Questions on Mary and Perpetual Virginity

This is my second question on Catholic Answers as a Protestant from the Methodist church who is looking into the Catholic church. I don’t mean to offend anyone by my questions, I’m just honestly interested in Catholicism. Much love! :heart:

First Question: In Matthew 27:55-61, how do I know that Mary the mother of James and Joseph isn’t Jesus’s mother? Why wouldn’t Jesus’s mother assist in the burial like the Mary the verses are speaking about at this time or did Mary the mother of Jesus already leave at this point? Assuming this is a different Mary, if this Mary was the mother of Jesus would the Bible have explicitly said so?

Second Question: Why do Catholics say Mary is the mother of God? I agree that she is the mother of Jesus, but she is not the mother of God, the omnipotent being. Again, I mean no offense by this question I’m just trying to understand. Is that just a choice of words?

Third Question How could Mary be born without the stain of original sin? She was human just like everyone else. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and found short of the glory of God.”

Fourth Question Can you explain the following Catholic dogmas about Mary? I’m not familiar with the vocabulary.

  1. Mary gave the Redeemer, the Source of all graces, to the world, and in this way she is the channel of all graces. (Sent. certa.)
  2. Since Mary’s Assumption into Heaven no grace is conferred on man without her actual intercessory co-operation. (Sent. pia et probabilis.)
  3. Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her co-operation in the Incarnation. (Mediatio in universali.)
  4. Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven. (Mediatio in speciali.)
  5. Mary, the Mother of God, is entitled to the Cult of Hyperdulia. (Sent certa.)

Thank you to everyone who answers this question! I appreciate the time it takes to answer them.

God bless you all! :heart:

~A sister in Christ

Jesus is God so she can be called that.


(1) It would seem odd to refer to her as “Mary the mother of James and Joseph” but not "Mary the mother of Jesus (and James and Joseph). Tradition has always understood that Mary was a perpetual virgin, with Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” being either Joseph’s children from a prior marriage or close cousins, not just close relations, but having pretty much grown up together.

(2) Because there is no point at which the person of Jesus was not God, and when you’re a mother you’re the mother of a person, not a nature. Mary was Jesus’ mother, Jesus was always God, therefore Mary is the Mother of God, though not the origin of the Divine Nature. This title is very much about who Jesus is.

(3) From the moment Mary was conceived she was filled with God’s grace. And if “all have sinned” in the sense you take it, would that not include Jesus, who was fully a man? “All have sinned” in this context means there are no peoples on Earth, gentile or Jew, who are without sin. In fact, that’s explicitly the entire point of chapter 3, saying that Jews and gentiles are in the same boat and neither should boast, and Paul prefaces what’s written in 3:23 directly with, “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile.”

(4.1) Mary co-operated with God’s plan of redemption, and is the channel by which God brought his plan of salvation through Jesus Christ to fruition.

(4.2) Mary prays for and intercedes for all the Church, always.

(4.3 and 4.4) Same as 4.1 and 4.2

(4.5) Mary’s participation in God’s plan of salvation is unique among humans (who are only humans), compared to all other saints. People can be honored for their achievements, which are only possible by the grace of God, and this honors God’s excellent work through them. It is because of God that all generations call her blessed.


I would like to add for number 2 that all of Mary’s titles and all Marian dogmas have at their very essence extremely important Christological implications. Something all people-Catholic and non-Catholic- should know and understand.



because the verse would have mentioned ,as Mary the Mother of Jesus,

Why would you thinks so ,in verse 55 it mentions they where many other women,as she was so full of sorrow,she can never leave Jesus till the end as mentioned in other Gospels she was at the foot of the cross.why would she leave ?it would have been mentioned in the verse ,if it where so ,as the Bible explicitly mentioned in John 19:25 And that is what the soldiers did.Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

**Because the Bibles says so and the Holy Spirit says and ratifies it through the instrument of st ** Elizabeth because without the Holy Spirit no one can say Jesus is Lord .you cannot separate Jesus ,if he is God ,then She Mother Mary is the Mother of God Luke 1: 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me


All sinned that’s why God created a new thing on earth to save sinners like you and me
Jeremiah 31:22 How long will you waver, O faithless daughter (Eve)? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman (Mother Mary) encompasses a man (Jesus).

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she (Mary) shall crush thy (satan) head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. Hope you come to realize the Truth.

Galatians 4:26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free and she is our mother ( MARY). (MOTHER MARY IS SINLESS and Mary retain "perpetual virginity), 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married.”

Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean will enter Heaven, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. But when Jesus is born she had to be without Original Sin a pure vessel to contain Jesus in the womb… Lord Jesus (GOD) had to be born in a women who is sinless. why will the holy of hollies be born in sin, God is Holy, So he has to born into a holy place the womb of Mary.will you eat you food in a dirty and filthy vessel or drink in a dirty cup same way

Isaiah 66; 7 before she was in labor she gave birth; Before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.8 who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children.9 shall I open the womb and not deliver? Says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? Says your God.

Sirach 24:18, I am the mother of beautiful love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope; being eternal, I am given to all my children, to those who are named by him

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All the Graces and privileges of Mary is because of Jesus . [964] Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”;504 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."505

965 After her Son’s Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers."506 In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."507**[970]** "Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it."513 "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."514

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Because she’d just had the most horrible day of her life watching her only child be tortured to death?
I know I wouldn’t have been up and around and wanting to go deal with my loved one’s body right after something like that. I probably would be collapsed on my bed trying to deal with the PTSD from such an experience.

There is much debate in the Church about whether or not Mary is ‘Mediatrix of All Graces’.

The four dogmas of the Church regarding God’s work in Mary - Divine Motherhood, Perpetual Virginity, Assumptuon, Immaculate Conception

Yeah, where did you get that these were “dogmas”?

The Pope specifically decided NOT to make “Mediatrix of all graces” a Dogma.

Godisgood gave the correct list of the Four Marian Dogmas. A “dogma” is defined as a definitive article of faith that has either been solemnly promulgated by the college of bishops with the Pope at an ecumenical council, or by the Pope alone speaking in a statement ex cathedra, in which the magisterium presents a particular doctrine as necessary to be believed by all Catholic faithful. Although I love Mary and I personally believe she’s Mediatrix of All Graces as well as our mediator with Jesus, none of the stuff you posted is “dogma” to my knowledge.

By the way, dogmas aren’t “sententia certa” (aka Sent. certa), they’re “de fide”. Please see this thread for discussion of the different levels of certainty a Church has in a statement. (With respect to the post in that thread from Ron Conte, he’s a known unreliable source for Catholic teaching.)

I would feel the same way, I just thought it was traditional for her to assist with the burial but I doubt I’d be able to handle that myself. That would be pretty scarring.

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OK, that’s from Dr. Ludwig Ott’s “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” textbook. That is a reference work and, no offense, but IMHO it’s rather above the head of a Protestant just looking into Catholicism. I would say the things he is presenting are long-held Catholic doctrines, but only the things labeled “De fide” are essential beliefs of the faith, in other words things that Catholics must believe and that are not up for any discussion.

With respect to Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, first, it’s not dogma as already discussed. There are a number of cardinals and bishops within the Church who have been trying to get the Church to proclaim it a dogma for some time. One issue with it seems to be that some of the people advocating it also want to add the title of Mary being Co-Redemptrix (with Jesus) which as you can guess is even more controversial than her being Mediatrix of all Graces. I tend to think even a lot of people who like the Mediatrix of All Graces idea don’t like the Co-redemptrix idea. I’m not sure I embrace that one myself.

Second, considering “Mediatrix of All Graces” as just a long-held belief, here is one reasonably decent discussion of it from EWTN.

Since like I said this is not a Marian dogma yet, and is controversial, I would suggest you not deal with it at this stage of your inquiry and instead focus on getting to know the actual Marian dogmas.

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With respect to Mary not going out with the women to the tomb, there’s also an early Christian tradition - though it’s not in Scripture - that Mary knew and fully believed Jesus would rise on the third day, and that when he rose he appeared to her in her room. (Which seems like a reasonable thing for Jesus to do, since she was his mom and he loved her and all. ) So in view of that, she wouldn’t have gone out to the tomb because she already knew he wasn’t in it.

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Yeah, the problem is I don’t know where to get the actual Catholic dogmas except off the internet. I researched “Catholic dogmas” and that article came up. Are these the correct dogmas?

It’s probably reasonably okay, but I suspect all these “Here’s the Complete List of Dogmas” pages are simply pulling from that Ott book we already talked about.

If you are serious about wanting to know about the Catholic faith, read the official Catechism of the Church, and don’t mess around with all these webpages put together by some layman with an agenda or some company trying to sell you a book. The Catechism is available on the Vatican website for free, and will give you a much better idea of Catholic belief with explanations, and is coming straight from the source with no middleman.

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It is not only Catholics who say that Mary is the Mother of God. All Christians who subscribe to the third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus (431), are bound to accept Mary as the Mother of God (rendered Theotokos in Greek). It is my understanding that Methodists, like Anglicans, do accept the teachings of the first seven (or at least the first four) ecumenical councils.

More importantly, it should be understood that the definition of Mary as the Mother of God is in fact an expression of Christology. When you say, ‘… she is the mother of Jesus, but she is not the mother of God, the omnipotent being’, you are stating a heresy most famously articulated by Nestorius and repudiated by the Council of Ephesus. When you say that Mary is the mother of Jesus but not the Mother of God, you are saying that Jesus, the son of Mary, is not also, to use your words, ‘God, the omnipotent being’. You are, of course, perfectly entitled to believe that, but it is a position that is rejected not only by the Catholic Church but also by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Old Catholics, among others (and probably also by Methodists). Indeed, I do not think that the Church of the East (which dissented from the Council of Ephesus) would accept your Christology either.

Put another way, when you say that Mary was not the Mother of God, you are separating Jesus’ manhood from his Godhead. You are saying that Mary gave birth only to a human child called Jesus and not to the Son of God. Once again it is important to emphasise that what I am saying here is not specifically Catholic, but is the understanding of Jesus Christ held by all Christians who accept the Council of Ephesus, which includes not only Catholics but also all Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians and also many Protestant denominations.


Get a copy of Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. Kenneth Brighenti and Fr. John Trigilio. It is an excellent, easily read and digested explanation of the history and teachings of the Church which Christ founded. A very good place to begin, as we must crawl before we can run.


I thought United Methodists and High Church Methodists also said this? I take it you’re from some other branch of Methodism if this is new to you?

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