Did Our Blessed Mother Suffer Labor Pains?

Full Question

Did our Blessed Mother suffer labor pains when she gave birth to Jesus?


The idea that Mary did not experience the pains of labor is usually deduced from the fact that she was conceived without original sin (CCC 490-493). Since a consequence of original sin is bearing children in pain (Gen. 3:16), it seems fitting that Mary, who was preserved from the stain of original sin, would not experience its consequences.

The Church teaches that Mary’s virginal integrity remained in tact during the birth of Jesus (CCC 499, citing Lumen Gentium 57). It seems to follow, therefore, that she would have been free of labor pains.

One Scripture passage that many have looked to is Isaiah 66:7: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.”

For a list of quotes from Fathers and doctors of the Church and popes on Mary’s virginal integrity and her painless delivery, see Taylor Marshall’s online article “Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ (Scripture, Church Fathers, Popes, and Doctors of the Church).”

By Karlo Broussard



  1. Peter Spasic Reply

    Isaiah 66:7: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.”
    Doesn’t that imply she had pains after Jesus’ birth?

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    To the best of my understanding, this silly story comes primarily from the “Infancy Gospel of James” written 140 – 170 AD, and clearly fictional. There were a lot of silly stories like this that were written, but not included in the NT because they stretched credibility just a tad too far. Nevertheless the Church took “traditions” from these stories and passes them off to the sheeple as being true. Here is an excerpt that applies. It is claimed that after birth, Mary is still a virgin, but the midwife refuses to believe… She goes in and sticks her finger in Mary….
    “20. And the midwife went in, and said to Mary: Show thyself; for no small controversy has arisen about thee. And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said: Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire. And she bent her knees before the Lord, saying: O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, but restore me to the poor; for Thou knowest, O Lord, that in Thy name I have performed my services, and that I have received my reward at Thy hand. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by her, saying to her: Salome, Salome, the Lord hath heard thee. Put thy hand to the infant, and carry it, and thou wilt have safety and joy. And Salome went and carried it, saying: I will worship Him, because a great King has been born to Israel. And, behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went forth out of the cave justified. And behold a voice saying: Salome, Salome, tell not the strange things thou hast seen, until the child has come into Jerusalem.
    By now, most people should have been educated as to the “virginity” of Mary. Mark has no virgin birth. Matthew created the event in order to accommodate cherry picked “prophecies” from what we now call the OT. He grabbed a passage in Isaiah that we all know, that refers to a virgin. The thing is – the original Aramaic word was “alma” which means “young maiden” and not necessarily virgin. Had the author intended to refer to an actual virgin, he would have used the word “betulah.” When these Aramaic scriptures were translated to Greek, they used the word “virgin” instead of “young woman” or “maiden,” and the rest is history. So Mark, the first writer has no virgin birth, Matthew invents the story, Luke embellishes it. then John rejects it entirely. The Church on the other hand developed a manic obsession with Mary’s virginity and anything having to do with sex; and the world has suffered as a result, ever since.
    Mary has to be a virgin because Jesus has to be born without original sin, and sex is how original sin is passed on, thus the manic obsession with sex in the Catholic Church. Sex is inherently bad. Paul said this, but then Paul thought the end of the world was imminent and he was wrong. For the Church, regardless of what they might say, the act of sex is bad, and is only permitted under circumstances and in ways that they and only they proscribe. If Mary had sex with a man, Jesus would necessarily be born with original sin because women grew the man’s seed within them. So no sex = no seed = no original sin, and it’s all good… or so they thought. BUT then they learned in the 1800s that women did not just carry the man’s seed, but actually contributed half of the genetic material to the offspring. Now we have a serious dilemma because surely Mary’s parent’s did the naughty deed, so of course they passed original sin to Mary, who virgin or not, still had original sin that she would pass along to Jesus. My goodness! Jesus born with sin? How do you deal with this? Well in 1854, the Church decided that Mary had been born without original sin. Hallelujah! Now she can’t pass original sin onto Jesus. Never mind that there isn’t a shred of biblical support for this foolishness, what intrigues me is the greater problem. If Yahweh-Jesus has the power to let Mary be born without original sin, then one must assume that he has the power to do that for all of us, but fails to do so. How do you explain this? We are told that he HAS to have a bloody, human sacrifice in order to atone for “original sin” but apparently not…. Did he gain new powers, or were we lied to, or is the whole story suspect?
    Why is the convoluted Catholic story of redemption necessary? Why did Yahweh impregnate a young maiden without asking for her consent, in order to be born as himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself in a bloody human sacrifice, all in a convoluted scheme to rid us of the condition (original sin) that he relieved Mary of with a wink and a nod. This story stinks.
    But then, we know today that there was no original sin. Evolution and the DNA evidence say so beyond reasonable doubt. We also know there was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt and no conquest of Canaan, and without these things there is no remaining foundation for the Abrahamic gods.

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