In the Book of Acts the Sacraments of Confirmation of baptized Catholic were confer thru the episcopal powers of the Apostles who had received or bestowed upon the power of a Bishop.

The manifestations of the baptized Catholic who received confirmation upon laying of the hands of the Apostle are speaking in tongues and they were described as "filled by the Holy Spirit".

The numerous passages on the phrase "filled by the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts are the following: Acts8:14-17, Acts4:31, Acts6:5, Acts9:17 Acts19:6, etc.

The Apostles "filled with the Holy Spirit" at Pentecost bestowed upon the power as Bishop can administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit to every baptized beliver who had repented. In Acts8;14-17 Peter and John "lay hands" and the believer was "filled by the Holy Spirit." However in Acts10:44-47 even the mere words of Peter is enough to poured out the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Does Mary possessed the same episcopal dignity or maybe higher because She is the Queen of the Apostles?

The the passages in the gospel Luke shows that Mary can confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit by Her mere greetings.

"For he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be "filled with the Holy Spirit", even from his mothers womb. (Luke1:15)

"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was "filled with the Holy Spirit". (Luke1:41)

We can see that Mary's mere voice thru greetings can confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit even before the Pentecost happen. The Theotokos overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and bearing the Logos can be seen like the Apostles as capable of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Does Mary possessed an episcopal dignity to "lay hands" to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit to common priesthood and ministerial priesthood?

If Mary is a Virgin Priest, and not just a methapor priest but really an ordained Priest, then She is worthy and had an authority from above to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room. Is Mary really became a Virgin, Priest, the Mystery of Visitation showed Mary is not only a Priest but a Bishop for confirming St.Elizabeth and St.John the Baptist.

  • Is it possible that Mary ordained the Apostles priests and consecrated them bishops? Just asking.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 14:31
  • @KenGraham Jesus is the Christ or Anointed One, He alone can pass the anointing to the Apostles and put the visible mark of the priesthood by applying holy chrism. Can Jesus "lay hands" and confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper to the Apostles? Yes, he can, but the question is. Is it the Will of the Father? No!.. The Will of the Father is, all graces that Jesus merited must pass only thru the hands of Mary. Jesus will do the anointing but Mary the Mediatrix will seal the anointing thru outpouring of graces, that She alone was given the role as Mediatrix of all graces. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 15:34
  • Is "Queen of the Apostles" an accepted Catholic title?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 23:28
  • Yes, it is one of the oldest devotion of the Church to Mary. Mary's sovereignty encompasses all titles in the order of grace. read the Litany of Loreto an official prayer from the Vatican site. It listed in that litany "Queen of Apostles as official title of Mary. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


Does Mary possess the episcopal dignity to “lay hands” to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The short answer is no.

Seeing that one can not find a single Church Father or Doctor of the Church that affirms this unequivocally or even postulates this notion, the only response to this answer is in the negative.

To be clear, we are referring to the episcopal dignity and authority, which includes the Catholic priesthood.

Mary never was an ordained priest or bishop.

Mary could in a sense be a priest, but only in association with the Sacred Passion of her Divine Son on the Cross. The Scriptures do not mention that Mary offered her Son’s death on the Cross for our salvation, but it is possible that she did so. This would make a unique (one) offering that only a Mother could in fact make. Thus she may be a priest in the sense of association of the Passion of Christ only. She never shared in the ministerial priesthood, instituted by Christ at the Last Supper.

Mary was never ordained to the priesthood by our Eternal Priest Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ ordained the Apostles as priests at the Last Supper. Mary was not there! Catholic theology tells us that in order to be consecrated a bishop, one must be ordained a priest beforehand and that excludes Our Lady.

On the day of Pentecost, the Paraclete filled all there present with the Holy Spirit. No mention is made about Mary being given the dignity of a bishop.

Furthermore Blessed Catherine Emmerich tells us in her revelations that Jesus did anoint the Apostles on the night of the Last Supper as priests, but again Mary was not there (This is of coarse not historical evidence.):

Then He instructed them upon the priesthood, the sacred unction, and the preparation of the Chrism and the Holy Oils. Three boxes, two with a mixture of balsam and oil, also some raw cotton, stood near the chalice case. They were so formed as to admit being placed one on the other. Jesus taught many secret things concerning them: how to mix the oint­ment, what parts of the body to anoint, and upon what occasions. I remember among other things Jesus' mentioning a certain case in which the Blessed Sacrament could not be administered. Perhaps it was something bearing reference to Extreme Unc­tion, though I do not now know clearly. He spoke of different kinds of anointing, among them that of kings. He said that even wicked kings who were anointed, possessed a certain interior and mysteri­ous power that was wanting to others. Then Jesus put some of the viscous ointment and oil into the empty box and mixed them together, but I cannot say whether it was at this moment or at the conse­cration of the bread and wine that the Lord blessed the oil.

After that I saw Jesus anointing Peter and John, on whose hands, at the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, He had poured the water that had flowed over His own, and who had drunk from the chalice in His hand.

From the center of the table, where He was stand­ing, Jesus stepped a little to one side and imposed hands upon Peter and John, first on their shoulders and then on their head. During this action, they joined their hands and crossed their thumbs. As they bowed low before Him (and I am not sure that they did not kneel) the Lord anointed the thumb and forefinger of each of their hands with Chrism, and made the Sign of the Cross with it on their head.

He told them that this anointing would remain with them to the end of the world. James the Less, Andrew, James the Greater, and Bartholomew, were likewise consecrated. I saw too that the Lord twisted cross­wise over Peter's breast the narrow scarf that he wore around his neck, but that on the others He drew it across the breast over the right shoulder and under the left arm. Still I do not remember clearly whether this took place at the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, or not till the anointing.

Then I saw—but how, I cannot say—that Jesus at this anointing communicated to the Apostles something essential, something supernatural. He told them also that after they should have received the Holy Ghost they were to consecrate bread and wine for the first time, and anoint the other Apostles. At these words of Jesus, I saw at a glance Peter and John, on the day of Pentecost and before the great Baptism, imposing hands upon the other Apostles, and eight days later upon several of the disciples. I saw also that John, after the Resurrection, gave the Most Blessed Sacrament to the Blessed Virgin for the first time. This event used to be commemo­rated by the Apostles as a feast. The Church no longer keeps it, but in the Church Triumphant I see the day still celebrated. In the first days after Pen­tecost, I saw only Peter and John consecrating the Most Blessed Sacrament; but later the others also consecrated.

The real problem with this question is that it implies that the Mother of Jesus had the episcopal dignity with the power of laying her hands on the Holy Apostles. In fact the Church refutes this notion when Pope St. John Paul II the Great wrote his apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotolis:

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

If the Church had of allowed for the ordination of women, Mary would have been the first. As it turns out she is not. Now if our Jesus Christ, our Eternal High Priest, or any of his Apostles did not ordain Mary the Mother of Our Redeemer a priest, then she certainly did not enjoy the dignity of the episcopal state at all. Once again, in order to be consecrated a bishop, one must have been validly ordained a priest beforehand. Mary was not! That point is final.

  • @ianjoseph198, the polite thing to do is to thank Mr. Graham for attempting to answer your question and move on. This is in no ways a discussion forum.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 0:34

Does Mary possessed an "episcopal dignity" to lay hands and confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The direct answer is Yes, in relation to conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit to common priesthood and ministerial priesthood because Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces.

But, one may ask, Mary was not ordained and had not received the "holy chrism", the mark to "set aside or consecrate" a priest forever like Jesus the Eternal High Priest in the order of Mechizedek? Mary was already given a spiritual mark on Her soul, the angel sees the mark on Her soul saying "the Lord is with you".

Mary was "set aside and chosen and consecrated" not on earth but in eternity. While the Apostles must be ordained to effect the mark on their priesthood to become alter Christus, minister the sacraments to grant graces, and govern the Church to help in the salvation of souls. All of this priestly marks and attributes was bestowed upon Mary by God in exalted fashion. Mary do not need the holy chrism to become alter Christus, She is the one who gave Jesus the Face of Christ in the flesh.

Mary was present in all the Seven Sacraments administer by a priest. While the priest can help the souls in aiding their salvation, Mary is the cause of salvation by Her Fiat.

Mary's priesthood is written in Her Seven Sorrows that pierced Her Immaculate Heart as a fulfillment of Simeon prophecy. Mary is the Co-Redemptrix.

" The Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary. Behold, this child is appointed to cause the rise and fall of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against. so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, and a sword will pierce your soul as well."(Luke2:24-35)

Therefore, the priestly odination that set aside the priest is more profound in Mary as God is the one who had "chosen or set aside" Mary in eternity not just on earth.

Mary's ordination as royal & celestial Virgin Priest happened in the Mystery of Annunciation and Incarnation, She was not just filled with the Holy Spirit, She was "overshadowed".It was Mary's exalted Pentecost.

Mary's dignity surpasses the "episcopal dignity" received by the Apostles because She is the Queen of the Apostles. Mary's dignity surpasses even the dignity of all the episcopate who became Saints and Martyrs because Mary is the Queen of Martys and Saints. Perhaps the dignity of Mary is so great that Her dignity surpasses even all the angels combined including all the fallen angels. She is the Sovereign Queen of Angels and the Sovereign Queen Heaven and Earth. Mary bearing in her womb the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords has a share in the royal dignity of his beloved son Jesus Christ.

"The highest heavens cannot contained God whom She carried in Her womb."

The dignity of Mary was written and professed by the Catholic Church in the Dogmatic Constitution chapter 8 in Lumen Gentium.

Also, the episcopate or the Bishops in order to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit must strictly follows the Rites of Confirmation instituted and instructed by the Church to confer the sacraments. The Bishop or the delegated priest must put on the holy chrism to the baptized person, say the invocation prayer and lay his hands to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, the Blessed Virgin Mary as shown in the gospel of Luke when She visited her cousin Elizabeth, Her mere greetings was enough to confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

" And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."(Luke1:41)

And not only Elizabeth was confirmed but also Mary fulfilled the prophecy on St.John the Baptisr.

" For he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be "filled with the Holy Spirit", even from his mother's womb." (Luke1:15)

This passages in the gospel of Luke showed that Mary surpasses the "episcopal dignity" of all the Apostles as She can and had applied the merit of Christ won At the Foot of the Cross even the before Jesus had offered His passion, crucifixion and death on Calvary and even before the arrival of the Holy Spirit at the Upper Room during Pentecost.

Mary had conferred the graces merited by Jesus Christ in advance to St.Elizabeth and St.John the Baptist by Her mere presence and greetings.

The passage on Luke1:41 is a proof that the Theotoko's presence and by Her leading the invocation prayer in the Upper Room has the power to call down the gifts of the Holy Spirit to come down on all the Apostles for them to receive the gifts and be "filled by the Holy Spirit".

Does Mary need to "lay Her Maternal hands" to the Apostles or Her mere presence and prayer is enough?

The dignity of Mary cannot be compare to "episcopal dignity" bestowed on the Apostles but rather Her dignity must be revered and be bless by the Apostles and all men throught the generations to come.

" Because He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid, for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is his name.(Luke1:48-49 Douay-Rheims)

In closing, Mary bears the mark of priesthood more profoundly than all the Apostles as She gave the Face of Christ in Her own flesh, and the one who set aside or consecrate Her is God the Father and in conferring the graces of the Holy Spirit, Mary is the beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit and given Her role as Mediatrix can pour in the graces more powerfully.

Mary not only resemble an "episcopal dignity", She surpasses it! Both in the aspect of ordination as Co-Redemptrix and in conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit as Mediatix.

Mary's priesthood is in the order of grace not in the order of Melchizedek.

Mary is the Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix of all graces. Mary Virgin Priest, pray for us.


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