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Was Jesus’ birth “wondrous, painful, joyful, bloody and messy”?

Full Question

The Little Rock Scripture Study booklet contains the following statement for the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary: “His birth was like ours, wondrous, painful, joyful, bloody and messy. ” Is this supported by Church teaching?

Answer

The statement is problematic as it reads like an established fact when the Church has no official teaching on the physiological.aspects of Jesus’ birth. What the Church does teach is that “Mary bore her Son without any violation of her virginal integrity” (De fide on the ground of the general promulgation of doctrine).

Ludwig Ott, in his book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, explains that “The dogma merely asserts the fact of the continuance of Mary’s physical virginity without determining more closely how this is to be physiologically explained” (205). However, he goes on to say that in general, “the Fathers and Schoolmen conceived it as non-injury to the hymen, and accordingly taught that Mary gave birth in miraculous fashion without opening of the womb and injury to the hymen, and consequently also without pains” (cf. Summa Theologiae III:28:2). For further reading on this subject, see The Virgin Birth and the Birth of Science by Stanley Jaki.










12 comments

  1. Kalisa Reply

    Wouldn’t there also be the fact that Mary is without sin even original sin so she wouldn’t have been in pain when giving birth since that was one of the consequences that came with original sin for females

    1. Rose of Sharon Reply

      I’ve thought this, and totally agree with you.

    2. angelica Reply

      kALISA I like your answer I never thought about this… I will ask a priest I think it is very interesting..

  2. Dee Staub Reply

    I believe that because Mary was conceived without original sin that she bore NO pain in childbirth and that GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT brought this WONDROUS BABE IN TO OUR WORLD BECAUSE THATS HIS NATURE! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD, CUZ THATS HIS NATURE – WOW!!

  3. Amy Reply

    This may sound picky, but it seems to me that, if Jesus had not been born in the usual human way, “opening the womb,” the Jewish law stipulating that any male child who opens the womb be consecrated to God would not have applied to Him. Yet, Mary and Joseph consecrated Jesus to God in accordance with this law, which suggests that they regarded Him as having “opened” her womb. Did the early Church Fathers explain this apparent discrepancy?

    1. Anthony P Stine Reply

      They followed the law out of obedience, not because they were subject to it. It’s the fruit of the mystery of the presentation of the lord for the rosary.

  4. Lu Reply

    Interesting enough, my wife and I have discussed this before. While by no means is this official teaching, when you read Genesis 3, of the punishments inflicted upon Eve by God, He said, “I will intensify your toil in childbearing; in pain* you shall bring forth children.” This is one of the marks of Original Sin.

    Now, as we believe that Mary was Immaculately Conceived, born without sin, and contained no stain of sin, wouldn’t it be safe to say that she would not suffer the effects of Original Sin? That the birth of Christ would, at the very least, not be painful? Wondrous and joyful, yes. Bloody and messy, sure, why not? But I would have to be convinced that it would have been painful.

    Again, these are just my thoughts.

  5. Silvano Toso Reply

    Virginity is also the proof that a woman did not have sex by penetration, and that is widely accepted as “untouced”, pure, intact and so on…
    The question whether or not Mary gave birth in the usual way points to the “fact”, that if so, she could not be called virgin no more. This is the standpoint, the argument of many protestants and antimarian people. Interesting is to notice that all of the Christians, whether Catholics or not, including the Muslims, accept the Virginity of Mary at the moment of conception. That is a clear God’s miracle, a clear will of God. Yet, they fail to believe that God can also do the other miracle of having Jesus being born without breaking Mary’s hymen. That is really patetic to say the least: believing that Jesus was born without sexual act is easy because the center of the question is Jesus. Believing that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus becomes impossible, because the center of the question now is Mary and not Jesus. Either you believe that God is omnipotent or you don’t. As I always say to these proterstants and alike: The Truth is not like a pizza: give me more of this, but take away some of that, because that is how I want it. The Truth is the truth and “basta”.

  6. Lorry Reply

    We have a tendency to think in human form, which is why God said His Thoughts are above our thoughts, and His Ways are above our ways.
    God had a plan in place already when He told Adam and Eve to go and multiply. That plan did not include the now- known structure of childbirth, or for the work man has to perform to provide for his family.
    Mary was given the same opportunity to say yes or no, so was given the same “playing ground”, born without the influence of original sin. She lived her life as we were meant to, had Adam and Eve not messed up!! But living yet, in a world being under the sin she did not share. In order for them to protect His life, they had to comply with the Law.
    Just as Jesus did not”need” to be Baptized, but for our sake, was – so WE could understand what Baptism does for us.

  7. Mary Reply

    There is a wonderful little book I love to read, it’s called; ‘Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden ‘ on the Life and Passion of our Lord and the Life of His Blessed Mother. It is one of the spiritual classics of the Church. In Chapter VIII, The Nativity, she explains beautifully, how Our Lady gave birth to Our Lord. Not in the typical way, but you must remember, the Holy Spirit conceived in her womb Our Lord at her Fiat, she did not deliver Him in the usual fashion. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

  8. Pingback: What does the Church teach concerning Mary’s virginity? | PagadianDiocese.org

  9. Emmett G Hubarth Reply

    I believe that one of the most difficult things for us to comprehend is that Jesus was and is, both true man and true God. God did not need to be baptised but the man did. The man was bound to follow all the laws good set down even though He was in fact the Word made flash. And Mary even though was without original sin still needed to follow the law. I also think there is a difference between losing ones virginity and being with child. A woman could very easily no longer be a Virgin yet never have her womb opened by a child.
    All in all it is miraculous and one of the mysteries e will need to wait to find answers to.

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