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Mary's Immunity From Actual Sin




SANCTITY, while implying a positive, inner transformation of the soul, presupposes as well a negative aspect, namely, the freedom from sin. Justification contains two simultaneous acts: the remission of sin and the infusion of grace. In the soul of Our Blessed Lady there was no need for the first of these two acts, for she was immaculately conceived and sinless during her whole life. Since the dogma of the Immaculate Conception has been studied in a previous article (cf. pp. 328-394), we shall concern ourselves here with the truth of her perfect sinlessness.


The thesis may be stated as follows: Our Lady, through a special privilege, avoided, during the: whole course of her life, all personal sin, mortal as well as venial, and was free from every voluntary imperfection. More, she was in a unique way impeccable.




Impeccability. By this term we understand indefectibility in the moral order, or the inability to sin. It can be either direct, deriving immediately from the absolute, essential perfection of a being; or indirect, based upon some quality of the subject to whom it is attributed, or upon a state or condition in which he finds himself. The former belongs to God alone who is subsistent sanctity and the supreme principle of all holiness. The latter, as the definition makes clear, admits of varying degrees which are determined both by the dignity of the person and the principles that account for the complete removal of the possibility of sin.[i]  Thus we distinguish:


a) The impeccability that is Christ's as man because of the hypostatic union. There is only one Person in Christ, that of the Word to whom all actions, both divine and human, are attributed. Were there even the slightest sin in that sacred humanity, the sinful act would have to be attributed to the Divine Word to whom that humanity belongs, an attribution that would be absurd. This we call metaphysical impeccability.[ii]

b) The impeccability that is proper to the angels and the blessed, who are confirmed in good and incapable of turning away from the immediate and intuitive vision of the divine essence. This intuitive vision is made possible to the intellect of the blessed through the light of glory, a supernatural power infused by God. It brings about a permanent adherence to God as the highest Good and since sin, which makes man an enemy of God, consists in placing one's last end in created goods, the beatific vision confers a state of impotency in regard to sin. This is called physical impeccability.[iii]

c) The impeccability of the Blessed Virgin. A majority of authors designate this as moral impeccability. That is, because of her personal title and dignity as Mother of God she could never incur the stain of sin. Mary is not intrinsically impeccable; the divine Maternity is not a physical form that intrinsically affects and transforms her soul. All theologians admit the existence in Mary of a real predicamental relation that defines her motherhood in facto esse, i.e., from the moment that she conceived Christ. There was, moreover, a quasi-transcendental relation of Mary to the Word in virtue of which from all eternity the entire reason for her existence is to be the Mother of God. This determines her motherhood only in fieri. It is a relation based on the infallible predestination of Mary to divine motherhood.[iv] Thus from the first moment of her existence there is moral incompatibility with sin, for were she stained with the least sin it would reflect upon the honor due to Jesus. Suarez maintains the possibility of a divine motherhood in a state of sin,[v] since between the two there is neither metaphysical nor physical opposition:

A final division is that of antecedent and consequent impeccability. The former demands in a person direct opposition to the disorder of sin through some title or added intrinsic principle of deliberate moral acts. The latter implies the infallible divine prevision that a man or an angel will de facto never sin. Our Blessed Lord, the angels, the blessed in glory, and the Mother of God possessed an antecedent inability to sin, not merely the inability due to divine prevision.


Sinlessness. This may be defined as actual freedom from all personal sin. As distinct from impeccability it has an aspect that relates it to the order of fact. For a person may avoid sin de facto through an abundance of grace, the gift of integrity, or a special assistance of Divine Providence; none of these reasons, however, can remove the power itself to sin. This sinlessness embraces freedom from all mortal sin only, whereby sanctifying grace would be lost, or from all venial sin as well. [vi]


Privilege. Our Lady's absolute sinlessness is a special privilege, for it is of faith[vii] that the just man is unable to avoid all venial sin during the whole course of his life. If Mary did so, we have a clear exception to the law, and therefore, a privilege. This means that neither ordinary nor special helps which are gratuitously given to those who persevere to the end, were sufficient, but that a very unique gift was required consisting in a constant assistance of Divine Providence influencing her will in the direction of good. The fall of our first parents is clear proof that the state of innocence does not of itself confirm the soul in good. It is called a special privilege - no one else has had it as extensively nor to the same degree. After the descent of the Holy Ghost into their souls, the Apostles were so confirmed in grace[viii] that they avoided all mortal, and even, in the opinion of some theologians, all deliberate venial sin. Yet they were able to experience the rebellion of the flesh and a deceptive influence on the mind. Actually, through an abundance of grace and special helps, they succeeded in repressing these inordinate movements of the sense appetite, but concupiscence itself as an effect of original sin was always present and therefore also the possibility of having the disordered acts arise. Regarding St. Joseph, theological debate centers n whether he was free from all actual sin and confirmed in grace luring his entire life or only from the time of his marriage to Our Lady.[ix]  




The Lutherans and Calvinists protested against, and belittled the import of the Catholic attitude toward the idea of Mary's utter sinlessness. Erasmus[x] had already prepared the way for the Reformers with the introduction of his religious humanism and derisive attacks against devotion to Mary. The imputation of sin to Our Lady was due, among other factors, to false conceptions entertained by the reformers on the nature of theology which they considered an illegitimate body of deductions from Scripture. For them the Bible and the Bible only was the literal expression of God's word for all men. The Scripture, they claimed, contains very little about the Blessed Virgin an certainly does not authorize the belief in the surpassing holiness and great gifts of soul and body that Catholics attribute to her.

Moreover, their views on original sin, the intrinsic corruption of nature, and justification led logically to a denial of Mary's sinlessness, Christ Himself being the only pure and perfect God-Man.

Turmel (under the pseudonym Herzog) attempted to prove that the traditional teaching of the Church prior to the thirteenth century was that Mary, like any other human being, had sinned. Sacred Scripture and the primitive Christian community, he holds, teach the same.[xi]

The Jansenists, in rejecting the cult of Mary as an effect of superstition and a deterrent from a true interior piety, also taught that she stood in need of purification at the time she presented Jesus in the Temple; her Son contracted this stain from her.[xii] Highly derogatory to Our Lady's moral perfection was the work of A. Widenfeld, Monita salutaria B. Mariae ad cultures suos indiscretos, put on the Index in 1676.[xiii]

Pope Pius V condemned the proposition of Baius which states that the death of the Blessed Virgin is to be attributed to the fact that she incurred the stain of original sin.[xiv] 




The Council of Trent has solemnly declared that Mary, by special privilege, was preserved free from all actual sin, mortal and venial, throughout her whole life. "If anyone asserts that man, after he is once justified. . . is able to avoid throughout his lifetime all, even venial sin, except by a special divine privilege, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin, let him be anathema."[xv] According to Merkelbach this decree does not define Mary's immunity from all sin because of the use of the word tenere rather than credere. It is not, therefore, an article of faith but certain Catholic doctrine[xvi] J. de Aldama, S.J., holds that the Council is here defining the belief of the Church in Mary's privilege: "definitur fides Ecclesiae circa hoc privilegium."[xvii] Roschini has an excellent study on the history behind the formulation of Canon 23, and his conclusion is that Trent has defined the Marian privilege as well as the general law of which it is an exception.[xviii]

The soul in the state of grace can avoid any venial sin considered separately, but cannot avoid all venial sins cumulatively taken. The Council adds "throughout his life" so as not to exclude the possibility of freedom from them over a given period of time.

Pope Pius IX in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus declares that God filled Mary "far more than all the angelic spirits and all the saints, with an abundance of all heavenly gifts from the treasury of His divinity, in such a wonderful manner that she would always be free from absolutely every stain of sin."[xix]




The privilege of Mary's absolute sinlessness is implicitly revealed in the Book of Genesis in the words spoken by God to the serpent (Gen. 3: 15): "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." The enmity that is set up between the woman and the serpent must be absolute as the text demands.[xx] Now, were Mary even for a moment a slave to sin, she would not share in the complete victory of her Son over the devil. All sin, original and actual, mortal and venial, is absolutely incompatible with the state of her perfect enmity.[xxi]

Her sinlessness is again implicitly contained in the words of the angel to Mary: "Hail, full of grace. . . blessed art thou among women" (Lk.1:28). Traditional teaching on this point is that the words express a fullness of grace that extends to the first moment of her life, a fullness that warded off from her all contact with sin.[xxii] The Greek perfect participle signifies a state fully realized and still persevering in its effects, a state of being "endowed with grace," or with "divine good pleasure" in an extraordinary way. The Latin equivalent would be tota gratiata. The phrase "the Lord is with thee" is to be understood as a statement of fact, not as an indication of desire: "Dominus est," not "Dominus sit tecum."[xxiii]

Difficulties. Some of the Fathers, in explaining certain passages of Scripture that refer to the Blessed Virgin, implied or asserted that she sinned venially or showed some weakness.[xxiv] The Reformers of the sixteenth century seized on these passages to belittle the Mother of Christ in the eyes of the people. The biblical texts are the following:

1. St. Luke1:4: "But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this happen, since I do not know man.'" Mary shows signs of unbelief in the message of the angel.[xxv]

Answer: Our Lady knows, on the one hand, that her vow of virginity is God's will for her, and, on the other, that the angel's message means the Infant will have Joseph as His father. There is no conflict between her will and God's will, but between an antecedent divine will approving her virginity and the manifestation through Gabriel of a subsequent will of God revealing a plan apparently incompatible with a virginal state. She is at a loss as to how to reconcile the two, and so, not wishing to displease God, asks which course should be followed.[xxvi]

2. St. Luke 2:35: "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce." Origen, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and others interpret the sword as meaning the uncertainty, unbelief, scandal that afflicted Mary at the foot of the cross.

Answer: There is no basis for such an interpretation either in Scripture or in the general teaching of tradition. The sword of sorrow, looked at in the light of her faithful vigil near the cross, is a revelation of her compassion and Co-redemption. The Passion of Christ and the compassion of Mary form a unity that reveal her destiny of association and communion with the dying Christ. The Greek term for sword is never used to mean "doubt,"[xxvii] nor does it ever symbolize restlessness or vexation.[xxviii] Its real and obvious metaphorical meaning is deep sorrow.[xxix]

3. St. Luke 2:44 f.: In losing the Child Jesus, Mary (a) was negligent: (b) gave way to excessive sorrow; (c) was unduly disturbed as shown by her words to Jesus.

Answers: a) The parents of Jesus left Jerusalem on the third day of the Paschal solemnity with other Galilean pilgrims. The older children were free to join any of the various groups that formed. Mary and Joseph, therefore, were not anxious as to where Jesus was, "thinking that he was in the caravan," and so traveled the first day alone. In the evening, noticing that He was not among the friends and relatives, they were greatly disturbed and the next morning set out for Jerusalem to search for Him.[xxx]

b) It was a case of motherly concern. Mary had the tender love of a pure soul for her Son. Her sorrow cut deep, but it was not inordinate.

c) Mary's words: "Son, why hast thou done so to us?" are expressive not of impatience, but of deep love, of a mother's genuine sorrow, of maternal authority. The answer of Jesus is not a reproach, for His parents were not at fault. It is the answer of Jesus as a teacher. He is giving them to understand that His subjection to them must always be conditioned by the will of the Father in matters that have reference to His messianic mission. To this will Mary was by no means opposed. But even though aware in a general way that He must be about His Father's business, she may have been ignorant of the time, the place, and the precise manner for the accomplishment of that business.[xxxi]

4. St. John 2:4: 'What wouldst thou have me do, woman? My hour has not yet come." Literally: 'What to me and to thee?" The tone of the reply seems to be a rebuke and an implicit admission that the Mother's request was uncalled for.

Answer: Our Lord uses the term "woman" in six other passages and in the same meaning as that given to it in the present text. It is used in contexts where He is sympathizing, healing, consoling, affirming, praising, but never when reproving.[xxxii] Both in Greek and; Semitic the term indicates, not domestic intimacy, but an honorable address, with sentiments of filial love and piety, as shown from its use by Our Lord on the cross.[xxxiii]

The words 'What to me and to thee?" have to be understood from biblical, not modern, usage. The phrase does not mean: 'What concern is it of ours?" nor 'What do you have against me?" In all the biblical passages where it occurs, it signifies, according to context, a greater or lesser divergence of viewpoint between the parties concerned. With Ceuppens[xxxiv] we may translate it as: "What have I in common with you?" The answer was expected to be in the negative and taken as a conditioned refusal, for immediately Our Lord adds: "My hour is not yet come." Christ's hour for His messianic work, for His public career, had not yet arrived; the time to prove by miracles that He was the Son of God was to be reserved for a later date. Mary, confident of obtaining what she has asked, tells the servants: "Do whatever he tells you." It is clear, then, that Jesus neither reproached His Mother, nor denied her petition, but rather showed that the mere mention of a need from her carries great weight with Him.

5. St. Matthew 12:48: "Who is my mother and who are my brethren?" Commenting on the text, St. John Chrysostom (later the Reformers) remarks that Our Lady gave in to a feeling of vanity in the presence of the crowd. The words of Our Lord are a rebuke.

Answer: This is a completely gratuitous assertion as a study of the context shows. Mary is His Mother and wants to be near Him as she was on Calvary. The meaning is that He must not neglect to fulfill the mission for which He came into the world and therefore must set forth an example of complete detachment in the interests of the Father. Recall Lk. 2:44f. concerning His "Father's business." Spiritual affinity is superior to natural kinship - His Mother is to be numbered among those related to Him spiritually.[xxxv] The text of St. Mark 3:21 gives no grounds for the assertion that she shared in the opinion that "He has gone mad," for it is not certain that the Greek necessarily means relatives or friends,[xxxvi] or if understood in that sense, it still remains doubtful whether we are to see in the persons referred to, the "mother and brethren" of verse 31.[xxxvii] At any rate, we could very well expect His Mother to be concerned, but we see not the least indication of any desire to take advantage of her position as His Mother to receive the adulation of the crowd.

