Note: This question is not to prove why this is wrong rather to find out if this is an official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Do Catholics believe that Mary mother of Jesus is as holy as God?

If so:

  1. Is there any catholic document to explain this teaching?
  2. When was this teaching brought into the catholic church and by whom based on which source of information?

Explanation added to distinguish between Are Catholics allowed to call Mary 'perfect' by virtue of her Immaculate Conception?

This is not a duplicate of the above question already answered. However, introducing the above question by @KenGraham as possible duplicate brings into picture additional questions to be answered for the sake of clarity.

  1. Were Adam & Eve before the first sin, and Mary as Holy like God according to the catholic church? The holiness referred here is the word qadosh as in Isaiah 6:3.

  2. Is there any qualitative difference between the holiness of God as mentioned above in Isiah 6:3 and the holiness ascribed to Mary according to the catholic church?

  3. Is there any qualitative difference between the holiness of Mary and the holiness ascribed to other catholic saints such as St Jude according to the catholic church?

  4. Is there any qualitative difference between the holiness of Mary and the holiness of the Hebrew brethren as mentioned in Hebrews 3:1 according to the catholic church?

  • 4
    I'm not sure how you think degrees of "sinless" makes sense. You're either sinless or you're a sinner.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 12:37
  • 2
    That is what I also want to know. When we speak of God's holiness are we just saying that God was as holy as Adam & Even before the fall? Or is there something more to God's holiness than having a sinless nature? Adam and Even were sinless but they could sin. God is sinless but God also cannot sin. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 15:11
  • 3
    The doubt came when a catholic told me that Mary is not just holy as the saints like Jude but her holiness is above the holiness of the saints. Her holiness was like the holiness of God. So I want to know what the exact catholic teaching is. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 15:12
  • 1
    I suspect many would say that this suggests a category error in trying to talk about God being sinless, since sin is either a rejection of God or damage to the relationship between the sinner and God. By contrast, Mary's freedom from sin, original or personal, is a Catholic doctrine precisely because it is meaningful (though incorrect according to that doctrine) to consider the alternative.
    – Henry
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 20:42
  • 1
    @Geremia, yes. I have a good catholic friend. There are two words for holy in the Malayalam bible. They are 1) pari-shuddha & 2) shuddha. The first one is only used for God. The second one is used for saints. How ever catholics use the first one before mary, "pari-shuddha mariam". Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 5:18

2 Answers 2


Do Catholics believe that Mary mother of Jesus is as holy as God?

The short answer is no.

It is obvious, that as a result of her Immaculate Conception, her fullness of grace and her holiness, the Blessed Virgin Mary never committed any personal mortal sins. But what about venial sins? We all commit venial sins, even the saints. A venial sin is committed if one transgresses the law of God which does not oblige seriously, such as telling a lie of convenience or stealing something of small value; one also sins venially if he violates a law that obliges gravely, but for one reason or another lacks perfect knowledge and consent. In this sense, did the Blessed Virgin Mary ever commit any deliberate or semi-deliberate venial sins.

The answer of the Church to this question is a firm no. From the fifth to the sixteenth centuries the teaching of the Fathers and the theologians was almost unanimous on this point. How Mary was sinless was explained in different ways, but the fact of her sinlessness was rarely denied. In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent made the teaching official: “No justified person can for his whole life avoid all sins, even venial sins, except on the grounds of a special privilege from God such as the Church holds was given to the Blessed Virgin. Pope Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus taught that God’s grace was bestowed on Our Lady “in such a wonderful manner that she would always be free from absolutely every stain of sin, and that, all beautiful and perfect that under God none greater would be known.” Pope Pius XII said of the Virgin Mary in his encyclical Mystici Corporis that “she was immune from all sin personal and inherited.”

In light of these statements, which in turn are based on Scripture and the tradition of the Church, Catholics believe that in consequence of a special privilege of grace from God, Mary was free from every personal sin during her whole life. Therefore, she is totally pure, the immaculate one, the sinless one.

Theologians were unanimous in holding that from the first moment of her creation Mary possessed a greater degree of sanctity than any angel or other merely human being. Also, many theologians have gone further and claimed that Mary’s holiness surpasses the combined holiness of all the angels and saints. Such a statement will perhaps shock some of us, but reflection on the mystery of Mary will show that it is plausible. The Church does not teach this, but it is a pious opinion, held by many respected theologians, which is not forbidden by Church authority.

