The Bible and the Saints on Mary’s being Immaculately Conceived

April 21, 2022 • 2 min

#BibleCommentary #DoctorsOfTheChurch #Doctrine #Mary #WhatTheSaintsSay

From The Glories of Mary, page 359
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

We know that this divine spouse loved Mary more than all the other saints and angels united, as Father Suarez, St. Lawrence Justinian, and others affirm.

He loved her from the beginning, and exalted her in sanctity above all creatures, as David expresses it: “The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains; the Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob. … This man is born in her, and the Highest himself hath founded her.”

All which words signify that Mary was holy from her conception. The same thing is signified by what the Holy Spirit himself says in another place: “Many daughters have gathered together riches; tbou hast surpassed them all.”

If Mary has surpassed all in the riches of grace, she then possessed original justice, as Adam and the angels had it. “There are young maidens without number: one is my dove, my perfect one (the Hebrew reads, my uncorrupted, my immaculate); she is the only one of her mother.”

All just souls are children of divine grace; but among these, Mary was the Dove without the bitter gall of sin, the Perfect One without the stain of original sin, the one conceived in grace.

The angel, therefore, before she was the mother of God, already found her full of grace, and thus saluted her: Hail, full of grace: “Ave gratia plena.”

Commenting upon which words, Sophronius writes, that to the other saints grace is given in part, but to the Virgin it was given in fulness.*

So that, as St. Thomas says, grace not only made the soul, but also the flesh of Mary holy, that with it the Virgin might clothe the eternal Word.

Now by all this we are to understand, as Peter of Celles remarks, that Mary, from the moment of her conception, was enriched by the Holy Spirit, and filled with divine grace.

Hence, as St. Peter Damian says: She being elected and pre-elected by God, was borne off by the Holy Spirit for himself. § Borne off, as the saint expresses it, to explain the swiftness of the Divine Spirit, in making her his spouse, before Lucifer should take possession of her.

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