Mary "Full of Grace",,,

In another thread someone who is clearly a troll is throwing a whole host of questions and anti-catholic material out there so while my question is related to one of his many topics, I didn’t want to tag it into his thread…

I know that the church says the Hail Mary is in Luke 1. I know when Mary visits her cousin she is the one who says blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. However I can’t see where it says “hail Mary, full of grace”. I have looked on bible gateway and several translations and many say things like Hail, you who are favoured with The Lord. These are obviously Protestant Bibles, does the catholic one have a different translation?

Thanks :slight_smile:



The following is from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The Gospel of Luke by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch:

Full of grace: This is the only biblical instance where an angel addresses someone by a title instead of a personal name. Two considerations help to clarify its meaning. (1) The expression full of grace is rooted in Catholic tradition and traced to St. Jerome’s translation of this verse in the Latin Vulgate. Although fundamentally accurate, it lacks some of the depth of the Greek original. Luke could have described her with the words full of grace (Gk. pleres charitos) as he did of Stephen in Acts 6:8, yet here he uses a different expression (Gk. kecharitomene) that is even more revealing than the traditional rendering. It indicates that God has already “graced” Mary previous to this point, making her a vessel who “has been” and “is now” filled with divine life. (2) Alternate translations like “favored one” or “highly favored” are possible but inadequate. Because of the unparalleled role that Mary accepts at this turning point in salvation history, the best translation is the most exalted one. For God endowed Mary with an abundance of grace to prepare her for the vocation of divine motherhood and to make her a sterling example of Christian holiness (CCC 490-93, 722).

  • Gabriel’s declaration points in the direction of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. According to Pope Pius IX’s 1854 definition Ineffabilis Deus, Luke’s Annunciation narrative is an important indicator of Mary’s lifelong holiness. God is her “Savior” (1:47) in the most perfect way possible: he sanctified Mary in the first instance of her conception and preserved her entirely from sin and even from the inclination toward sin that we experience.

So, in short, “highly favored” or “highly favored one” is technically a correct translation, but loses some important subtleties of the meaning of the original translation, which is why “full of grace” is better (though still not absolutely perfect).

Correct! :thumbsup:

The Douay Rheims Bible, the Confraternity bible, the Christian Community Bible, the Knox Bible, and the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition all say “full of grace” and are classic Catholic translations. Most other translations say “highly favored” rather than “full of grace”. Once you realize that the Greek word can be translated as EITHER grace OR favor, and that the two words are very similar in meaning, the difference mostly disappears, because “highly graced” isn’t all that different from “full of grace.”

In the late 300s, Saint Jerome translated it from the Greek as “full of grace” into the Latin “Gratia plena” - literal English translation full of grace. So, how come bible Christians love Jerome when he sounds protestant (did not hold the Deuterocanon to be inspired) but absolutely hate him when he sounds so Catholic (everything else)? Over time, one can see the protestant agenda creeping into each and every one of their bibles. Today, some of them are almost not worth reading.

Is it cherry picking or simple hypocrisy?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit