Was Mary Predestined?

A thought just occured to me.

If I understand the catholic position correctly, Mary was free from original sin. She was immaculately conceived.

The explanation I was given here, if I understood it correctly, is that Mary did need a saviour, but she was sved before she was born, because of the special role God the Father had intended for her.

We all have free will.

We all suffer the effects of that free will.

Much is made of Marys YES because of the role catholics given Mary in salvation history.

But could Mary ever have said NO - given the catholic belief she was already saved before she was born, due to the fact she was destined to become the Mother of God?

487 What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.

Mary’s predestination

488 “God sent forth his Son”, but to prepare a body for him,125 he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary”:126

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.127

489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living.128 By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age.129 Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.130 Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."131

The Immaculate Conception

490 To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

492 The “splendour of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
“Let it be done to me according to your word. . .”

494 At the announcement that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that “with God nothing will be impossible”: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."139 Thus, giving her consent to God’s word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace:140

As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."141 Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith."142 Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary “the Mother of the living” and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."143


Thanks Eucharisted.

Im still not clear but maybe Im missing something.

It seems to be saying that Mary was in fact predestined to be the mother of God, but still could have said no as God wanted her free concent??

But why would God predestine a woman from before time began to carry His Son, if she could and would say know.

If Mary had said no, would that imply God is a poor judge of character and made a mistake?

By saying yes, she is going along with a predestined plan.

So does that diminish her fiat somehow?

And does than mean in fact that catholics do believe in predestination?

If Mary could be predestined, why not all of us?

God is all-knowing, He would know from eternity who would fully accept His mission.

You asked “Could Mary have said No?” Could she have said Yes? Indeed she could have and she did.

Well we know she said yes.

But could she ever have said no, really, given she was saved before her birth, was kept sinless, and was full of grace.

It doesnt seem to me she really did have free will on this one - and therefor does this somehow mitigate her role in catholic salvation history?

A holy man dose not have less freedom than a sinner.

This is not the time to go all Confusious on me :smiley:

I believe in predestination. I think God has a plan for all of us. Some choose to accept it, some spend their lives trying to find out what it is, and some have no clue that God has a plan for them.

We must listen, pray and discern God’s will for us. I think if we listen closely we can begin to understand our mission or calling.

I believe God knows before we are born, who will come to Him, either on their deathbed or from the moment they are born. God can use all people to bring forth his kingdom.

God is ALL knowing…we can’t even begin to fathom his Love, his ultimate plan, or God himself.

of course Mary could have said ‘no’

that is why she had to say, “be done to me according to Thy will”

in the Angelus, what is the next line after this? “and The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”

it was intended that way to clearly show that Jesus was incarnated only after Mary’s submission to God’s Will. before that, as written in the Bible that Gabriel has described Mary’s conception and pregnancy as future events. “you will…”. it has not happened yet and it didn’t until Mary submitted to God’s Will

Doesn’t the Bible clearly state that only one was born free of sin–Jesus…
God Bless!

Are we exploring the idea that Mary could have spoiled God’s plan of redemption? Did she really have that ability and power to foil the plan of God which manifest the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ?

Mary was conceived without sit. she wasn’t free from sin as she would not have been saved as well if she chose to reject God’s plan and Jesus was not born and died on the cross

yes, she has the ability. remember she is the New Eve. the first Eve destroyed or ruined God’s perfect creation by saying YES to temptation and sin. Mary being the New Eve brought about man’s salvation by saying YES to God

of course, after all that has been said and done, we will never know if Mary was indeed able to say no and what happens afterwards. unless you’re a believer of the multi-verse (ridiculous idea i know but just play along) and that there’s a parallel dimension where Mary said NO and Jesus wasn’t born. but my thinking here is God would then set another one to be the mother of Jesus and God will continue to do so until one would fully cooperate and submit to His Will

I’ve never heard Mary described as the new Eve. Is that just a Catholic teaching?

Certainly. Eve was sinless and full of grace and she said “no” to God by way of her free choice.

Mary was *more *free than we are in the operation of her will, since she was in no way marred by the effects of sin, just as Eve was. Yet Mary chose to say “yes” to God.

Of course she did. Don’t confuse foreknowledge on God’s part with lack of free will on Mary’s part. God is outside time.

There are some things that God cannot do. He cannot lie, nor can you surprise Him. He knows all things. He knew Adam and Eve were going to disobey prior to creating them. He knew Mary’s choices prior to creating Mary. Mary is simply a creature and not the creator like the 2nd Adam.

I don’t think I’d characterize it as “just” a Catholic teaching.

This archetype has existed since the first or second century. Writings such as those of Justin Martyr (Dialog with Trypho) make the connection between Eve and Mary, the former’s disobedience and the latter’s cooperation. Justin wrote in the mid-second century, and the theology on this seems already established and developed.

So, it is more than “just” a Catholic teaching-- it is a teaching that goes back to the dawn of the Church.

See this article, and the references to the New Eve:


It’s very difficult for me to explore Mary as the new Eve because Jesus is considered the second Adam. Since Jesus is tne 2nd person of the godhead, it does not seem right to compare a creature (Mary) with the creator (Jesus) in regards to the theological importance between the first Adam and second Adam. When you study Romans chapter 5 in regards to the first Adam and second Adam, Mary is never mentioned. Is there anything in Scripture which would point Mary as being the new Eve?

If you could point this out I would appreciate it. I do not believe the Bible does say this.

Romans 3… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all know Mary rejoiced in her Savior in Luke. Only those who have sinned need a Savior. Those who are without sin can be a Savior.

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