Chaire Kecharitomene! ...What exactly do you think Gabriel meant?


Much more than just a greeting. These are the first two words spoken to Mary by the angel Gabriel…What exactly do you think Gabriel meant by calling Mary, instead of by her name Mariam, but rather “Full Of Grace”…what exactly does it mean to be absolutely full of Grace? And what other conclusions and implications can we draw from it? Your thoughts? Impressions?


Her life was free from sin. So, it stands to reason that she was in a perpetual state of grace. She was fully in tune with God’s will. Pleasing to Him.


Rumor has it that she was given a new name in this moment and “Full of grace” is how it is translated. God bless those Greeks for confusing us Latins.



Because the angel used Kercharitomene in addressing her, instead of using her proper name, it seems reasonable to assume that heaven regards the Blessed Virgin Mary as the epitome of a woman gratuitously favored by God, as the most blessed by God of all women.


Well, as Glenda pointed out, he didn’t actually call her ‘full of grace’ – that’s just the closest that Latin grammar could get to the corresponding Greek grammar. Instead, we have a Greek participle in the perfect tense. It expresses the notion of a completed action in the past whose effects are active in the present and are on-going into the future. In other words, it expresses the notion that God had given Mary grace in the past, and it continues to the moment he addresses her, and will continue to exist in the future.

…what exactly does it mean to be absolutely full of Grace? And what other conclusions and implications can we draw from it?

As Catholics, we see this as meaning that Mary had been preserved from Original Sin at her conception; this grace is seen as still being in operation at the time Gabriel addressed her, and wasn’t limited to that point – she would continue in that grace throughout her life. The implication isn’t the amount of grace, per se, but rather, the permanence of the state of grace in which she lived… :wink:


Thankyou, your exegesis was very enlightening! Our Lady is God’s materpiece.
(It seems like you know your Greek.)


Actually, no. Mary was a Gallilean Jewish girl, and Gabriel would have addressed her in her native language, which would have been Aramaic. What we read in the Greek original of Luke’s Gospel is his Greek translation of what Gabriel said to her, likely (as I believe) heard from Mary herself.


Yes, you have a certain point, but I was sourcing from the original manuscript’s language. I don’t know exactly what Gabriel said to her in Aramaic. And we are essentially assuming that is was Aramaic are we not? I mean, it seems the most likely.


You are correct (in my opinion) in both points, that we are operating under an assumption, but that it is an extremely likely assumption.

A few years ago I asked about this on a thread that had some active respondents who were versed in the Syriac (AKA Middle Aramaic) translation of the NT, and I was informed that in the Syriac version Gabriel addresses Mary as “full of grace.”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit