the earth; I was with him, forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times, playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me shall find life and shall have salvation from the Lord." (Prov. 8:22-35)

The World's First Love By FULTON J. SHEEN, PH.D., D.D

This is in the realm of God's Mystery and if we combined the vision of Blessed Emmerich with the reflections of St.Kolbe we will embrace the supernatural realities that the "immaculate soul" of Mary was formed in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity alone and springs forth from their "LOVE". Mary is the "beloved daughter of the Abba Father, Mary is the "beloved Mother of the Begotten Son, and Mary is the "beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Mary eternal existence springs forth from the LOVE of the Most Holy Trinity forming Her "immaculate soul" in all eternity and when the Almighty God expressed His Eternal Thought into Eternal LOVE it transcends all natural laws. Mary is God's DREAMED whose "immaculate soul" was created and formed in "eternity".

  • So it’s back to a yes she did preexist in eternity? – Kris Feb 21 at 4:16
  • @Kris Mary pre-exist as the "Eternal Thought" but Her "immaculate soul" was created or formed" in eternity as revealed by Blessed Emmerich in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity so it's in eternity. St.Kolbe teaching pointed to Mary is the "Created Immaculate Conception" in eternity.Do not be confused by the creation of the "immaculate soul" of Mary vs. the "Spirit of Created Wisdom" described in Proverbs8:22.The Spirit of Created Wisdom is the Anointing that the "immaculate soul" of Mary received in the Upper Room so that all attributes associated with Wisdom will be fulfilled by Mary.. – jong ricafort Feb 21 at 4:56
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    If Mary’s soul was created it had a beginning so it cannot have existed in eternity – Kris Feb 21 at 5:00
  • @Kris yes, it was created in the fullness of time like Jesus but in the realm of eternity. how? Mary pre-existed as Eternal Thought so Abba Father can WIlled it to exist also in eternity. When we exist in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity eventhough our world revolves in time, but the realm of God is timeless it means created in the realm of eternity and enters the fullness of time when St.Anne conceived. it's requires meditation..sorry it's hard to explain if it's in the realm of mystery. – jong ricafort Feb 21 at 5:20
  • @Kris i'm speaking of realm of eternity in the presence of God, and the realm of our world co-exist in God's Volition. It simply means Mary's soul was formed in eternity with "created substance that is Divine called grace" and not in our world like the rest of Adam descendants, but it enters time as the Holy Spirit will need to infuse it into St.Annne womb at the moment of conception. Hope my explanation is clear. – jong ricafort Feb 21 at 5:24

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