Concerning the Fathers who attribute either venial sin or imperfection to Our Blessed Lady, we note:

a) They are not speaking as witnesses of tradition, but rather presenting tentative explanations to solve an exegetical difficulty.

b) They do not interpret one and the same text.

c) They do not speak of sin in the strict sense of the term, but rather of feminine frailties. [xxxviii]




a) During the first four centuries we find the tradition of Mary's sinlessness in an implicit state, contained especially in the doctrine that she is the Second Eve. She is also compared to the Church and both are said to be without stain or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27), that is, completely sinless and all-holy. In the Oriental liturgy, said to have originated with St. James, and endorsed by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, Our Lady is referred to as "most pure, immaculate, irreproachable in every way."[xxxix]

The tradition becomes explicit with St. Ephrem the Syrian. His authentic works, as well as those put out in his name, are replete with texts that extol her sinlessness: "In thee, 0 Lord, there is no fault, and in Thy Mother there is no stain."[xl] Classical is the text of St. Augustine which is universal enough to exclude sin of any kind from the Blessed Virgin. In controversy with Pelagius, who had appealed to the saints of the Old Law as examples of sinlessness, St. Augustine states emphatically that all saints must confess with one voice that they have known the defilement of sin, "with the exception of the holy Virgin Mary in regard to whom, out of respect for the Lord, I do not propose to have a single question raised on the subject of sin."[xli]

b) The second period comprises the fifth to the thirteenth centuries. This period reveals an explicit profession of faith in Mary's immunity from all sin during the whole course of her life. We also have a more accurate interpretation of Scripture texts which in the third and fourth centuries had offered some difficulty to this universal belief.

The sanctification or purification of Our Lady which, according to some writers, took place at the moment of the Incarnation, was not to free her from actual sin, but to completely extinguish concupiscence (fomes peccati) which up to then had only been restrained (ligatus). SS. Leo the Great and John Damascene[xlii] speak of the purifying action of the Holy Spirit on her soul at the moment of the Incarnation.[xliii] This is to be interpreted in the light of the general teaching of the writers of this period, as meaning that, prior to the conception of Christ, she was not free from inordinate concupiscence in actu primo, as a habit or tendency that of itself inclines to evil and retards from the practice of virtues. Yet this habit was bound and hindered from eliciting acts contrary to right reason. After the conception of the Savior she was freed entirely from the very habit or essence of concupiscence.

At the beginning of the twelfth century, Eadmer and Hildebert of Mans explicitly assert that Mary was exempt from all stain both in body and soul all her life.[xliv] In a letter to the monks of Lyons, St. Bernard writes that Mary was granted a privilege accorded no other creature, that of being exempt from all fault during the whole of her life.[xlv]

c) In the period extending from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, there is an attempt to determine the immediate principle or cause of Mary's sinlessness and impeccability. For St. Albert the Great that principle is the fullness of grace.[xlvi] St. Thomas Aquinas holds this to be inadequate. A special assistance of Providence is needed to keep her free from the occasion of sin and to influence her will in the direction of moral good. His reason is that the human will is not sufficiently confirmed in good prior to the beatific vision.[xlvii] In this life the beatific vision is given to no one in a permanent manner, save the case of the privilege conferred upon the sacred humanity of Christ. The abundance of grace, he says, makes the commission of sin difficult, because of the infused virtues which give the soul a strong inclination to the act of the love of God and the state of constant contemplation which withdraws the soul from sin.[xlviii] But previous to the Incarnation this grace, granted to the Blessed Virgin, while contributing to the suppression of inordinate acts that anticipated the act of reason, did not render impossible movements of the sensitive appetite.[xlix] In addition to grace, she stood in need of a special protection from God for the "binding" of concupiscence, i.e., to prevent the disordered acts from arising. After the Incarnation she received a fullness of grace that confirmed her soul in good by the complete extinction of concupiscence and by the gift of perfect perseverance through the special assistance of Divine Providence.[l]

d) After the declaration of the Council of Trent concerning Our Lady's perfect immunity from actual sin, theological elaboration centers mainly on providing solutions to the objections of Protestants. Prominent in this field was St. Peter Canisius who wrote the monumental Opus Marianum directed against the Centuriators of Magdeburg.[li] The first book studies the childhood and perfectly sinless life of Mary, while the fourth examines and interprets in an orthodox sense various Gospel texts, the so-called Protestant loci communes, such as Our Lord's words to His Mother in the Temple and at the marriage feast of Cana.[lii] In defense of traditional Mariology, he also develops masterfully the Patristic antithesis of the first and Second Eve.[liii]

It is the unique merit of Suarez to have been the first to study systematically and by use of the Scholastic method, the divine Maternity of Our Lady with all its eminent prerogatives. In his Disputationes de mysteriis vitae Christi, we have a Marian theology in the strict sense of the term, wherein not only Mary's actual sinlessness, but also her impeccability are brilliantly expounded and defended.[liv] The root principle of Mary's impeccability for these theologians generally is the absence of concupiscence, the fullness of grace, a special protection of Divine Providence, and a constant flow of efficacious graces that kept her faculties free from all fault.

The Marian movement that arose during this period is still in progress. Based on a more accurate exposition of the theology of Christ and His Church, Mariology presents us with the Mother of God as stainless and perfectly holy as the Mystical Body.




