All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God?

Image of Mary-Mother-Of-GodOn a few occasions I have been approached by non-Catholic Christians about why Catholics hold Mary in so high a regard. The arguments are somewhat typical, “Why do you pray to Mary when 1 Timothy 2:5 says, ‘For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus‘?” “See!”, they would say to me, “the bible says to only pray to God alone, and you Catholics pray to Mary or to ‘dead’ saints and not to God!” Or, how about one of my personal favorites, “why do you Catholics say Mary had no sin when Romans 3:23 says, ‘…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’? Clearly Mary is one of the ‘all’ that Romans 3:23 is talking about!” Its as if they think they can toss a “gotcha” verse at us and we will simply recognize how “unbiblical” we are and pack in two thousand years of lived Catholic teaching, handed down from Christ and His Apostles to His Pope and Bishops today through Apostolic succession.

Unfortunately, as well versed as our non-Catholic brothers and sisters are in the bible, they lack a real understanding of it design, its “big picture” story of salvation history. Their protestant upbringing has trained them to pick and choose verses that seem to fit the traditions started by their Protestant forefathers, rather than to see scripture as a whole (of course there are some exceptions to this general statement). For a good resource to better understand how Catholics view scripture, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, chapter 2, article 3 entitled “Sacred Scripture”.

In a nut shell, the Catholic Church always seeks the authors intended meaning, or context, of any particular verse. Every verse must always be considered with the verses before it, after it, the chapter its written in, the book its written in, the testament its written in, the bible as a whole, and the lived teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which Christ founded upon the Rock of St. Peter, and which has survived all man-made institutions because its head is Christ Himself! (For a good example of this difference, see my article entitled “Call No Man Father… Are you sure you know what I mean?”)

In my article, “The Handmaid of the Lord, the intercessor of Salvation History”, I explored the design in scripture for Mary’s role as co-mediator in the Kingdom of her son, Jesus. I would, then, like to focus on Mary’s sinlessness in this article. To be sure, the Catholic Church does teach that Mary was not only conceived with out sin, saved from even the stain of original sin, but, also, was preserved from all personal sin throughout her life as well.

Pope Pius IX – Ineffabilis Deus – “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.”

CCC493 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.” By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.1

Note that I’m not saying that God made it so that Mary could not sin, like some robot forbidden through programing to perform some action, rather, that she possessed the same free-will than you and I enjoy, only Mary didn’t commit any sins during her life on earth. Its also important to point out what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 487, “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.” Christ, the head of the body, the divine life poured out in the Holy Eucharist, is the source and summit of our faith… Mary, like the moon reflecting only the light of the sun, reflects only the light of her divine Son… Jesus Christ!

So, how do we explain that Mary was conceived without sin and then lived her entire life without committing any personal sin? In light of Romans 3:23, it would seem like an awful tall tale, don’t you think? Lets look again at the verse only this time let’s include the verses before it and after it in the passage.

Romans 3:21–26 (RSVCE)

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

The Context:

Before we get into the “big picture” view of salvation history, as this verse pertains to Mary, let me point out a few things briefly about the verse. First, when you read the verses before it (23) and after it, it becomes obvious that St. Paul here is talking about the “law” of the Jews and its role in the faith. In fact, when you read the entire book of Romans you will see that it is a major theme throughout, not only in this letter, but, also, throughout most of his writing. St. Paul gave much energy to combating the “Judaizers” who worked to amalgamate the “old law” and Christianity.

The penultimate “law” in the mind of the first century Jew was Deuteronomy with all its regulations and punishments. The Jews, and therefore the Jewish Christians called Judaizers by St. Paul, failed to understand how God used the “law” of Deuteronomy as remedial punishment for the transgressions of the people in the worship of the golden calf in Exodus 32, as well as on the plains of Baal of Peor in Numbers 25. Rather than learn from their mistakes, repent and turn back towards God, they fell further from grace. Their role was to be the “first-born” of the entire human family (Exodus 4:22), to be a kingdom of Priests (Exodus 19:6) that would lead all of the other sons and daughters of the earth back to God from their pagan idolatry, in effect, to reverse the tower of Babel. God’s family is one… not many, and he swore to Abraham that all “nations” would be blessed through his seed, and the children of Sarah his wife (Genesis 22). (Note: the Hebrew word for “nations” is the same word for “Gentiles”.) Instead of the life of self-sacrifice that God called them too for the sake of their Gentile brothers and sisters, they became more self-centered and set themselves up as God’s “only” people, saying in effect, “all other be damed!”

