Is St.Anne the Grandmother of God?


#1

Hi!
I had a tough question from a friend who is not Catholic about the relationship of the relatives of Mary to God. His question was if Mary is the Mother of God then what is Marys relatives relationship to God, if they carry the same genetic strain as Mary. Would Marys Mother St.Anne be Gods Grandmother?Could God then have a cousins etc.? I told him that I thought Mary had been created in a special way without sin in grace. But this didn’t explain it very well to him and perhaps I am wrong. Can someone shed some light on this subject for me?
Thanks!! :slight_smile:


#2

Tradition would suggest that St. Anne and St Joachim would be considered the maternal Grandparents of Jesus Christ, and therefore would be considered the maternal Grandparents of God.

Why do you think this is so important to your friend? Remember, Jesus was born of Mary, who was of the house of David. His lineage as a Jew and as a member of David’s House is quite important as part of Salvation History…do you think that’s why they are concerned with this?


#3

[quote=Nonie]Hi!
I had a tough question from a friend who is not Catholic about the relationship of the relatives of Mary to God. His question was if Mary is the Mother of God then what is Marys relatives relationship to God, if they carry the same genetic strain as Mary. Would Marys Mother St.Anne be Gods Grandmother?
[/quote]

Yes. In the Byzantine tradition both St. Anne and her husband St. Joachim are referred to as “Ancestors of God.”

Edwin


#4

The church also readily recognizes that Jesus had cousins and other earthly family members. That topic usually comes up in discussions with Protestants who point out the usage of the term “Jesus’ brothers” in order to discredit Mary’s perpetual virginity. The Catholic argument is that there was no such term as “cousin” and the usage of brother for cousins and like family members is evident throughout the Bible. Thus, we do say he had cousins, which would mean he had aunts and uncles, which would mean he had grandparents.

I would venture the guess that Joseph’s family (his step-father, so to speak) was also treated in a like manner, though the connection is not genetic.


#5

To clarify, My friend who posed this question to me is a Methodist. And I don’t know what their teachings are about Mary. I think he has the notion that Mary is special but not without sin, and I think he has trouble with the idea of Mary being God’s Mother because he has been taught that “all have sinned” and assumes no exception to this.
Thanks for all your thoughts on this subject!!! :thumbsup:


#6

[quote=Nonie]To clarify, My friend who posed this question to me is a Methodist. And I don’t know what their teachings are about Mary. I think he has the notion that Mary is special but not without sin, and I think he has trouble with the idea of Mary being God’s Mother because he has been taught that “all have sinned” and assumes no exception to this.
Thanks for all your thoughts on this subject!!! :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Yes, this is what is usually behind such questions. It’s funny, though, because they have such problems with these concepts because they will not allow themselves to meditate upon the meaning of Mary’s part in salvation history. Like the proverbial ostrich, they ignore Mary as much as possible and then try to explain in strictly human terms what Jesus’ family relationships mean. And all so they can avoid what they actually cannot avoid if they want to fully understand the Incarnation.


#7

Yes, quite often such a question is asked because the questioner has a problem with the idea of Mary as Mother of God. So they say, if God can have a mother, can he have a grandmother? etc.

Obviously He can. One need only to meditate on the Incarnation.
God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, took upon himself a human nature. God taking on a human nature involves Him in human relationships, most especially in having a mother–a mother whom He himself selected to be His mother.

Mary being Mother of God has no implications as to His divinity. He created her, not vice-versa; yet she is still the mother of God, because she is Jesus’ mother, and Jesus is God.


#8

This isn’t a difficult concept. Who is Barbara Bush? Is she the mother of a president or the wife of a president? She is both. At two different times she fulfilled two different roles, both relative to the presidency.

Who is Mary? Is she the mother of Jesus or the daughter of God? Both. God created her. He later sent his son to be born of her. At two different times she fulfilled two different roles, both relative to the Lord.

What alternative does your friend provide if Mary is not his mother? He was born of the water and air? If Mary gave birth to him then Mary’s mother would be considered his grandmother. Yeah, it sounds odd to say, “I’m the Lord’s grandma.” Would it be easier to take in if St. Anne instead were declared to be the mother of the mother of the Lord? or the mother of the Theotokos (Christ-bearer)? or the mother-in-law of Jesus’ step-father? There are plenty of ways to circumvent the issue, but the truth of the matter is that it just boils down to your friend saying it sounds funny. Thankfully, there is much more to consider in truth than how something sounds.


#9

Ok, my friend read all your posts and appreciates your replies. :slight_smile: But he has another question. "If Mary was conceived without sin so she could bear the son of God, wouldn’t St.Anne have to have been immaculately conceived too and her Mother and so on?"
Hope you can help!


#10

[quote=Nonie]Ok, my friend read all your posts and appreciates your replies. :slight_smile: But he has another question. "If Mary was conceived without sin so she could bear the son of God, wouldn’t St.Anne have to have been immaculately conceived too and her Mother and so on?"
Hope you can help!
[/quote]

I really don’t understand why St Ann had to be immaculately concieved. Did she give birth to our Lord? Your friend really needs to read the OT and understand the Ark of the Coventant to see why it was important for Mary to have been born with out sin.


#11

[quote=Nonie]Ok, my friend read all your posts and appreciates your replies. :slight_smile: But he has another question. "If Mary was conceived without sin so she could bear the son of God, wouldn’t St.Anne have to have been immaculately conceived too and her Mother and so on?"
Hope you can help!
[/quote]

Only Mary bore within her womb God the Son. It was only she who needed to be full of grace, to bear God within her.

It should also be noted that Mary herself is also saved by the grace of Jesus as her Savior. It was His grace, merited on the cross, that reached back to the instant of her conception to preserve her from original sin and fill her with sanctifying grace.


