How Was Mary Saved Prior to Christ's Death?


The Church teaches that Mary was saved “by a singular act of grace” in light of the infinite merits of her Son at the first moment of her conception. Cool. BUT, I don’t get something:

How was she saved before Christ suffered and died?

In anticipation of his Sacrifice (as in, his Sacrifice transcends time and therefore could have saved her)? This can’t be right because the Church teaches that NO ONE was saved prior to the Resurrection (hence the Harrowing of Hell). If the Church has long stood by the assertion that the righteous men and women of the past were not saved until Christ’s death and resurrection, then why (and how can it) teach that Mary was saved priorly?

Just a bit of confusion.

And hey, if anyone wants to fill me in on the whole Enoch/Elijah thing while we’re at it, go for it!

Thanks. Peace.


Almost correct. Mary was preserved from original sin.


What, you never asked your parents for an advance on your allowance?



Nice start.

I need more help here, though.

Why didn’t God just immaculatize everyone after Christ’s work, then? Why did he choose Baptism instead?


We’re in the world of speculation here. I don’t know of any Church doctrines that specifically address your questions as you pose them.

First, God requires human cooperation. God didn’t “immaculatize” Mary without her consent.

Second: We are a union of body and soul, and our knowledge (our knowing) comes through the physical senses. I think that is why God instituted physical sacraments as a means of bestowing His grace in our souls. If it was totally spiritual, we would not know the gift had been given - if it had been given - when it had been given.

With baptism, the reception of the life of sanctifying grace automatically unites one to the Body of Christ (the Church), a visible community of believers. It is fitting that the rite be a visible one.

Hope this helps.



Because Jesus was to be carried in a perfect container, not because Jesus required it but because it pointed to Christ’s divinity.

Likewise Jesus’ conception could have been carried out by a union with a physical man, but He is God and He can do anything and being conceived without an earthly father pointed to His divine sonship.

Think of the old testament. The word of God, the covenant, was to be carried in a perfect arc, you would think God would require the same for the New Covenant, the Eternal Word of God.

Being carried in a perfect arc pointed to His role as the New Covenant.

(Note perfect as applied to creatures does not mean the same thing as perfect applied to the divine. A perfect fork perfectly does what a fork is supposed to do. God being perfect, well thats an entirely different ball game.)

This is how I understand it. My understanding may be in err.


It is hard for us to think this way, but there is no time in heaven. The method of salvation has always been the same, by grace, through faith.

What about the whole Enoch/Elijah thing? You mean, how were they assumed into heaven prior to Christ’s death? They embraced the merits of Christ before He was born.


This is a very good question. Scripture says that He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. So why not preserve us in advance from sin? Perhaps this would not help us to develop a relationship with HIm?


Christ is the Eternal God, therefore, from the Cross, He can pour out salvific graces to every Time and Place, and beyond.

Mary was saved beginning with the first moment of her life at conception.


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