Did Mary know that Jesus was God?

I’m interested in knowing what the Catholic doctrine says on it.
It doesn’t seem that the angel told it to her outright: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.” That’s certainly a very roundabout way of saying: "you will give birth to God."Then there’s also that passage in Mark (Mark 3:21) where Jesus’s family thinks He is crazy, which may or may not include Mary. I’m somewhat confused. Thanks for answers.

What is “round about” in “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High…”?

Yes, she knew her son was God. The Angel made that clear to her. He told her that her son would save her people from their sins. Only God can do that. Also her Aunt Elisabeth addressed Mary as the mother of her Lord and of course she witnessed all his miracles, things only God could do.

I think you need to read your Bible more carefully, some of the things you said above are not exactly correct, some are way off.

God Bless

32o He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”p


From the explanatory notes:

*…The particular focus of the announcement of the birth of Jesus is on his identity as Son of David (Lk 1:3233) and Son of God (Lk 1:32, 35).

“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

I think this verse goes a long way to describe the nature of the truth that Mary knew, and also how we have the gospel accounts of Christ’s birth and his adolescence to begin with. The Apostles no doubt had great access to the Blessed Mother who probably told them many things about the early life of Christ (including all those joyful mysteries of the rosary, perhaps the Cana wedding as well) and other events preceding the ministry of her Son (perhaps even including the events of her own conception and birth). Not only that, but she also “pondered them” for many years, so a lot of what went into the Biblical narratives of the life of Christ is actually formed on the wisdom that Mary had arrived at after pondering these events within herself for so many years (a kind of “mother’s intuition” you could say).

I’m sure she knew he was the Son of God. Being immaculately preserved from original sin herself made her supremely aware of what was going on and even more keen to what her child was doing than normal mothers. I’m sure Jesus as a child had a profound gentility about him that just screamed holiness, even as he did go through the process of maturation and learning like any other child. I can only sit back in awe about what exactly she was “pondering in her heart” as she sat her boy down and “taught him to pray” knowing full-well who he was. No one else in the history of the world has had such an experience.

Thus her grief about his disappearance and relief at finding him could only be matched by his death on the cross and her finding him again with the resurrection, and then again in heaven at an even more profound level.

As far as the passage about his family, I’ve heard that they were concerned about him just like the disciples were. It was an age were people got stoned and their faith was being tested every day he was out there.

Yes ofcourse Mary knew Jesus was Gods Son. Even think on the mysteries of the rosary

Another reason why that piece “Mary Did You Know?” should never be sung in a Catholic church. It’s completely against what we know form the Bible.

I think she knew (she was told by the St. Gabriel that Jesus was God), but could only really understand as well as a human could. Mary was Jesus’s first, and most perfect, disciple. She followed Jesus from the time He was conceived in her womb all the way to the cross - and the apostles (especiially John) knew how important she was to Jesus, as she was with them on Pentecost, and John continued to take care of her in Ephesus until her dormition (whether she died or not is disputed - Western tradition claims she died; IIRC, most Eastern tradition claims she just entered into a deep slumber) and assumption into Heaven. But until the crucifixion and resurrection, I don’t think Mary actually understood what the prophecies she was told from Gabriel and Simeon really meant.

Yeah I wanted to add that as well. I don’t think she knew exactly what was going to happen and probably figured that her son would become a Jewish king who would rule the land in rightness and justice and drive back the Romans, as most Jews of the era anticipated. The part of Simeon’s prophesy about being “pierced” (both him and her) probably struck her as undecipherable until the crucifixion.

That’s the impression I get. The prophesy of the angel could well be interpreted as Jesus becoming a great king of a nation that would never be overthrown (“kingdom” some Bibles here translate as “nation”).
What I’m interested in knowing, though, is what the church officially teaches regarding Mary’s knowledge.

Nothing that I know of, not in so many words.

God Bless

The answer is clear in scripture.

NO - Mary did not know that Jesus was ontologically God. The thought would never enter a genuine Abrahamic monotheist’s mind.

I think that was a joke, but it made my day whatever the case, thanks!

I am interested…where is the evidence of this?

You indicate it is clear in scripture; can you provide specific scriptures and explain why they indicate this?