Do you recall the episode of Jesus chasing out the money changers in the Temple in Matthew 21? The market that Jesus unleashed his righteous anger against was in the court of the Gentiles. This was the one place on earth where the Gentiles could come to pray to the one,True living God; only how could one pray amidst the chaos of a bustling market place? Imagine trying to pray in the middle of a Wal-Mart on a “Black Friday”… nearly impossible right? Do you think the Jews knew this? Yes, of course they did! They treated the Gentiles with nothing but contempt. In fact, there was a wall that separated the court of the Gentiles and the Court of the Jews in the Temple. Above the door that led from one court to the other was a sign that warned all Gentiles not to pass through or else they would be killed. St. Paul spoke of this “dividing wall of hostility” in Ephesians 2:14, and how Christ has torn it down and brought together the entire family of God, both Jews and Gentiles.

This is the context of the passage in Romans 3. St. Paul is teaching the Christians in Rome to understand the role that the “old law” had in salvation history, and how Christ has fulfilled all the requirements of the remedial law, and has brought about the “new law”, the Church! The new Israel (Hebrews 12) has restored the entire family of God, both Jews and Gentiles… it is truly “Catholic”, universal, and whole! St. Paul is trying to show the Judaizers that the self-centered, nationalistic, view the Jews have taken, setting themselves apart from their Gentile brothers and sisters, was not in keeping with the plan of God for the salvation of mankind. They were set apart, that’s true, however, this was done so that they would be used by God for the conversion of the Gentiles. They were to convert the pagans, not be separated from them or be converted by them.

St. Paul was showing them that just like the Gentiles, the Jews have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God. All peoples of the earth need salvation, not just the Jews. The salvation that God has brought about, is accomplished through Jesus Christ, who, when lifted up, drew all men to himself (John 12:32), brought about the new Israel, the Church, through whom God’s manifold wisdom is taught, even to the Angels (Ephesians 3:10-11), and has restored the Church as a Kingdom of Priests (Revelation 1:6) to go out into all the whole world and make them Disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

Second, notice the use of the word “all” in verse 23? Do you think this literally means “all” persons? Or do you think this is used more generally to refer to most? If you said literally… meaning every human person, then I would ask you if there could be any exceptions to this? For instance, did Jesus commit any sins? “But wait one minute”, you might say, “Jesus is God incarnate… of course he didn’t sin… He’s special!” To be sure… Jesus is not just special… He’s perfect! However, Jesus is still a person, both a divine and a human person and one who did not commit any personal sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), clearly this is an exception to the “all” in verse 23 of Romans 3.

So, if there is one exception, why can’t there be others? What about Enoch in Genesis 5:21-24? Unlike the rest of his family tree, Enoch didn’t die because he “walked with God” therefore, God “took him!” Could it be that Enoch too is an exception to this “all” in Romans? If so, what about other persons, like John the Baptist? Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 11:11 that among those born of women there is no one greater than John the Baptist? Or how about Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus? Didn’t Mary say that her “soul magnifies the Lord” in Luke 1:46? After all, can you honestly say that your soul magnifies the Lord?

How about the “all” who came out to be baptized by John at the Jordan?

Matthew 3:5–6

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Does this “all” truly mean “all”? Or most? Or even some? For instance, did John baptize King Herod? Or what about the scribes sent to question him? How about the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate? Clearly the answer is no, therefore this “all” too has some exceptions to it and we can not interpret these verses in so literalistic a fashion. The intended context of the verse is crucial for our proper interpretation and understanding. For instance, were you aware that St. Paul is quoting an Old Testament passage in Romans 3:23? In his effort to correct the false notion of the Judaizers, that were hanging on to the “old law”, St. Paul sets before them Psalm 14.


To the choirmaster. Of David.

1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,

there is none that does good.

2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,

to see if there are any that act wisely,

that seek after God.

3 They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt;

there is none that does good,

no, not one.

4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon the Lord?

5 There they shall be in great terror,

for God is with the generation of the righteous.

6 You would confound the plans of the poor,

but the Lord is his refuge.

7 O that deliverance for Israel would come out of Zion!

When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,

Jacob shall rejoice, Israel shall be glad.

Did you catch how strong the language is in verse 3? Not even one is good… all are corrupt! Again, does this “all” incorporate literally all persons? No! As you read on through the Psalm, its clear that there are two groups of people, the “people” of the Lord, and the “evildoers” who “eat up” His people. The “all” in this passage refer to the “evildoers” and not the “people” of God. This is the point that St. Paul is bringing up in Romans 3:23. Like those “evildoers”, the Jews have also sinned… in essence he’s saying, “your just like them, in need of Salvation!” The family of God incorporates not just the Jews, but the Gentiles too because “all have fallen short of the glory of God”, therefore, God has established His Church as the pillar and foundation of Truth, the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15) and body of Christ, through which He has truly blessed all nations. So, I think we can safely say that the “all” does not mean the “all” you might have thought it meant before.