1. St. Thomas gives the fundamental reason for this privilege when he says: "God prepares and disposes those whom He has chosen for a special purpose in such a way as to make them capable of performing that for which He selected them" (3, q. 27, a. 4). Now God had chosen Mary for the Mother of His Son. Were she at any time under sin she would have been unfit for her high office. Hence God gave her grace sufficient to make her always a fit Mother of Jesus.

2. If she is the Mother of God, then "for the honor of the Lord" she was absolutely sinless. Dishonor in parents reflects dishonor upon the children. Aquinas remarks that the Word who is Wisdom and Light could dwell only in a womb that was sinless (3, q. 27, a. 4).

3. Mary was chosen by God to be the associate of Christ in the work of Redemption. Now sin certainly does not contribute to co-redemptive mediation, much less does it have any satisfactory value.

4. Where there has been no mortal sin there can be no venial sin, for the latter arises from a revolt of the sense appetite against reason, whereas the former is a revolt of reason against God. Now the sense appetite is perfectly subject to reason as long as reason remains subject to God. Thus the first sin of Adam and Eve had necessarily to be a grievous sin. As it is absurd to admit a grievous sin or even its possibility in the Mother of God, we conclude that she was free from all venial sin.

This immunity from all mortal sin was due more proximately to a very high degree of habitual grace and charity which gives the soul a very strong inclination to the act of the love of God, while withdrawing it from the attraction of sin. Our Lady's freedom from all sin, due to a special privilege, demanded also a special assistance of Divine Providence through actual and special supernatural helps that gave her a prompt and generous state of soul. She was in this manner confirmed in good and rendered incapable of committing any sin. Thus, though our first parents in the state of original justice were unable to sin venially, they could sin mortally, because they lacked this confirmation in grace.

There are three reasons, deriving ultimately from her dignity as the Mother of God, that show, not only her de facto sinlessness, but also her absolute inability to sin. This impeccability was caused by: (I) the extinction of concupiscence as to its very essence, (2) the abundance of grace, (3) a special assistance of Divine Providence.[lv]




Theologians debate the question as to whether there is a real distinction between positive moral imperfection and venial sin. The more probable opinion holds the affirmative: Imperfection differs from venial sin, for the latter, being a disordered act, cannot be ordained to the end of charity, whereas an imperfection is a morally good act which can be ordained to that end, though lacking a certain amount of perfection.[lvi] What we have said on Mary's immunity from venial sin applies likewise to freedom from all moral imperfection. "The answer usually given to this problem," says Garrigou-Lagrange, "is that there was never any imperfection, however slightly voluntary, in the lives of Jesus and Mary, for they never failed in their prompt obedience to every divine inspiration by way of counsel."[lvii]



[i] Cf. J. Voste, O.P., De mysteriis viitae Christi (Rome, 1940), p. 21; G. Roschini, O.S.M., Mariologia, Vol. 2 (Romae, 1948), p. 106; G. Alastruey, Tratado de la Virgin Santisima (Madrid, 1945), p. 253.

[ii] Secondary causes of Christ's impeccability are the fullness of habitual grace and the beatific vision.

[iii] The possession of God in the beatific vision is a state of perfect happiness, and as such excludes all sin, mortal as well as venial. Cf. P. Richard, art. Impeccabilite', 1. In DTC, Vol. 7, col. 1275.

[iv] Cf. G. Rozo, C.M.F., Sancta Maria Mater Dei (Mediolani, 1943), p. 66.

[v] De mysteriis vitae Christi, op. omn. (Parisiis, 1860), Vol. 19, q. 38, a. 4, disput. 22, sectio 2, p. 327. It is beyond the scope of this article to enter into a study of the precise nature of the divine Maternity and whether or not it is a forma ex se justificans. For Scheehen, the grace of Mary's motherhood accounts for incapability of sinning on the analogy of that of Christ's humanity. Handhuch der katholische Dogmatik, Vol. 3 (Friburgi i. Br., 1882), nn. 1602-1603; Mariology, transl. by T. Geukers, Vol. I (St. Louis, Mo.), p. 205 f.; Vol. 2, p. 135 f. The sixteenth-century theologion S. Saavedra propounded the theory of an intrinsically supernatural form that raised Mary to the dignity of Mother of God. J. Delgado, La maternidad divina segun Silvestre de Saavedra, in Estudios Marianos, Vol. 4, 1945, 521; J. Alonso, C.M.F., Gracia de Maria: naturaleza y fundamentos, in Estudios Mananos, Vol. 5, 1946, p. 104. De Rhodes holds that the divine Maternity excludes sin from Mary more efficaciously than habitual grace, but that of itself it is not a form that sanctifies. Disputationes Theologiae Scholasticae, Vol. 2 (Lyons, 1661), Tract. 2, q. 4.

[vi] G. Roschini, op. cit., p. 107.

