Was Mary really sinless her entire life?

Dear Apologist,

I was raised in a Protestant home, but I feel myself really being called to Catholicism (after some years of being unaffiliated and wrestling with some serious doubts). A struggle I have is how does the church validate the idea that Mary was perpetually sinless? Catholic friends have told me that it deals with her having to have been sinless in order to have mothered Jesus, who was sinless (of course). But by that same logic (and I’m not being disrespectful, I genuinely want to understand), wouldn’t Elizabeth, and her mother, and her mother before her also have had to be sinless?

Thank you for your time and attention.


No, Elizabeth and Ann would not have to be sinless as well; only Mary’s womb held the Son of God. Only she was His mother. Her mother and her cousin were holy women, but they were not called to be the mother of Jesus. It is Mary’s close proximity to the person of her Son that makes her unique.

You may be close to your grandmother and your mother’s cousins, but your relationship with your mother begins with the fact that she is the place where you came to be. For all eternity there will never be a relationship for you that is more unique. Your mother is where God created you!

Even though in His divine nature, Jesus created His mother; in His human nature, his relationship with his mother is like yours with your mother. The big difference is that Jesus is God and therefore, infinitely good. An infinitely good incarnate God deserves to have a mother that is at least sinless throughout her life. See; Mary is so special to us Catholics because her Son is God! She is all about Him. If she were not; she would not be special to us at all. The attention we give her does not diminish our reverence for Jesus; it is the direct result of how highly we regard Him. He is THAT special to us!!!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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