How do we explain the necessity of Mary's immaculate conception?

By November 18, 2014 8 Comments

Full Question

How should one explain to a Protestant why it was necessary for Mary to be conceived without original sin but that it does not naturally follow that her parents (Anne and Joachim) would have also had to be immaculate?


Original sin is the deprivation of sanctifying grace. In the present condition of the human race, we cannot function properly if we have been conceived with original sin. Being conceived in this way damages the person such that they are born with a fallen nature. This damage is known as the stain (Latin, macula) of original sin.
To cause Mary to be born without original sin and its stain (i.e., immaculate), God infused sanctifying grace into her soul at the moment of her conception. Mary was given the special privilege of being conceived without original sin (with sanctifying grace) and without the damage or stain such a conception causes. This was done to equip her with the graces needed to make her a fit Mother for the Redeemer and for the Church.
Mary’s preservation from original sin was accomplished in anticipation of her Son’s redemptive work. Therefore, Jesus is also Mary’s Savior. Because of what he would do on the cross, this grace was given to her early. The gracious character of this blessing is also the reason that Anne and Joachim did not need to have it: It was a grace God could give to anyone at any time. He chose to give it to Mary to make her a fitting mother for his Son.
This grace was not given to Anne and Joachim because it was not fitting for them to have the same precise graces as Christ’s own mother, who bore him in her womb. No doubt they were very blessed in many ways, but not as blessed as their daughter.


  • Mario Simonelli says:

    In John 1:17, we read “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth we realise through Jesus Christ,” In other word Jesus created a human character that was holy. To put it plainly “grace and truth” or “holy character” is one and the same.
    Now if Mary was conceived without original sin or “by immaculate conception” she would have been holier than Jesus: because if she was immaculate the devil could not tempt her; we know that Jesus was tempted. Begs the question, was she better than Jesus?
    Not at all better, blessed but not better for if we make Mary better than Jesus we will be close to blasphemy. Whoever made up the story of the immaculate conception did not understand what was or is the original sin. Please let me explain to you the sin that Adam and Eve committed.
    An excerpt from an article in my book “The Way God Told It”
    Many Christians, and many Christian denominations, struggle to define the origin of the original sin for most of us have never considered that when Adam sinned, sin become an integral part of our human character. It is something innate and undetectable. So in order to understand sin and humanity’s fall from grace we must begin where it all started and that is from the first sinner, “Satan” and the sin he committed. We all know that Satan’s sin was to covet the likeness of the Most High God for in Isaiah 14:14 we read: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
    Adam’s sin was to follow Satan and allow himself to covet the knowledge equal to God, for in Genesis 3:4-6 we read: “And the serpent said to the women, ‘You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (gratifi-cation of the body) and that it was a delight to the eyes, (gratification of the senses) and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, (gratification of the ego) she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
    In contrast, Jesus’ loving character did not covet equality with God, for we read in
    Philippians 2:3-7: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant.”
    Therefore, we should realise that coveting is Satan’s sinful character. Obviously Adam was enticed to follow him in disregard of God’s commandment and by that action Adam made coveting the evil integral part of the human character. It remained the integral undisputed ruler of our lives until the law given to Moses contained the commandment, “You shall not covet,” for we read in Romans 7:7-8: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the law; for I would not have known about coveting if the law had not said, ‘you shall not covet.’ But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the law sin is dead.”
    The many insidious components of this sin of “coveting” is made clearer still when we read 1Corinthians 10:1-11, for it says: “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well pleased, for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages have come.”

  • TM McFoots says:

    How do you figure that? Wasn’t Our Lord Jesus immaculate/sinless? Yes, He was, and Satan tempted Him several times. Why do you presume that Satan could not tempt Mary? She was human, and not divine like her Son. Yes, she was conceived without the stain of original sin, thus she didn’t have to suffer a fallen nature due to original sin, as we do. Even that didn’t prevent her from being tempted by Satan. The point is that Mary, not having the fallen nature that we do, never gave into Satan’s ploys to tempt her. She never sinned. If Jesus, the Son of God Himself was tempted by Satan, why couldn’t Mary be? I’m sure Satan tried at every opportunity to cause Mary to give up on God. Her life wasn’t an easy one. She didn’t always understand God’s plan in her life, but she never questioned, or gave up when life was difficult. Even as she stood at the foot of the cross watching her Son in agony, she never gave up on God. Satan never won.