O Mary, Conceived without sin:

So how about Our Lady? How can we say Mary was sinless? In order to answer this question we must look at Mary’s role in salvation history, and to understand Mary’s role in salvation history, we must see the “big picture”. Too many well meaning Christians today are just looking for proof texts that “seem” to support their understanding of this or that doctrine. Not nearly enough Christians are stepping back and seeing the story as a whole, seeing how all the dots are connected in the story of our salvation. In my article “Son Of God, Son Of David”, I discussed the connection between 2 Samuel 7 and Luke 1 and the implications of how Jesus is the fulfillment of the covenant God established with David, thus bringing about the Kingdom of God, both here on earth and in Heaven. In fact, the very structure of the Kingdom in the House of David would be brought back to life, and to its perfection, under Jesus’ reign. Looked at in this light, the design becomes clear… meaning, it becomes obvious why we have a Pope, a Queen Mother who intercedes for us, the Sacraments, the Church itself etc. etc. etc..

In Luke 1:38, Mary proclaimed that she was the “Handmaid of the Lord!” Mary’s role as “Handmaid Of the Lord” is tied to her role as the Giberah, the Queen Mother in the Kingdom of God (for more, see my article “The Handmaid of the Lord, the intercessor of Salvation History”). In this role she is the intercessor of the people to her son the King. Among other places, this intercessory role is intimated in John 2:3 when at the wedding feast at Cana, Mary intercedes on behalf of the “wedding party” to her son when she says to Him, “they have no wine.” Jesus’ response to her gives us insight into Mary’s role in salvation history.

John 2:4–5 (RSVCE)

4 And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Most protestants will interpret this passage as Jesus rebuking His mother. I’ve heard many pastors preach sermons on this point and it never ceases to amaze me how they could miss it by so much. Jesus is not rebuking her, rather He is pointing out the gravity of the request that she is making of him. The “hour” Jesus here refers to in John 2, and throughout John’s Gospel, is His passion, death, and resurrection… that is the road He is traveling down (c.f. John 12:27-33). It is the cross that is before Him, and He, and His mother know it, after all a sword will pierce her heart too (Luke 1:35)! In essence, He is asking her, “are you sure this is what you want? We have enjoyed thirty years together… by doing this, we make our way to the cross. There is no going back! Are you sure?”

Mary’s response is without delay, with out question, and filled with purpose! She simply turns to the servants and exhorts them to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. She wants only the best for the “wedding party” (the Church of Revelation 21), namely the coming salvation, the coming Sacraments that will pour out God’s divine life upon His people. So, if the cross is what is needed, so be it, “…let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)! Mary’s heart is so united to that of her Son, to God, that she wants what God wants… namely, the salvation of souls. To accomplish that, to Calvary she must march!

Ask yourself, what does Christ gives us the cross? He pours out water and blood from His side… the sacraments… Baptism and the Holy Eucharist! As John 12: 24 says, “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit…2”! The fruit that Christ died to give us was the Holy Eucharist and the sign of that coming sacrament was given as the first of His “signs” here in John’s Gospel, at the request and intercession of His mother, with the changing of the water into wine (the blood of the grape). Notice too, what does Jesus call her? Mother? No… rather, He calls her “Woman”! In fact, Jesus only refers to His mother as “Woman” in the Gospels, never as “Mother”. This is a significant clue to understanding Mary’s role in salvation history. Mary is the “Women” the people of God have been waiting for that would bear the Messiah, the Savior of the world! Can you see it? Step back and look at the big picture.

In John 1:1, John gives us the necessary filter to interpret his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God3”. This should immediately bring to mind Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.4” Just as Genesis 1 & 2 describes the six days of creation culminating with Man and Woman at a wedding feast on the seventh day (Genesis 2:21-25), so too does John’s Gospel set forth the six days of a “new” creation also culminating on the seventh day with a “new” Man and a “new” Woman at a wedding feast.

Read on from John 1:1, when you come to verse 29 you read, “ the next day”, which you pass by without even the slightest thought. However, you see it again in verse 35 and verse 43, and now you should be asking yourself what is going on here, why are we counting days? That Genesis “filter” John set for us at the outset should be fresh in your mind as you notice that with the “next day” of verse 43 we are up to day four in our count. Then we come to John 2:1 and we read “on the third day”. Now, we must ask the question… “the third day from what?” Well, the third day from the last day we counted which was day four… making this the seventh day, and where do we find ourselves? At a wedding feast! (There is still greater significance to the count being broken up into four days and three days, however we can not go into it in this article.)

