Immaculate Conception of Elizabeth?


The angel Gabriel told Zechariah,

“…even** before **his birth he (John) will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:15)

So if John had the **Holy Spirit **in him when he was in Elizabeth’s womb, then Elizbeth, just like Mary, should be **free from sin **and therefore, just like Mary, she should also have been preserved from the stain of original sin if she was to bear a child who was full of the Holy Spirit.

What do you think?


Thanks for your thoughts.

The text is, " Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child in leapt her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke chapter 1, verse 41)

It was Elizabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit, as any of us may be at times. Even if the child had been, so have many people been filled or touched with the Holy Spirit at times…which doesn’t mean we are sinless.

John the Baptist was the son of two human beings; Jesus is son of Mary who is human, and Son of God.

Bless you, Trishie


Looking at the verse you mentioned (with some verses added for clarification):

*13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. - Luke 1:13-15
And looking at:

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. - Luke 1:34-35

These are two different things. People can be filled with the Holy Spirit - it doesn’t mean the same thing as what happened with the Virgin Mary.


Although not a view we have to accept, I think the Church tends to take the position that John the Baptist was conceived in original sin but not born in original sin. When he “jumped” in his mother’s womb (at the visitation) that was likely when the stain of original sin was removed.


Sounds sensible.

Remember, IAQ, that Elizabeth was merely to bear a great prophet as the mothers of Moses, Elijah etc had done before her. Great and full of the Spirit though John the Baptist was, he was far from being divine and certainly wasn’t the Son of God.

It is THESE totally unique attributes of Jesus, rather than His being full of the Holy Spirit which all righteous people are, that make it fitting that the vessel that held HIM alone of all people (namely Mary) also had to be unique among all women who bore children. And she was, being conceived without original sin.


Your agrument seems to be based on the mistaken notion that the Blessed Virgin Mary somehow needed to be immaculately conceived in order to bear the Incarnate God. This was not the case; she didn’t need to be immaculately conceived but it was altogether fitting that she was given that singular grace.

Because there was no need for the Blessed Virgin Mary to be immaculately conceived to bear the Incarnate God, there was no need for St. Elizabeth to be immaculately conceived to bear St. John the Baptist, His prophet, a great man but still just a man.


The angel’s greeting to Mary was very much different to the visit paid to Zacariah.

Luk 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Catholic Commentary

  1. The contrast is now reversed: the angel’s attitude to Mary differs greatly from that to Zachary. ‘Full of grace’, a word (replacing Mary’s name in the salutation) meaning one endowed with favour or grace, in permanent fashion.

May the peace of the Lord be with you.


Has the church officially said anything about this? Could you provide me with a link?


Here’s a link to what Jimmy Akin (an apologist) has to say.

John the Baptist


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