  • haeykinah says:

    WHAT is original sin? if such a “word” is duplicated then there are differences in the way of sinning. On that note, one would be saying that some SIN are greater than some. This motion is never purely related, I see these suggestion as a way to neglect the real council and purposes of the crucifixion, and in so doing the that must be argued as one of the greatest abomination on earth, which exceeded “blasphemy.” The motion of mary born without “original sin” had been opposed by many theologians, and i think of it as a folly.
    Firstly, having sex is not a sin, it’s just the way you go about doing it. Anah and Jeoachim (Mary’s parents) did have sexiual intercourse, and that’s the reason why Mary was flesh of flesh. The need for a more definition of original sins need to be more specific. If I say that when one birth by original sin, one allotted a “sinful nature” and can not thing properly, then tell me another way of a birth that one would be without sinful nature and would not be stressed by the difficult task and the emotional path of life.
    Both mary and the messiah adopted that sinful nature and with it they both learnt the way of life. The messiah, in HIS call as a mediator of our sinful act, understand the weaknesses of the flesh by means of His experiences in that form. Without that intellectuality and experience in the that sinful flesh He could never be a desirable mediator and judge of the world.
    You catholic must make a decision to pray to either mary or the OnLY MEDIATOR who is “Yeshua the Christ.” There is no sin that can be forgiven unless through the “Son of Yahweh (God)”. Read the Scripture and it will tell you that Christ says ask only in my name of any thing, Mary as the “mediatrix of grace” is like a stone in the face of Yahweh (god). We are only save through the grace of Christ not Mary..

    • jatunzi says:

      What about Mary and her sons/daughters ‘committing’ sin at the day they where pushed by the jewish authorities probably to try to influence Jesus, when Jesus reacted: “Those who are doing the will of God, are my mother, brother and sisters…’
      Why otherwise did Jesus refuse to meet his mother and the rest of his family outside the house where he was preaching….?
      The idea of Mary as being conceived without sin is not covered anywhere in the Bible, and anyway very unbiblical by all means.

      • haeykinah says:

        i still am not clear of the status of being conceived without sin!!!! What is conceived without sin? Is it that one is saying that sex is sin, especially when one is plated in sacred oneness?

      • haeykinah says:

        I understand all details of sins, but the term “ORIGINAL SIN”, as of Mary “conceiving without original sin , needed more clarity. Is it that Mary conceived without sexual activity? If this sexual activity is sin, then every soul that engage in wedlock continued to sin, even in marriage.

  • I ageed with the stateme nt of mr TM mcfoot and it is truth which could not be denied. Mr.haeykinah is talking about his learning of jehova witnesses, in my culture they are so far called AHEMEDIES in christians Im astonishe d to hear that some people put OUR LADY UNDE R SUCH DEBATES, SHAME FOR THEM. Nodought they can put their own mothers in to tasks wheather those are their real mothers or not!. Actually they are not christians (THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST THE SON OF GOD, THE ARE THE FOLLOWERS OF 666. . Thats why the have these thinkings. May be some times they can abuse God Father, for His Living words HE IS MY SON, JOHN 14 GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTON SON HE WHO BELIEV IN HIM SHOULD NO PERISHED BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. SO OUR LORD SAID TO ONE OF HIS DICIPLE SHE IS ( MOTHER MARRY) IS YOU MOTHER). Any question Im giving u my email adress do not hesitate to contact, every question be answered reference to the context. ANDREW STEPHAN BHATTI.

  • myth buster says:

    If you believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Immaculate Conception becomes a logical necessity. Mary carried within her the same Flesh of Christ that the Corinthians died on account of partaking unworthily. To do so and live, she had to be pure.

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