Labor pains and original sin

  1. In Genesis 3:16, because of the original sin in the Garden of Eden, women are thereafter going to bring forth children only with pain.
  2. In Revelation 12, the woman wailing aloud in pain as she labors to give birth is the same woman long held to be the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  3. Mary was conceived immaculately, without original sin.

So, why was the woman in Revelation 12 wailing aloud in pain as she labored to give birth?

Holy Bible (Douay Rheims)
Rev 12:1‘And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:’
Rev 12:2‘And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.’

Commentary:

Ver. 1. A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. By this woman, interpreters commonly understand the Church of Christ, shining with the light of faith, under the protection of the sun of justice, Jesus Christ. The moon, the Church, hath all changeable things of this world under her feet, the affections of the faithful being raised above them all.

A woman: the Church of God. It may also, by allusion, be applied to our blessed Lady. The Church is clothed with the sun, that is, with Christ: she hath the moon, that is, the changeable things of the world, under her feet; and the twelve stars with which she is crowned, are the twelve apostles: she is in labour and pain, whilst she brings forth her children, and Christ in them, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions. Ch.

— Under the figure of a woman and of a dragon, are represented the various attempts of Satan to undermine the Church.

On her head . . . twelve stars, her doctrine being delivered by the twelve apostles and their successors. Wi.

Ver. 2. With child, &c. to signify that the Church, even in the time of persecutions, brought forth children to Christ. Wi.

— It likewise signifies the difficulties which obstructed the first propagation of Christianity. Past.

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Our Lady never had labor pains (that’s dogma, btw). The only verse which applies to Our Lady is verse 1. The rest applies to the Church.

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Satan was never right under Mary about to devour Baby Jesus either. I think it’s just metaphorical.

No… it’s greater pain that is the consequence.

That leads to an interesting discussion. Nevertheless, if we’re going to make that claim, it’s a claim of a singular event in human history.

I don’t think it’s dogma.

Our lady was free from original sin. But I don’t think it precluded suffering. She suffered at the foot of the cross.

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I’ve never heard that either.

I believe some private revelations may have suggested it though.

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Whether it is classified as strictly revealed or a necessary consequence of the a truth strictly revealed–both the immaculate conception and perpetual virginity (before, during, and after birth)–it is certainly taught by the Church that she was without pain:

Roman Catechism (after discussing how Christ was born without injury to Mary’s virginity):

To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain.

One of the preface prayers currently approved for use for Masses of the Blessed Virgin specifically says (and this is on point with regard to the pain shown in Revelation):

“…she was to be a partner in his passion, and she who had given him birth without the pains of childbirth, was to endure the greatest of pains in bringing forth to new life the family of your Church.”

Evening Prayer for Friday in the Little Office says the same:

“She conceived and gave birth to a son without pain…”

Finally, from the Summa:

On the contrary, Augustine says (Serm. de Nativ. [Supposititious), addressing himself to the Virgin-Mother: “In conceiving thou wast all pure, in giving birth thou wast without pain.”

I answer that, The pains of childbirth are caused by the infant opening the passage from the womb. Now it has been said above (28, 2, Replies to objections), that Christ came forth from the closed womb of His Mother, and, consequently, without opening the passage. Consequently there was no pain in that birth, as neither was there any corruption; on the contrary, there was much joy therein for that God-Man “was born into the world,” according to Isaiah 35:1-2: “Like the lily, it shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise.”

Reply to Objection 1. The pains of childbirth in the woman follow from the mingling of the sexes. Wherefore (Genesis 3:16) after the words, “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children,” the following are added: “and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power.” But, as Augustine says (Serm. de Assumpt. B. Virg., [Supposititious), from this sentence we must exclude the Virgin-Mother of God; who, “because she conceived Christ without the defilement of sin, and without the stain of sexual mingling, therefore did she bring Him forth without pain, without violation of her virginal integrity, without detriment to the purity of her maidenhood.” Christ, indeed, suffered death, but through His own spontaneous desire, in order to atone for us, not as a necessary result of that sentence, for He was not a debtor unto death.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4035.htm#article6

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Yeah I have never really understood the reasoning for Mary not having labor pains. Many things were a result of the fall of man and Mary for sure experienced suffering and pain and hunger,etc.

I don’t believe that just b/c she did not have original sin doesn’t mean she didn’t feel the effects of original sin.

And I’ve never heard that this belief is dogma

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St. Pius X, Ad Diem Illum

  1. Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St. John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Apoc. xii., 1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head. The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered” (Apoc. xii., 2). John therefore saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God, and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains show the love and desire with which the Virgin from heaven above watches over us, and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfillment of the number of the elect.

http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_02021904_ad-diem-illum-laetissimum.html

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Please note that, while the Roman Catechism might carry with it the possibility of accurately transmitting authoritative doctrine, liturgical standards and the Summa do not, per se.

Yet, ‘suffering’ and ‘pain’ and ‘hunger’ weren’t effects of the fall. So, I’m not sure that pointing to these actually demonstrates what you’re claiming they demonstrate. :thinking:

No, that’s pretty much the very definition of what “immaculate conception” infers.

@Genesis315’s reply notwithstanding, I think it’s important to note that this is a vision, not an actual event, and it’s reported in the literary style of ‘apocalyptic’, not that of ‘historical narrative’. Therefore, we don’t want to suggest that this passage of Scripture conveys a description of a literal, historical event.

Welcome to CAF Stradabolt!

So, why was the woman in Revelation 12 wailing aloud in pain as she labored to give birth?

The Blessed Virgin Mary is Jesus’ Mother.
In birthing our Lord Jesus, She had no pain.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is also the Mother of us in the order of grace.
The Blessed Mother is the Mother of the Church.
In birthing us, She had great pain.

When She was given to us at the foot of the Cross, She became our Mother in the order of grace.

At the foit of the Cross . .
. . . the Blessed Virgin Mary was given to . . .,
"the beloved disciple".

  • In the primary sense, that is the beloved disciple, St. John the Evangelist.

  • In a secondary sense, She was also concomitantly given as Mother of the Church, to everyone who is a “beloved disciple” of Jesus.

That is WHY Jesus is decribed by St. Paul as our oldest BROTHER by St. Paul in his letter to the Romans.

The Blessed Mother had severe birth pangs when proverbially delivering us (while at the foot of the Cross).

In birthing our Lord Jesus She had no pain.
In birthing us, She had great pain.

Hope this helps. (I’ll try to put up more for you later).

God bless.

Cathoholic

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CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT By believing the serpent, Eve brought malediction and death on mankind, and Mary, by believing the Angel, became the instrument of The divine goodness in bringing life and benediction to the human race. From Eve we are born children of wrath; from Mary we have received Jesus Christ, and through Him are regenerated children of grace. To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain.

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From AD DIEM ILLUM LAETISSIMUM
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X
ON THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St. John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Apoc. xii., 1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head. The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered” (Apoc. xii., 2). John therefore saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God, and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains show the love and desire with which the Virgin from heaven above watches over us, and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfillment of the number of the elect. – Section 24

http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_02021904_ad-diem-illum-laetissimum.html

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. . . . On Calvary, Mary united herself to the sacrifice of her Son and made her own maternal contribution to the work of salvation, which took the form of labour pains, the birth of the new humanity.

In addressing the words “Woman, behold your son” to Mary, the Crucified One proclaims her motherhood not only in relation to the Apostle John but also to every disciple.** The Evangelist himself, by saying that Jesus had to die “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (Jn 11:52), indicates the Church’s birth as the fruit of the redemptive sacrifice with which Mary is maternally associated. . . .

Bold mine.

http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/audiences/1997/documents/hf_jp-ii_aud_17091997.html3

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The woman is Revelation 12 is primarily Israel. But also Mary.

It’s symbolic, apocalyptic literature. It’s not literal nor is it theology of the immaculate conception.

1ke . . .

The woman is Revelation 12 is primarily Israel. But also Mary.

Excellent point.

  • Israel (Daughter Zion)
  • The Church
  • The Blessed Virgin Mary (who is a type [“typus” – CCC 967] of the Church in addition to who She is as an individual.

It may be a figure for the Church, starting out in the world through the pain of Jesus passion.

The labor pains of the woman in Revelation 12 could be understood in a metaphorical sense as when St Paul once said to Christian churches in Galatia, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19 NIV)

  • Mary’s birth of Christ at Bethlehem was in tranquility.

  • At Calvary, her second birth of every member of the Church was in great spiritual pain and sorrow

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. . . Revelation 12 symbolically gives an image of the woman “crying aloud in pangs of birth.”
It is a reference to Christ’s words to his disciples that Calvary would be like the pains of a woman in birth.
Mary’s birth of Christ at Bethlehem was in tranquility.
At Calvary, her second birth of every member of the Church was in great spiritual pain and sorrow
when she joined Christ in his greatest act of love. In this valley of tears, no privilege of God comes without great suffering before a greater glorification . . . .

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Fatima to Vatican II: Mary, ‘Mother of the Church’ and Our Loving Mother

Called to be the God-bearer, Mother to the Head of the Church, Mary was commissioned and called implicitly to be mother of every member born of the virginal womb of the Church in baptism.

January 1, 2020 Matthew Tsakanikas, STD

https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/01/01/fatima-to-vatican-ii-mary-mother-of-the-church-and-our-loving-mother/

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Key words: pangs, birth pangs, labor, labor pains, delivery, birthing, Revelation 12

There are a few Marian dogmas including the physical integrity of Mary in the Virgin Birth: it was miraculous.

Lateran Council, Oct, 649, DS 503:

“If anyone does not in accord with the Holy Fathers acknowledge the holy and ever virgin and immaculate Mary was really and truly the Mother of God, inasmuch as she, in the fullness of time, and without seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit, God in the Word Himself, who before all time was born of God the Father, and without loss of integrity brought Him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate, let him be condemned.”

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Childbirth pain for women, and toil of work for men was no the punishment for sin, the loss of immortality was.

Augustine notes animals wail and experience pain during labor, because the are mortal beings, and after the fall, woman was mortal and therefore also experience the pain of labor.

Biologically, even having not sinned, Mary was very human and therefore mortal and would face the first death. Even Christ himself experienced death himself because of his human nature.

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