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I came across a short prayer appended to the Holy Rosary, which states that Blessed Virgin Mary had been chosen from the very beginning, to be the Mother of Jesus. Though the curse given to Satan in Genesis speaks of the progeny of woman crushing the Devil's head, it needs to be confirmed that God the Father had Mary in mind. Some references state that Mary was, at the fulfilment of time, chosen to be the Mother of Jesus.

My question therefore is : According to Catholic scholars, when was Blessed Virgin Mary first chosen as Jesus' Mother?

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When was Blessed Virgin Mary first chosen as Jesus' Mother?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II states that Mary was was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus from all eternity.

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.

489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living. By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age. Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.130 Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."

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The dogma of 1854 in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus by Pope Pius IX states the belief:

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.

Therefore, the moment you are looking for is just before the conception of the Blessed Virgin, at the latest.

The fact that Scripture seems to look forward to the role of the Blessed Virgin as mother of Him who utterly defeats the snake, in Genesis 3:15, suggest rather strongly that God at least at that moment had chosen the way history would work out. It is hard to imagine that He didn’t know the details yet.

In this light I think it is important to realize that even though God works within time, He isn’t bound by time. Saint Augustine talks about this in detail: God is the creator of time, not subject to it. As God isn’t bound by time, His knowledge, His choices, are not bound by time either. So if we may believe that the Blessed Virgin was chosen before her conception, and God knew that the child of “a woman” would defeat the snake at the time of Adam and Eve, it seems logical to assume that Mary was chosen no later then at the moment of the fall of man, and probably from the beginning of creation, as far as “when” matters to God.

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  • Welcome to C.SE and thank you for your contribution. Please follow our convention when quoting by using the quote indentation markdown ">". Linking to the source of a quote is highly recommended as well. I edited your answer as an example for you. May 12, 2023 at 16:40
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  • Given that God operates outside time, and is omniscient, he has always known that Mary would be mother of Jesus. As far as we are concerned, who must operate within a timeframe, that choice was made before time began. (Which I think is what you said!) May 13, 2023 at 19:26

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