[vii] D.B., No. 833.

[viii] St. Thomas, De Veritate, q. 24, a. 9, ad 2; B. Merkelbach, Marliologia (Parisiis, 1939), p. 149.

[ix] Garrigou-Lagrange, D.P., The Mother of the Savior, transl. by B. Kelly, C.S.Sp. (St. Louis, Mo., 1948), p. 32.6; A. Michel, art. Joseph, in DTC, Vol. 8, col. 1518; Upicier, Tractatus de Sancto Joseph (Paris, 1908), a. 2., pp. 153-161; Alastruey, of. cit., p. 2.54. It is commonly held that in particular virtues some saints were free from all sin, e.g., St. Thomas in chastity and humility, St. John the Baptist in speech. Cf. Breviarium Ordinis Praedicatorum, feast March 7, Second Noctum, First Antiphon.

[x] Erasmus, Oeuvres, Vol. I (Basle, 1540), p. 663. Cf. also A. Noyon, S.J., art. Mariolatrie, in D.A.F.C., Vol. 3, col. 315.

[xi] La Sainte Vierge dans l'histoire (Paris, 1908). Cf. the condemnation of  work in A.A.S., Vol. I, 1910, p. 554, and Vol. 2.2., 193°, pp. 517-520.

[xii] D.B., No. 1314.

[xiii] Ibid., No. 1316. Cf. Grenier, Apologie des devots de la Sainte Vierge (Brussels, 1675), p. 3. The Monita influenced the reform of the Gallican liturgy. Outstanding opponents of Mariological Jansenism were De Montfort (1716), A. Liguori, (1787), G. Crasset, S.J., (1618-1692), Bossuet (1628-1704), Th. Raynaud (1583-1632), G. of Rhodes (1661), Contenson (1641-1674), P. Poire (1584-1637). c

[xiv] D.B., No. 1073. 

[xv] Session 6, c. 2.3; D.B., No. 833.  

[xvi] Op. cit., p. 143.

[xvii] Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Vol. 3 (Matriti, 1953), p. 363. Cf. also his El valor dogmatico de la doctrina sabre la inmunidad de pecado venial en Nuestra Senora, in Archivo Teologico Granadino, Vol. 9, 1946, pp. 53-67.

[xviii] 0p. cit., pp. 110-111. Fr. de Aldama, S.J., shows conclusively that the verbs tenere and credere have equal value for the Fathers of Trent, lac. cit., p. 58 f. On the meaning of "auxilium speciale," "magnum perseverantiae donum," and. similar Tridentine expressions cf. Hefner, Die Enstehungsgeschichte der Trienter Rechfertigung Dekretes (Paderbom, 1909), p. 352. This Canon does not touch the question of Mary's impeccability, nor the cause of her absolute sinlessness.

[xix] Cf. Ineffabilis Deus; in Col. Lac., Vol. 6, p. 836. Cf. also Mystici Corporis of 1 Pius XII, A.A.S., Vol. 35, 1943, 247.

[xx] Though the pronoun "she" in the Hebrew text is masculine and stands for the posterity of the woman, there is no essential difference between it and the Vulgate ipsa, since the woman is to achieve perfect victory in association with her seed.

[xxi] J. B. Terrien, S.]., La Mere de Dieu et la Mere des hommes, Vol. 3 Paris, Bk. I, pp. 26-49. F. Peirce, S.J., Mary Alone is "the Woman" of Genesis 3, 15, in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 2, 1940, p. 245.

[xxii] Cf. Ineffabilis Deus. Hence the Church applies to her, as the sponsa Christi, this text from the Canticle of Canticles, 4:7: "Thou art all fair, Omy love, and there is no stain in thee."

[xxiii] M. Jugie, A.A., L'Immaculee Conception dans l'Ecriture Sainte (Rome, 1952), p. 48 f.; U. Holzmeister, S.J., Dominus tecum, in Verbum Domini, Vol. 8, 1928, p. 363.

[xxiv] Fathers and early writers who seem to have erred: (I) Tertullian says that Mary for a short time failed to believe in Christ. "With the brethren of Jesus, Mary did not believe in Him and hence must yield to Martha and Mary Magdalen in faith," De carni Christi, 7; PL, 2, 766. (2) St. Basil: Epistola, 260, 9; PC, 32, 965. (3) St. John Chrysostom appears to have thought that there was taint of vainglorious self-assertion in Our Lady's action at the marriage feast of Cana: Homilia 44 in Mathaeum; PC, 57, 463. (4) Maximus of Turin: Homilia in Epiphania Domini, I; PL, 57. St. Cyril of Alexandria interprets the sword of sorrow as the scandal she experienced on Calvary: In Joannem, 19, 25; PC, 74, 661. Origen says, that the sword of sorrow were the doubts and scandal that shook the faith of Mary during the Passion: In Lc. homilia 17; PC, 13, 1845. Cf. Biblica, Vol. 29, 1948, p. 226. He influenced several writers of the time.

