Who is the woman referred to in Genesis 3:15: Eve or Mary?

Full Question

I’ve heard it said that the woman referred to in Genesis 3:15 is Eve, not Mary. What does the Church teach?


Pope Pius IX, in his dogmatic bull Ineffabilis Deus, says the following:

These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind . . . saying, "I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed" taught . . . that his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both [Mary and her Son] against the evil one was significantly expressed.

And Pope John Paul II taught in Mulieris Dignitatem:

It is significant that [in Galatians 4:4] St. Paul does not call the Mother of Christ by her own name, "Mary," but calls her "woman": This coincides with the words of the Protoevangelium in the book of Genesis (cf. Gen. 3:15). She is that "woman" who is present in the central salvific event that marks the "fullness of time": This event is realized in her and through her.



  1. Mike Loria Reply

    Amen. It is also Christ who is the word of God telling Satan if the coming salvation. Jesus Christ is the co-creator of life and he is the word

  2. R Brooke Holstedt Reply

    I’m not sure, if it is actually Mary – but Jesus’ giving us Salvation is told of in Genesis. So maybe this is actually a reference to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

    1. Amaladoss Gnanapragasam Reply

      I’m also not sure..When God uttered these words there was only Eve..why “enmities” in plural form.. Is it a cryptic expression or a prophesy …? Not convincing to my poor mind. Anyway “faith starts when reason ends”

Leave a Reply