Age of Reason??


I have been trying to answer a question to a friend of mine, as well as for myself.

We all know that life begins at conception when God creates us into a complete human being. so at what age or time is it that a person comes to the age of reason or responsibility for ones salvation? Is there a scripture that I can study about this subject. I have tried to look it up in my concordance but can not find it.


I do not know of a scripture, but Canon Law presumes a 7 year old has reached the age of reason, all else being equal. Perhaps you could seek out a commentary?

Can. 97 §1 A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age, has attained majority; below this age, a person is a minor.
§2 A minor who has not completed the seventh year of age is called an infant and is considered incapable of personal responsibility; on completion of the seventh year, however, the minor is presumed to have the use of reason.



It varies for children. Standard age given is 7. But before my children completed their sacraments it was put to the parents. “Do you think your child understands right from wrong?” Then we as the parents have to decide if they are ready or not. As a mother I can tell you not all 7 year olds understand right from wrong. Sometimes it is older.Depending on the child.


Excellent question. It seems to be about realizations. First you realize there is a God. Then you realize The Word. It takes a leap to actually become of The Word, to get away concerns of life’s desirables. There is also much pain in realizing your transgressions and coming to peace with yourself.


I am not certain, but I believe the age in Judaism is 8 years old. In the Catholic Church it is currently 7. At one time in the past, I understand it was older (12?). I also know that the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) sets it at 8. That is the age at which a child can come forward to be baptized.

So it would seem the various traditions have some disagreement in regard to what the age of reason is, but none seem to be that far away from each other.


I am not sure I understand OP question, but following thread from AAA answers “what is the age of reason” and discusses reasons for differences in Latin and Eastern rites in age for sacraments of initiation.…=age+of+reason
if this is what OP is referring to hope this helps


I ask this question because I remember and I am not sure I should.

I was nine years old and playing in the front yard. I cut my finger right at the joint of my palm and finger, it was my wedding finger. I looked up trying to decide whether I should cry and saw my dad comming home from work and all of a sudden I was sick to my stomach and realized that my dad had feelings just like me and I could hurt him by being bad and even worse my grandmother too.

Before that I knew bad and good because my grandmother and dad told me, but at that moment I realy understood bad and good. That is the reason I ask because I am not sure if there is an age when we know or if it is something more profound like with me. Are we saved if we die prior to this?


In regard to the age of reason, it is the goal of the CHurch, as I understand it, to discenr the zaverage age at which children become truly aware and and grown up enough (though obviously they aren’t yet adults) to take responsibility for their actions.

I don’t remember any such personal epiphanies, myself. But I know others that do. Some of us come to this recognition in stages, others through a particular event. The actual age for each person may vary quite a bit. The Church’s understanding is that before this point a child’s life, we are incapable of giving full consent of will to commit sin. This means that, though venial sin may occur, mortal sin is impossible. So, we believe that baptized children that die before the age of reason are saved by virtue of their baptism alone. Nothing else is needed.

In the case of unbaptized children, the Church reminds us that though God has bound our salvation to the sacraments, He Himself is not bound by those sacraments, and we entrust them to the mercy of God. Certainly we do not expect that a God of such boundless love and mercy would forget these little ones, especially those who die unbaptized because of miscarriage or stillbirth, or because their parents simply did not understand the Church teachings.


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