[xxv] Thus Harnack, Zu Lc. I, 34-35, in Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentlich Wissenschaft und die Kunde der iiZteren Kirche, Vol. 2, 1910, 55 f. He parallels Lk. 1 : 34 and Lk. I: 18. But there is a marked difference between the two. Zachary doubts the word of the angel and asks for a sign that he may believe. Hence the punishment that follows. Mary believes from the start and inquires only as to the way in which the fact is to be accomplished. Suarez, op. cit., q. 27, a. 6, disputatio 4, sectio 3: Zachary asks, "How shall I know this?" Mary, "How shall this be done?"

[xxvi] Cf. P. Joüon, S.J., Note d'J1criture Sainte, in Nouvelle Revue Theologique, Vol. 66, 1939, p. 794. This question implied no positive error on her part, since she interpreted the words of the angel in their natural meaning. Her perfect conformity to the will of God is shown by the words: "Be it done to me according to thy word."

[xxvii] G. Estius, Annotationes in praecipua ac difficiliora S. Scripturae loca (Antwerp, 1652), p. 349.

[xxviii] T. Zahn, Das Evangelium des Lucas (Leipzig, 1813), p. 157.

[xxix] W. Bauer, W6rterbuch zu N.T. (Berlin, 1937), p. 284; Zorell, Novi Testamenti lexicon graecum (Paris, 1931). Cf. T. Gallus, S.J., De sensu verborum Lc. 2, 35 eorumque momenta Mariologico, in Biblica, Vol. 29, 1948, pp. 220-239.

[xxx] L. Fonck, S.J., Duodennis inter doctores, in Verbum Domini, Vol. 2, 1922, P. 21.

[xxxi] Cf. B. Bartmann, Christus ein Gegner des Marienkultus? (Freiburg, 1909), pp. 47-52; Maria im Lichte des Glaubens und der Friimmigkeit, (Paderborn, 1922), pp. 123-126; Lagrange, L'Evangile selon saint Luc (Paris, 1948), p. 94. On the meaning of "my Father's business" cf. F. Fields, Notes on the Translation of the N.T. (Cambridge, 1889), pp. 50-56; P. Temple, "House" or "Business" in Lk. 2, 49, in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. I, 1939, pp. 342-352; U. Holzmeister Quaestiones Biblicae de S. Joseph, in Verbum Domini, Vol. 24, 1944, p. 241.

[xxxii] E. Power, S.]., Quid mihi et ubi, mulier? nondum venit hora mea, in Verbum Domini, Vol. 2, 1922, p. 129. P. Gächter, Maria in Kana, in Zeitschrift fur Katholische Theologie, Vol. 55, 1931, pp. 351-402; E. Zolli, Quid mihi et tibi, mulier?, in Marianum, Vol. 8, 1946, pp. 3-15; E. di Cristo Re, Che significa "quid mihi et ubi"? in Scuola Cattolica, Vol. 75, 1947, pp. 137-142; P. Vanutelli, Alle nozze di Cana, in Marianum, Vol. 10, 1948, p. 72; G. Roschini, C.S.M., La vita di Maria (Roma, 1945), p. 245.

[xxxiii] Cf. A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. The Gospel according to St. John (London, 1953), p. 983, 786 b.

[xxxiv] De Mariologia Biblica (Romae, 1948), p. 184. P. Jotion, Notes philologiques sur les Evangiles, in Recherches des sciences religieuses, Vol. 18, 1928, p. 356.

[xxxv] Cf. F. Friedel, S.M., The Mariology of Cardinal Newman (New York, 1928), pp. 281-282. M. Scheeben, Mariology, transl. by T. Geukers, Vol. 2, p. 131. J. de Aldama, S.J., Sacrae Theologiae Summa, pp. 365-366.

[xxxvi] La Sainte Bible, L. Pilot-A. Clamer, Vol. 9, Evangile selon S. Marc, pp. 438-439.

[xxxvii] J. Steinmueller, Exegetical Notes, in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 4, 1942, pp. 354-359.

[xxxviii] C. Boyer, S.J., Synopsis praelectionum de B. Maria Virgine (Romae, 1946), p. '23. Friedel, S.M., or. cit., p. 283.

[xxxix] J. D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amr1issima collectio, Vol. II (Florentiae, 1775), canon 32, col. 958. The universal tradition of the Eastern Church has ascribed this liturgy to St. James in which we find many prayers and invocations to Our Lady. The Jacoban Syriac liturgy has the following: "The Father sent Me the Word. . . and Gabriel, as a husbandman, sowed Me. The womb of Mary as the good soil received me . . ." J. Comper, A Handbook of Liturgies (Edinburgh, 1898), p. 74.

[xl] Carmina Nisibena, ed. Bickell (Leipzig, 1866), pp. 28-29. St. Ambrose describes her as endowed, through grace, with an integrity that rendered her sinless. Expositio in Ps. 118, sermo 22, n. 3°; PL, 15', 1521.

[xli] De natura et gratia, c. 36, n. 42; PL, 44, 267. The opinion of St. Augustine dominated the whole of tradition. Cf. Le Bachelet, art. Marie-Immaculee Conception, in DTC, Vol. 3, cols. 210-275.

[xlii] Sermo 22, Pi, S4, 196. De fide orthoaoxa, I, 3; PO, 94, 986; In dormit. B. Mariae Virginis, 1.3; PG, 96, 704.

[xliii] Thus Venerable Bede writes that through the operation of the Holy Spirit she was purified from carnal concupiscence. Homilia, Opera paraenetica, lib. I, Homilia I; PL, 94, 12.

[xliv] De excellentia B. V. Mariae, 3; PL, 159, 560. Hildebert, Sermo 69; PL, 171, 677.

[xlv] St. Bernard, Epistola 174, 5, PL, 182, 334. Richard of St. Victor, Explicatio in Cant. Canticorum, 26, 29; PL, 116, 482 and 416; De emmanuele libri duo, Ii PL, 196, 660.

[xlvi] Mariale, q. 134; Opera Omnia (Paris, 1898), Vol. 20, p. 91. Alexander of Hales, Summa theologiae (Venetiis, of the Incarnation, the reason given being that the doser one comes to the source of grace, the greater are the supernatural gifts that one receives, and the more remote the possibility of sin. Mary, as the Mother of God, came into immediate contact with the divine Person and sacred humanity of her Son, and thus received the perfect fullness of grace that confirmed her in good while extinguishing con- cupiscence. De purificatione B. M. V., sermo I, (IX, 634 ab); in 3 sent., d. 3, pars I, q. 2, quaestio 3. Cf. E. Chiettini, O.F.M., Mariologia S. Bonaventurae CRomae, 1941), p. 150 f. As corroborative arguments of fitness he gives the following: her absolute virginity, the impossibility of damnation, and a holiness surpassing that of the angels.

[xlvii] S. Th., I, q. 100, a. 2.

[xlviii] De Vertate, q. 24, a. 9.

[xlix] S. Th., 3, q. 27, a. 4 ad I.

[l] Contra Gentiles, lib. 3, Chap. 155. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception makes it clear that Mary was free from concupiscence in actu primo et secunda from the first instant of her existence.

[li] 0pus Marianum, first put out in 1577, p. 780 under the title De Maria I Virgine incomparabili et Dei Genetrice sacrosancta libri quinque, Secundus Commentariorum de verbi Deicorruptelis (Ingolstadt, 1;83), lib. I, c. 10, lib.. 4, c. 1 f. Vol. 2, p. 73, 386 ff..

[lii] In Bourasse's Summa aurea de laudibus Beatissimae Virginis Mariae, Vol. 8, col. 1210 ff. Cf. O. Braunsberger, B. Petri Canisii Societatis Jesu epistulae et acta (Friburgi i. Br., 1896-1923), 8 vols.; Vol. 7, p. 392.

[liii] Scheeben, op. cit., p. 488.

[liv] Opera omnia, Vol. 19 (Parisiis, 1860), Cf. Manteau-Bonamy, D.P., Maternite divine et Incarnation (Paris, 1949), p. 17;; J. Bover, S.J., Suarez Mari6logo, in Estudios Eclesiasticos, Vol. 22, 1948, pp. 311-337. Another noteworthy Marian theologian of this period is St. Lawrence of Brindisi. His Mariale develops the fundamental Mariological principles, while his Lutheranismi Hypotyposis (3 vols.) traces the historico-doctrinaI genesis of Lutheranism. Opera omnia, 9 vols. (Patavi, 1928-1944). Cf. G. Roschini, La Mariologia di S. Lorenzo da Brindisi (Padua, 1951). Cf. also Roberti Bellarmini opera omnia, Vol. 3 (Parisiis, Vives, 1870), preface, pp. 134 and 137; book 3, ch. 16, pp. 319 and 321.

[lv] CE. St. Thomas, Scriptum super sententias, lib. 3, d. 3, q. I, a. 2, sol. 2.

[lvi] Garrigou-Lagrange, Christian Perfection and Contemplation (St. Louis, Mo., 1944), p. 43o. cr. A. Schellinckx, Autour du probleme de l'imperfection morale, in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, Vol. 4, 1927, pp. 195-2°7. For the negative, cr. E. Ranwez, Pe.he veniel et imperfection, ibid., Vol. 3, 1926, pp. 177-200. Hugueny, Imperfection, In DTC, Vol. 7, col. 1286. Prommer, Manuale Theologiae Moralis, Vol. I (Friburgi i. Br., 1915), p. 81.

[lvii] Garrigou-Lagrange, The Mother of the Saviour, p. 75.




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