We must always remember that Mary is a creature; therefore she is limited and her holiness remains finite. So her fullness of grace is not comparable to the fullness of grace of Jesus her Son. He is the very source of grace - for us and for Mary. Since he is God, and by reason of the Hypostatic Union, from his conception Our Lord possessed the infinite fullness of grace. So he was not able to increase in grace, but she was. As her life progressed she learned more and more about her Son and his mission to redeem mankind on the Cross. She also united herself ever more closely with him and so grew in grace. Therefore, when we say that Mary was “full of grace” the expression is meant as a relative, not an absolute sense. - Fundamentals of Catholicism, by Fr. Kenneth Baker (pages 331-335)

Just as Mary’s fullness of grace was finite in comparison to Our Lord’s fullness of grace which remains eternally infinite; so to Mary’s sinlessness was by a Divine privilege, it was finite. God’s sinlessness remains totally superior and infinite.

God was the author of Our Lady’s privilege of her Immaculate Conception and by consequence her sinlessness and fullness of grace.

Mary needed to be saved like the rest of mankind.

The fullest development of the Immaculate Conception, as formulated by Duns Scotus in the 13th century, was careful to state that the Immaculate Conception does not somehow rule out the need for redemption for the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was saved just like the rest of us, and she calls God her Savior in the Magnificat (as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out). - Was Mary's Immaculate Conception Absolutely Necessary?

God is all sinless and holiness by Divine Essenes. Mary is sinless and holy by a Divine privilege and her own personal struggles to save her soul while one earth. Thus Mary’s sinlessness does not equal God’s Infinite sinlessness or holiness. Mary in all her sinlessness and holiness remains finite.

Article(s) of interest:

Immaculate Conception: Why was it necessary for our Salvation?

Was Jesus immaculately conceived?

  • Thank you so much @KenGraham. That was an excellent answer to the point! Could you please answer related questions? According to the Catholic Church did Mary need redemption? If yes from what did mary need redemption? Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:29
  • Also when you say Pope Pious's opinion...not forbidden by Church Authority. Who is the church authority? Is not the Pope's opinion considered as inerrant and equal to the Word of God? Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:35
  • Also is there a record of who introduced this teaching in the fifth century? And is there anything in the teachings of the Apostles from which this teaching is derived? Thank you. Who were the major theologians who supported this view in the 5th century? Could you please state some writings? Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 2:37
  • @SijuGeorge A pope’s personal opinion is just that an opinion. It is not binding as doctrine to the Catholic Church’s Teaching Majesterium.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 22:29

Do Catholics believe that Mary the Mother of Jesus is as holy as God?

The modified question is erroneous as it compares the holiness of a creature vs. Creator. The simple answer to the modified question is a definite No.

Below is the answer to the previous question which presented a more correct inquiry into the Catholic Church teachings in its over 2000 years history on why the Church teaches Mary was sinless.

Do Catholics believe that Mary the mother of Jesus as sinless as God is?

The simple answer is, God is a spirit and God is not subject to sin. While Mary as a creature having gifted with freewill and intellect can be subject to commit sin but by the grace of God was preserved & prevented to commit a sin. There are two kinds of sin were the Church believe & teaches that Mary was sinless. Mary did not commit any personal sin and She was also free from all stain of original sin.

Both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church believe Mary is All-Holy and did not commit any personal sin during Her lifetime.

Panagia (Greek: Παναγία, fem. of panágios, pan- + hágios, the All-Holy, or the Most Holy; pronounced Greek pronunciation: [panaˈʝia]) in Medieval and Modern Greek, also transliterated Panaghia or Panajia, is one of the titles of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.

Most Greek churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary are called Panagia; the standard western Christian designation of "St. Mary" is rarely used in the Orthodox East, as Mary is considered the holiest of all human beings and therefore of higher status than the Saints. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panagia

Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches that Mary is All-Holy;

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.

The Panagia or All-Holy pertains stated only that Mary was sinless in terms of personal sin but the Eastern Orthodox Churches is not clear in the full acceptance that Mary was sinless from the moment of Her existence stated in the 4th Dogma of the Catholic Church. The teaching on original sin is one of the factor as Eastern Othodox has a different view on this teaching.

*491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 185*4:

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.135

The Catholic Church goes even further by identifyng Mary as the chosen woman from eternity before the foundation of the world.

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

135 Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803. 136 LG 53, 56. 137 Cf. Eph 1:3-4.

St. John Paul II the Great teachings affirmed Genesis3:15 that the chosen woman is the Blesed Virgin Mary. This prophetic passage is the important verse that directly answer your question as this verse speaks of "perennial enmity", meaning Satan had not touch nor infect his malice on the Blessed Virgin Mary from the moment of her existence.

Genesis 3:15 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition 15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.


Mary’s faithful co-operation in the saving work of her Son made it fitting that she should be completely free from sin and share fully in Christ’s grace

For full text see this link: Mary's Enmity Towards Satan Was Absolute

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .