Why do we call both Mary and the Pope "Holy"?

Isn’t God alone Holy?

What makes Mary Holy? What is the scriptural basis for calling her that?

Why do we call the Pope “Holy”?

If the Pope is “Holy,” are cardinals and bishops also “Holy”?


God alone is {MOST} Holy. Now do we REALLY need a scriptural reference to Mary being called Holy? Mary is the Mother of Jesus, Jesus is God, if we follow this logic, Mary is the Mother of God. At what point does this not indicate how Mary is Holy?

Mary is holy since she is full of grace and participates in the divine nature as we all hope to eventually, though presumably to a lesser degree.

We all hope the Pope is personally holy, but judging the personal holiness of any living human being is a tricky thing and in any case we know there have been at least a handful of very morally degenerate Popes in history. For this reason I as a convert have often been puzzled at why we call the Pope “the Holy Father.” I suppose the designation has to do with the holiness of the Papal office rather than necessarily the worthiness of any given man to hold that office.

Catholic teaching is that our souls are truly and actually transformed by God’s grace by the power of the Holy Spirit through the merits of Jesus Christ. Some scriptures that might help you are:

"the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. (Col 1:27).

"Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire (2 Pet. 1:4).

“By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb 10:10

God is the Source of all holiness, but He freely shares His holiness with us. Holy simply means to be “set apart”. We are “set apart” when we become children of the Most High God the waters of baptism and by faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot become holy on our own, that is one of the most important things to remember. God’s grace, which makes us holy, is a gift of God that we receive with humble hearts. Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit continually sanctifies us throughout our Christian life. Becoming holy is not a one time event as some Christians believe, but an ongoing process. The Blessed Virgin is an exception to this because she was sanctified from conception in preparation for her role as the Savior’s mother. The Pope is like one of us in the sense that he is a sinner too and continues to be sanctified throughout his life.

Mary is Holy because she is in heaven. All the saints are holy or made perfect.

The Pope is called “Holy Father”. I believe this is a comment on the office rather then the person.

Holiness is a decrease in sin and an increase in virtue.

Mary is holy, without sin.


From 1peter1:

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

We are exhorted by the Bible to make ourselves holy.But also, why do we refer to the Bible as the Holy Bible?

Do you think Mary and our pope, bishops, priests…have achieved some level of holiness?

God sanctifies

God bless

Which is true because the Latin Sanctus (or Sancta) could be either “Holy” or “Saint.”

The Pope is called “Holy Father”. I believe this is a comment on the office rather then the person.

Also true. And when addressing him it is “Sanctitas Vestra” or “Your Holiness.”

God’s holiness is part of His essence. He is holy as He is good and true and all those other characteristics.

We are holy to the extent that we are conformed to Him - restored to the image in which we were created. This is the effect of grace.

People and objects can be consecrated, set apart for service to God. These are also referred to as holy, such as the Ark of the Covenant and the vestments worn by the High Priest in the Temple (as well as the High Priest himself). The blessing that consecrates them asks God to make them holy.


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