Like in Genesis, John too depicts the culmination of this creation as a wedding feast on the seventh day. Notice the only two people in John 2 to be named are Jesus and Mary (Woman). Just as in Genesis 2 the only two people to be named were the Man and the Woman. Just as Adam and Eve were tested, so too will the “new” Adam, and the “new” Eve be tested. Only, unlike the first, the last will choose obedience to the sacrificial will of God and die to self, and thus save mankind! So Mary is here depicted as the “new Eve” of salvation history, the “Woman” whose seed will save the world.

The first Eve, was created free from the stain of all sin, formed from the rib of her husband. Like Adam, she lived in a state of sinless grace, abiding in God’s presence in the Garden sanctuary. Both Adam and Eve were given free will so that they would be without any hinderance, they would have the choice to abide in God’s presence or not… to live in a state of grace or not… the choice is theirs. God would not make slaves of mankind, however, He did set them up for success giving them everything they needed to stand the coming test. They could eat from any of the trees in the garden except one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Additionally, they were living in a state of grace, they had the fruit of the tree of life to restore their immortality, and they had recourse to God at any time they needed it, they simply needed to call out to Him.

Unfortunately, we know how the story ends. In Genesis 3, Adam failed to step up and exert his role as King over the creatures, as protector of the Garden and his spouse, and as Priest of God offering himself in sacrificial love. Rather than cry out to the one who was able to save him (Matthew 26:39 & Hebrews 5:7), he stood silent and waited for the “Woman” to intercede between him and the serpent. For the “Woman’s” part, rather than turn to her husband and say, “do whatever God has told you to do!”, she instead ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, then turned to Adam, gave him the fruit, and he ate as well. Death thus enters into the story of mankind, and from this moment on the slow decay of sin and corruption will take its devastating effects on the family of God.

There is “Good News” though. In Genesis 3:15, God announces His divine plan for the salvation of fallen man, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This is truly “good news”! In fact, the early Church Fathers refereed to this verse as the protoevangelion, or the first “good news” because it announced the coming of Jesus through the “Seed of the woman” and not the man, a prophecy of the virginal birth. Notice, though, the elements in this verse… there is the “woman”, the “seed”, and the “you” which is the serpent. The curse of the serpent was to have his appendages removed and to crawl on the ground eating “dust” all the days of his life. Question, what is man made from? Dust (Genesis 3:19)! So, in effect, Satan, the ancient serpent (Revelation 12) is roaming about the world chasing after man and consuming him. Does this mean that “all” mankind will be caught by this ancient dragon?

Notice too that this future “Woman” will enjoy enmity between her and this serpent. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, enmity is defined as “positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will”. Question, if this future “Woman” were to have any sin, either personal or original, of any gravity, could she satisfy the definition of enmity? After all, what is Satan if not the totality of sin itself? So, if the “Woman” has any sin whatsoever, she could not therefore enjoy enmity between her and Satan; could she?

Therefore, we are now on the hunt for a “Woman”, who like Eve is created free from the stain of sin, abides in God’s grace, and enjoys total enmity between her and Satan. However, unlike Eve, this future “Woman’s” intercession will not lead to destruction, but, rather, will lead to life itself! This “Woman” will bear forth life into the world… her “seed” shall become God incarnate! The Early Church Fathers clearly saw Mary as the fulfillment of this prophecy, even declaring her to be “Theotokos”, God-bearer at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. St. Jerome wrote “death through Eve, life through Mary!” There are many quotations that could be cited, but, in the interest of space, here are just two.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons – 2nd Century AD: And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.5

St. Justin Martyr – 150 AD : For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, ‘Be it unto me according to thy word.’ ” And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.6

In Luke 1:28 one of the “Burning Ones”, of the highest of the Angels, Gabriel was sent from God to a “young woman”, or a “virgin” of the House of David to proclaim what I like to call the second “good news!” and bring about the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 and Isiah 7:14 (as well as many other prophecies). “And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you’!” The Greek word used for “full of Grace” is κεχαριτωμένη (kecharitomene), and it is found only here in Luke’s Gospel (in this form) . This is a very unique word… first, it literally means she was always full of God’s grace, she is now full of God’s grace, and will always be full of God’s grace. Second, notice what Mary is “full of”? It is God’s grace that she is full of. What is God’s grace but His very life, and she alone is “full of it!” Question, if Mary were to have any sin, either personal, or original, no matter how grave, could she be said to be “full of God’s grace?” I think not!

Notice too how the Angel employes the word, “Hail, Full of Grace!” Gabriel uses it like a title… similar to the way in which we might say, “Hail, the President of the United States!” Why? Because Mary is the Queen Mother, the Giberah, in the Kingdom of God, the Son of David, the Son of God, and her Son too! Just as the word describes, from the first moment of her existence until the consummation of time and beyond, Mary was, is, and will be full of God’s abiding grace! She is the only person in sacred scripture to be described as “full of God’s grace”; don’t you think this may give her an exception to Romans 3:23?

If we turn to Revelation 11:19 through the end of chapter 12, we see Mary being depicted as the Ark of the new covenant, “…a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars…”7 Here again John uses the term “Woman” for Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Queen of the New Israel, the Queen of Heaven and Earth! This is the “Woman” of Genesis 3:15, whose seed will bring forth the Christ. You might be saying, “wait one minute, this ‘Woman’ is not Mary, its a symbol of Israel, the Church that brought forth the Messiah! Its not Mary the person!” Well, like an onion, Scripture has many layers that can be pealed back and feasted upon, and often we see any given passage will have multiple layers to them… this passage is no exception. Mary truly is a type of the Church. However, strictly speaking, I would point out that the Church did not bring forth God incarnate… rather it was God incarnate who brought forth the Church. Also, there is only one person who gave birth to Jesus, that would be Mary, and just as Jesus and Satan are not “written off” as symbols of something else in this passage, so too the “Woman” can not be just dismissed as only being a symbol and not being the actual person of Mary. Mary truly is the “Woman” who’s seed has brought forth the Christ child, there is no escaping that fact.

Follow the action, its one of my most favorite chapters in all of sacred scripture. The Dragon appears, poised ready to consume the Christ Child as he’s being born (should remind you of King Herod )! The Child then ascends to His throne and the Dragon, the ancient Serpent (vs. 9) goes after the “Woman” with everything he’s got, but, despite his ferociousness, he can never catch her! The “Woman” is preserved, abiding in God’s grace like the “wings of the great eagle” (vs 14) to fly away to protection. The earth itself comes to the rescue of the great Queen Mother, consuming the river of hate which the ancient Serpent spews out!

When the great Red Dragon failed to defile the Queen, Satan, “…went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.” Question, if the Dragon had caught her… could she have been said to have enjoyed enmity with this Serpent? No, this “Woman” has nothing in common with Satan… she truly does enjoy complete enmity with him.

So we have found the “Woman” we have been looking for since the other end of sacred scripture, Genesis 3:15! This is the “Woman” who has been created, free from the stain of all sin, and who has abided in the grace of God, enjoyed complete enmity with Satan, and said “yes” to God where Eve said “no”; it was that “yes” that saved the word… for that “yes” became God incarnate who was crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven… of us all, both Jew and Gentile! Mary is that “Woman!”, and unlike Eve turns to us, those who bear testimony to Jesus, her Son, and says to us, “do what ever He tells you!” Mary, like her Son, Jesus, also enjoys the exception to the “all” in Romans 3:23. She is the Queen Mother interceding for us in Heaven, to her Son the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lord’s!

Let us take a cue from the “Beloved Disciple”, and take Mary, the “Woman”, into our home this very hour (John 19:27) and heed her advice, prayers, and intercession, that we too might abide in God’s grace, that our soul’s will “magnify the Lord”, give Him our “yes”, and joyfully proclaim that Mary is “blessed” in our generation too (Luke 1:48)!

About the Author:

Joe McClane – The Catholic Hack! – is the director and events coordinator for Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries, as well as an a Catholic New Media producer & Evangelist. He is married to his lovely wife Michelle and they have five children. The Catholic Hack | Catholic Apologetics, Theology & More!


1 Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed.) (124). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.

2 Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britian). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, translated from the original tongues, being the version set forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testament revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1894), compared with the most ancient authories and revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1957) (Jn 12:24). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

3 Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britian). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, translated from the original tongues, being the version set forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testament revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1894), compared with the most ancient authories and revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1957) (Jn 1:1). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

4 Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britian). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, translated from the original tongues, being the version set forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testament revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1894), compared with the most ancient authories and revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1957) (Ge 1:1–2). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

5 Irenaeus of Lyons. (1885). Irenæus against Heresies. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe, Ed.) (455). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

6 Justin Martyr. (1885). Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, a Jew. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe, Ed.) (249). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

7 Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britian). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition, translated from the original tongues, being the version set forth A.D. 1611, Old and New Testament revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1894), compared with the most ancient authories and revised A.D. 1952 (Apocrypha revised A.D. 1957) (Re 12:1). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.