Vz - Thanks for the follow up question.

Generally it is impossible to provide a scripture that addresses something that simply does not exist (since Mary never explicitly denied that Jesus was God - since she never would have conceived of Him being so). I have been reading scripture for over 35 years - I have never once seen the remotest implication of Mary having any sense of Jesus being ontologically God.

The basic evidence in this case is by

a) the complete absence of any text that remotely implies that Mary had such a conception

b) every text that implies or states that Mary believed Jesus was a human being

c) that Mary was clearly an Abrahamic monotheist - she had the same faith as her culture as clearly expressed in the Magnificat and not one remote implication of any other such faith article being expressed anywhere.

Regardless of the above and to perhaps better answer your question, as I am reading in Luke, I will keep an eye out for some very specific texts to add to this post.

In Christ,


I do NOT believe that Mary knew that Jesus was going to be God in the flesh from what she was told by Gabriel.

The “Messiah” that the Jews were expecting was not God-Incarnate, not even close.

I believe that Mary’s YES was totally accepted on faith, on faith that God was doing something that God wanted Mary to participate in.

Mary’s YES was totally faith-based, I believe, not knowledge-based.

I believe that this should make Mary’s YES even more of an inspiration to us than if Mary were somehow “privy” to knowing something that, at the time, was completely off of the radar screen of any Jew, so to speak.

The “words” that Gabriel used could have been interpreted by Mary as simply being asked by God to participate and she said YES.

As far as the song, “Mary did you know”, I, most definitely, do not believe that Mary knew that her Son would walk on water, among other things.

Mary was/is the Mother of God-Incarnate, Mary is NOT God and Mary did NOT know how Jesus’s life would unfold.

I also believe that Gabriel was in “full Angelic attire”, whatever that might be, when He visited Mary with his question since this was something that Mary had to agree to using her God-given free will.

The absence of a positive statement to the effect that " Mary did know that Jesus was God, " does not mean that she didn’t know.

That Mary was Jewish and a monotheist does not mean that she was ignorant that Jesus was God. Christians are all monotheists, yet we believe Jesus was God and that there are three Persons in God.

Further more, the Jewish Scriptures clearly point to a coming Redeemer, and only God can redeem from sin. Secondly, the Angel told Zacharia that his son would prepare the way for the redeemer. Thirdly, the Angel told Mary her son would redeem his people of their sins. Fourthly, Elizabeth praised Mary saying, " How is it that the Mother of my Lord should come…? " Fifthly, the Angel told Joseph not to fear to take Mary as wife, since she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Sixthly, the Angel warned Joseph to take Mary and the child and flee into Egypt and twelve years later came again and told Joseph to go back to Jerusalem. Sixthly, the miraculous circumstances of Chirsts birth, the Megi, the Angels appearing to the shepards and singing, " Hosana in the Highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…" Seventh, when on the cross he told the good theif, " …this day thou will be with me in paradise…" Eighth, the miracles at his death. Ninth, Peter said he was the Son of the Most High. Tenth, he himself said he was the Son of God. All the miracles of his life. Do you think Mary was so ignorant that she couldn’t add all these things up and conclude that Jesus was God?

Finally, don’t you think she had as much faith as you and I do?

God Bless

Exactly. Thank you.


Agreed as to your point. What it does mean is that there is no positive information that Mary did know. In light of her culture and without positive information, there is no meaninful basis to believe that she knew. When the Bible is silent, I am silent.

Trinitarians are not genuine or classical monotheists - at best they are only ontological monotheists. More important, trinitarians are definitely not monotheists in the sense that Mary was a monotheist. You and I both clearly know Mary’s classic Abrahamic monotheistic theology. As an example, we note that Mary referred to Lord singular - as her personal God - NOT Lords plural to reflect three different persons. We do not address an essence/nature - we address a person(s).

I think each of these points relate to the redeemer issue. Have you done a thorough job of studying scripture re: the word Redeemer??

Finally, don’t you think she had as much faith as you and I do?

BTW - Yes, Mary had a complete faith in the Creator - I trust and pray that both you and I can obtain this same level of faith - and I rejoice when I touch it.



Please review my above response to Linus.


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