In the context of vocations, what is a "grace of state"?

not to be confused with "state of grace" (having sanctifying grace)

Chad Ripperger, Introduction to the Science of Mental Health, Chapter 26: Misdiagnosis of Supernatural Activities:

These inclinations also find themselves in what are called “graces of state.” For example, a priest who has received the sacrament of Holy Orders also receives certain graces which incline him toward the fulfillment of his office as priest, i.e. to offer Mass, hear confessions, etc. When the priest fails to fulfill the obligations of his state, he will often enter into a kind of depression or state of sorrow or unhappiness. This is the result of the lack of fulfillment of the desire of the inclinations of the graces of state.

Are "graces of state" different from sacramental graces from Holy Orders for priests or from Matrimony for marrieds? Is "grace of state" a type of sacramental grace? Or can those without these sacraments also receive "graces of state" (e.g., to help one live the single life or lay religious life)?

  • 1
    I don't recall ever hearing that phrase, but I'd expect it to mean actual graces that help one fulfill the duties of one's state in life. Oct 2, 2022 at 1:23
  • @AndreasBlass Yes, that's basically what it means. I've added a quote for context.
    – Geremia
    Oct 2, 2022 at 1:58

2 Answers 2


What is "grace of state"?

The Grace of State is the belief that when God chooses someone for a certain work, He gives him/her all the necessary graces to carry out that mission well in the world. - The State of Grace

For example, when God chose St. Joseph to be the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God accorded St. Joseph with all the necessary graces to accomplish his vocation as Jesus’ foster father!


Reception of a sacrament is sanctifying event and the graces of the state of that sacrament are the day-to-day helps to live that sacrament. So a husband relies on that help for matters relating to children and work etc.

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    This answer, I believe, needs some sort of a reference or citation. Also would be good to have some insight into the meaning for Holy Orders.
    – Peter Turner
    Oct 3, 2022 at 16:54

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