#12

[quote=Nonie]Ok, my friend read all your posts and appreciates your replies. :slight_smile: But he has another question. "If Mary was conceived without sin so she could bear the son of God, wouldn’t St.Anne have to have been immaculately conceived too and her Mother and so on?"
Hope you can help!
[/quote]

An Orthodox priest asked the same question of me. Apparently he did believe Mary was born without sin, but there is some difference in terminology. I fully admit that I do not understand the distinction. However, I wonder how the Eastern Catholics view this topic. I believe they do not have the same understanding of Mary’s sinlessness. (Thinking back, the difference was in the understanding of original sin, if it is in the world–which we are born into–or in the person.) I’ll have to look into this topic more. The reason I went on this tangent is that I believe Catholics in communion with Rome might have the same train of thought as your friend. I am curious how they reconcile the train of thought with the doctrine of Mary’s immaculate conception.


#13

[quote=JimG]Only Mary bore within her womb God the Son. It was only she who needed to be full of grace, to bear God within her.
[/quote]

Scripture reveals that Mary was truly a virgin, and according to prophecy, it was virginity that was required of the woman who would bear the Messiah. Nowhere does it state she needed to be void of “original sin.”

It should also be noted that Mary herself is also saved by the grace of Jesus as her Savior. It was His grace, merited on the cross, that reached back to the instant of her conception to preserve her from original sin and fill her with sanctifying grace.

Proof? From what Divine source do you get this revelation? It’s an assertion by men, yes, but from what Divine source? Such knowledge would have to come directly from a Divine source. *“Full of grace” * says nothing about being void of original sin.

Blessings,
L.


#14

[quote=linus]Scripture reveals that Mary was truly a virgin, and according to prophecy, it was virginity that was required of the woman who would bear the Messiah. Nowhere does it state she needed to be void of "original sin."Proof? From what Divine source do you get this revelation? It’s an assertion by men, yes, but from what Divine source? Such knowledge would have to come directly from a Divine source. *“Full of grace” * says nothing about being void of original sin.

Blessings,
L.
[/quote]

If one is FULL of Grace, they have no room for any sin, including original sin. You have to keep in mind that the Bible talks about how Jesus died to forgive our sins. However, we are never removed of the stain (residual) of sin until we are purified in Heaven. Since Mary was still of this world, she could only be FULL if she never had sinned and thus never even had a stain of sin. Otherwise, being FULL of Grace would be impossible.


#15

Jmj

Proof? From what Divine source do you get this revelation? It’s an assertion by men, yes, but from what Divine source? Such knowledge would have to come directly from a Divine source. “Full of grace” says nothing about being void of original sin.

Linus, I’d like to comment… or to answer your question (though I suspect you already know the answer.) The “Divine source” you are asking for… that tells us that the Immaculate Conception is truth – is God Himself – God the Holy Spirit. This is the same “Divine source” that spoke through the Prophets, the Apostles, the other New Testament writers, and the Catholic Church – by whose authority YOU (and every other Christian who accepts the Scriptures as Divinely Inspired) even have a Bible! :smiley:

By the way, I like your name! :thumbsup: Pope St. Linus was the immediate successor of St. Peter in Rome – he may very well have been the same Linus mentioned in 2Timothy. Not that it matters if he wasn’t!!! But, it’s still pretty cool. :cool:

May the Lord be with you!

Jason


#16

Jason has already replied better than I could have, so I’ll go with his answer.

In the strict sense, I suppose, doctrine cannot be “proven” in the mathematical or rathional sense. Rather, the truths of Faith are handed down from the Apostles as being those things which have always been believed. It is the function of the Church simply to preserve and hand down what was handed down from the Apostles.


#17

Wasn’t it St.Thomas Aquinas who taught that faith is not apposed to reason? :hmmm:


#18

[quote=Nonie]Ok, my friend read all your posts and appreciates your replies. :slight_smile: But he has another question. "If Mary was conceived without sin so she could bear the son of God, wouldn’t St.Anne have to have been immaculately conceived too and her Mother and so on?"
Hope you can help!
[/quote]

It was fitting and appropriate that Mary be conceived without sin. It was not a necessity. The Messiah could have came any way he saw fit - by a sinful mother, by a normal marital relationship, or by just decending from heaven as a full grown man. In his wisdom, God deemed that the Messiah be born by a virgin in humble circumstances, and He inspired the prophets to predict such a coming. Likewise, in His wisdom, God deemed that the earthly mother of the Messiah be concieved without original sin.


#19

[quote=forthright]It was fitting and appropriate that Mary be conceived without sin. It was not a necessity. The Messiah could have came any way he saw fit - by a sinful mother, by a normal marital relationship, or by just decending from heaven as a full grown man. In his wisdom, God deemed that the Messiah be born by a virgin in humble circumstances, and He inspired the prophets to predict such a coming. Likewise, in His wisdom, God deemed that the earthly mother of the Messiah be concieved without original sin.
[/quote]

I would like to also add that if we look back in the OT if anyone entered the Ark of the Coventant unclean (Arons Son - I think) he was struck down. You can not be in the presents of God without this purification. Now Mary was in all senses the new Ark she carried God within her so therefor it only makes since that she would have to be without sin to do such a wonderous deed as carry God within her.


#20

[quote=forthright]It was fitting and appropriate that Mary be conceived without sin. It was not a necessity…
[/quote]

hello,
I thought the Church taught that Mary had to be concieved without sin because God couldn’t be born of a sinner because that would make his human nature sinful as well. I believe the Church looks at Marys relationship to Jesus in a logical manner. If Jesus is God and is perfect, and his human nature is taken from that of Mary then she would have to be perfect as well.
I could be mistaken on this point. My theology is a little rusty that is why I am here at this site!
:slight_smile: Nonie :slight_smile:


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