Many Doctors of the Church on the reasons Mary was always without sin

February 15, 2022 • 2 min

From The Glories of Mary, page 349
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

Mary was not only the mother, but a worthy mother of the Saviour. Thus all the holy Fathers name her.

St. Bernard says: Thou alone hast been found worthy, that in thy virginal hall the King of kings should choose his first mansion.* And St. Thomas of Villanova: Before she had conceived she was fitted to be the mother of God.* The holy Church herself attests that the Virgin merited to be the mother of Jesus Christ.*

Explaining which passage, St. Thomas of Aquinas remarks, that Mary could not merit the incarnation of the Word, but with divine grace she merited such perfection as would render her worthy to become the mother of a God;* as St. Peter Damian also writes: Her singular sanctity merited (out of pure grace) that she should alone be judged worthy to receive a God.*

Now, this being granted, that Mary was a mother worthy of God, what excellency and what perfection, says St. Thomas of Villanova, were befitting her!*

The same angelic Doctor declares, that when God elects any one to a certain dignity, he also fits him for it; hence, he says, that God having chosen Mary for his mother, certainly rendered her worthy of it by his grace, according to what the angels said to her: “Thou hast found grace with God, behold thou shalt conceive, etc.”*

And from this the saint infers that the Virgin never committed any actual sin, not even a venial sin, otherwise, he says, she would not have been a worthy mother of Jesus Christ, since the ignominy of the mother would also be that of the Son, if his mother had been a sinner.*

Now, if Mary, by committing only one venial offence, which does not deprive the soul of divine grace, might be said not to have been a worthy mother of God, how much more if she had been stained with original sin, which would have rendered her an enemy of God, and a slave of the devil!

Therefore St. Augustine says in a celebrated passage of his writings, that speaking of Mary, he would make no mention of sins, for the honor of that Lord whom she merited for her Son, and through whom she had the grace to conquer sin in every way.*

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