Perfect Virgin |
Perfect Virgin Mary, |
your perfect virgin life
began with a miraculous virgin conception
and a miraculous virgin birth.
By virtue of your Divine Son Jesus Christ's perfect virginity,
of which your perfect virginity is but an imitation,
from which your perfect virginity proceeds,
grant chastity, modesty, and humility
to us, who trust in your perfect virginity,
and to the whole world.
that the Virginity of Mary,
the Mother of Jesus Christ,
be so perfect, complete, and all-encompassing
that even the manner of her Immaculate Conception
and her Holy Birth
were required by God
to be entirely Virginal,
occurring solely and entirely by a miracle of God,
and not in the usual way."
the Virginity of Jesus and Mary
is a booklet of theological insights about the Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth of Jesus and the Immaculate Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth of Mary. Quotes from the booklet, and a summary of the theological arguments, are found below.
Questions and Answers:
"Is this the official teaching of the Catholic Church?"
The Catholic Church has no official teaching on whether or not the Virgin Mary had a virgin conception and virgin birth. This booklet contains speculative theology, that is, theology on questions not yet decided by the Church.
But I say more. There are ten thousand truths as yet undiscovered within the ancient Deposit of Faith: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
"Are you saying that Saint Ann was a virgin?"
No, Saint Ann was not a virgin. Saints Ann and Joachim conceived a child in the usual way, the older sister of the Virgin Mary, mentioned in John 19:25. Rather, I am saying that the manner of the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception was entirely virginal and miraculous.
"What are the differences between Mary's conception and Christ's conception?"
(1) Christ is Divine, whereas Mary is merely human. Thus, Christ's conception was an Incarnation, whereas Mary's conception was not an Incarnation.
(2) Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of both her parents (St. Joachim and St. Ann). Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of only one human parent (the Virgin Mary). This difference indicates that Christ is Divine, with God alone as His Father, whereas Mary is merely human.
(3) Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of a perfect Virgin. Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of Joachim and Ann, who were not virgins. Joachim and Ann conceived a child years earlier, the older sister of the Virgin Mary (Jn 19:25).
1. Argument based on Sacred Tradition
The Church has always taught that Mary is perfect in every way, including her perfect virginity.
Christ's perfect virginity is the definition of perfect virginity and includes a virgin conception and virgin birth.
Mary is like Christ in all things except His Divinity.
Therefore, Mary had a virgin conception and a virgin birth, similar to Christ's virgin conception and virgin birth.
"The perfect Virginity of Jesus Christ requires that He have a Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth.
The Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ are a necessary and essential part of Christ's
perfect Virginity. The Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ are in no way superfluous or
extraneous to Christ's perfect Virginity. The Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ are an
integral and meaningful part of His perfect Virginity."
"The Virginity of Mary is also entirely perfect, therefore she also must necessarily have a Virgin
Conception and Virgin Birth. It cannot be otherwise. The Virgin Mary is perfect, therefore her
Virginity must also be perfect. To be perfect is to be like Christ. Since Christ has a Virgin Conception
and Virgin Birth, Mary must also have a Virgin Conception and Virgin Birth."
2. Argument based on Sacred Scripture
“ ‘Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.’ ” (Mt 11:11).
“ ‘I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’ ” (Lk 7:28).
Those who have a natural conception and birth are not greater than John. Jesus and Mary are both greater than John. Therefore, Jesus and Mary each had a conception and birth which differs from that of natural conception and birth. They each had a miraculous, virginal conception and a miraculous, virginal birth.
3. The writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
“After passing through about a third of the passage Joachim came to a place in the midst of which
stood a pillar in the form of a palm-tree with hanging leaves and fruits. Here he was met by Anna,
radiant with happiness. They embraced each other with holy joy, and each told the other their good
tidings. They were in a state of ecstasy and enveloped in a cloud of light. I saw this light issuing from
a great host of angels, who were carrying the appearance of a high shining tower and hovering above
the heads of Anna and Joachim."
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Rockford, Illinois: TAN
Books and Publishers, Inc., 1970), p. 40-41.
“The tower vanished between Joachim and Anne, both of whom were encompassed by brilliant
light and glory. At the same moment the heavens above them opened, and I saw the joy of the Most
Holy Trinity and of the angels over the Conception of Mary. Both Joachim and Anne were in a
supernatural state. I learned that, at the moment in which they embraced and the light shone around
them, the Immaculate Conception of Mary was accomplished.”
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, (Rockford, Illinois:
TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1986), Vol. 1, p. 137-138.
Now, private revelation does not have the authority of Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition.
However, neither should we ignore private revelations given to the saints.
The Church rightly permits the faithful to learn and benefit from private revelation,
such as the private revelations given at Fatima and Lourdes.
The argument from the private revelations (visions) given to Blessed Anne Catherine is
not as strong as the arguments from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Yet her
words are worth consideration, since she has been declared Blessed by the Church.
Blessed Anne Catherine saw visions of the Immaculate Conception and the birth of
the Virgin Mary. She described these as occurring miraculously and virginally.
4. Some Additional Quotes From The Booklet
"It is a part of the total and constant Virginity of Mary, the Mother of God, that even the manner of
her Immaculate Conception was completely Virginal, occurring solely and entirely by means of a
miracle from the Mercy of God, and not by means of human will or action. Saint Joachim and Saint
Ann did not conceive the Virgin Mary by means of marital relations. The Immaculate Virgin
Conception of the Virgin Mary occurred in a manner which was wholly virginal and miraculous. Such
a true virgin conception could never be brought about by nature or science or human intervention, but
solely by a miracle of God. Even so, by the power of God, the body of the Virgin Mary came from
both her father, Saint Joachim, and her mother, Saint Ann. The Virgin Mary has as her immediate
ancestors both Saint Joachim and Saint Ann. Saint Joachim is the Virgin Mary's real, biological father
and Saint Ann is the Virgin Mary's real, biological mother, yet the Immaculate Conception of the
Virgin Mary occurred solely by means of a miracle of God. This teaching is true and worthy of full
acceptance by all Christians."
"The Virginity of Mary, the Mother of the Messiah, is without flaw, omission, or imperfection. To
have a flaw is to have something that one ought not to have. Mary's perfect Virginity is without flaw,
containing nothing contrary to the will of God. An omission is something lacking that ought to be
present. Mary's perfect Virginity is without omission, lacking in nothing, containing everything
according to the will of God. An imperfection is when something that ought to be present is present,
but in a lesser form and not entirely as it ought to be. Mary's perfect Virginity is without imperfection,
and is everything that it could ever be and should ever be, in complete fulfillment of the perfect will of
God. The perfect Virginity of Mary, the Mother of God, is three times perfect and entirely perfect,
without flaw, omission, or imperfection. The Virginity of Mary, the most pure Mother of our Divine
Savior Jesus Christ, is a perfect reflection of the will of God."
by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Read the booklet in Kindle format: the Virginity of Jesus and Mary