Full of Grace, Theotokos, and The New Eve: A History of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email

The following is a college essay written by Michael Twohig from Christendom College. The essay received the grade of A- or higher. Clarifying Catholicism enjoys publishing essays, so we encourage people submit them on our Write for Us page.

On December 8, 1854, Bl. Pope Pius IX pronounced ex cathedra the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Far from a random exercise of papal infallibility, Pius IX was merely crowning a theological proposition that had been argued over and refined since the earliest days of the Church. It had been argued over by the early Church Fathers, both Eastern and Western, who tried to reconcile St. Paul’s teaching that “all men sinned” with a sense that, given her identification as the New Eve and her role as Theotokos, Mary was free from all stain of sin, including original sin.[1] Over the following centuries representatives of the great religious orders would lend their voices to the debate, but it fell to Bl. Duns Scotus to change the trajectory of the debate irrevocably and St. Lawrence Brindisi to synthesize and clarify the proposition on the Immaculate Conception so as to prepare the way for its dogmatic declaration. Finally, one can only fully comprehend the theological proposition concerning Mary’s role as co-redemptrix, the last great undefined Marian doctrine, with a background in the historical and theological development of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Scriptural genesis for the Immaculate Conception can be traced to St. Luke’s Annunciation narrative, wherein Mary is greeted by the angel Gabriel with the words χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη. Thus, St. Jerome’s rendition of the Greek in the Latin Vulgate as plena gratia, “full of grace,” constitutes the best translation and exegesis of the greeting when read with an eye to the living tradition of the Church and a proper understanding of St. Paul’s teaching on grace.

Before one can hope to arrive at a proper understanding of the angel’s greeting to Mary as interpreted by St. Jerome, one should first become familiar with St. Paul’s theology of grace. As a disciple of St. Paul, St. Luke would have undoubtedly learned from St. Paul the nature of grace, which then informed the Gospel he wrote, particularly with regards to the role of grace in Mary’s life. St. Lawrence Brindisi, who compiles an extensive assortment of Scriptural references to grace in all its variegated meanings, acknowledges St. Paul as “the preeminent preacher of this grace,” this grace specifically referring to “that gift of God which adorns the soul through the inpouring of the Holy Spirit.”[2] Indeed, St. Paul emphasizes this understanding of grace throughout his Letters, such as his statement in the Letter to the Romans that “God’s love [St. Lawrence equates love with grace] has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”[3] He explicitly confirms this understanding of grace again in Romans: “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ [St. Lawrence equates grace with the Spirit of Christ] does not belong to him.”[4] Thus, grace as understood in the Pauline sense primarily refers to the imparting and special indwelling of God within the soul of a person, a nuance that should be kept in mind when reading St. Luke’s Gospel.

The Annunciation scene of St. Luke’s Gospel opens with the angel Gabriel addressing Mary in a way unique in the entire Bible. The Septuagint Greek renders his greeting thus: χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη.[5] In translating this phrase, St. Jerome renders the Greek also in a unique way, translating it in his Latin Vulgate as Ave, gratia plena, or “Hail, full of grace.”[6] His translation of the Greek has in turn spawned much theological debate that continues to this day concerning the suitability of “full of grace” as the proper rendition of χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη and the theological inferences one can draw from “full of grace.” St. Lawrence fully defends the rendition of κεχαριτωμένη as ‘full of grace,’ noting that it can “mean[s] favored or highly regarded, or especially loved and esteemed,” but countering this with the fact that ‘full of grace’ “has been the touchstone for theologians, has the support and approbation of all the holy Doctors of the Church.”[7] He tellingly appends his analysis of ‘full of grace’ with an extensive exegesis of St. Paul’s theology of grace.[8] Aidan Nichols goes even further, stating that “philologists…find their Latin (and thus English Catholic) rendering, if anything, insufficiently enthusiastic.” He notes that

whereas in secular Greek, χαῖρε is a commonplace enough greeting… in those books of the Septuagint, the Bible of the Greek-speaking Alexandrian Jews…[χαῖρε] should be translated ‘rejoice’ or ‘rejoice greatly’ because this word typically ‘refers to the joy of the people… at some striking act done by God for their salvation.’[9]

More importantly, he notes that the word κεχαριτωμένη “belongs to a family of Greek verbs… that have in common the expressing of causal action,” thus indicating that the best way of translating it is “‘You who have already been transformed by grace.’”[10]

Dr. Tracy delved into the grammatical nuances of this claim by Nichols by stating that κεχαριτωμένη is the past participle factitive verb form of the Greek word for grace, χαριτ.[11] Since factitive verbs “describe the action of some thing making some [other] thing a property,” and since St. Luke was writing with the Pauline conception of grace as the transformative influx of the Divine life in the soul of an individual, κεχαριτωμένη can be best understood as Mary being acknowledged by the angel as having been ‘in-grace-ened,’ or having been put into a state of grace by God in a prior action and continuing in that state.[12] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger rounds out the significance of χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη by taking the translation “full of grace” a step further. Cardinal Ratzinger sees fit to render the Greek as “‘You are full of the Holy Spirit; your life is intimately connected with God,’” since, summarizing from Peter Lombard’s Sententiae, “Grace in the proper and deepest sense of the word is not some thing that comes from God; it is God.”[13] Thus, while his rendition may be lacking in some respects in its enthusiasm, St. Jerome intended to convey a concept that had no verbal means of expression in Latin, and so he used the translation gratia plena to indicate a state of ‘en-grace-ment’ that persists.[14]

While not explicit in their writings, the idea of Mary’s sinlessness from her conception that can be derived from κεχαριτωμένη/gratia plena can be discerned in the teachings of the early Church Fathers, both Eastern and Western, concerning Mary as the New Eve. First, however, one must become familiar with St. Paul’s ‘theology of recapitulation,’ or the basic concept that individuals in the New Testament “re-summarize [re-head] within themselves a history and have it go where it was meant.”[15] In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul states, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”[16] Jesus thus becomes identified as the New Adam, come to correct (‘re-head’) Adam’s sin by means of His sinlessness and willing self-sacrifice. The early Church Fathers, both Ante- and Post-Nicene, extend this ‘theology of recapitulation’ to encompass Mary as the New Eve, who through her own obedience and cooperation with God’s saving plan corrected Eve’s disobedience, or, more properly understood, “brought the story of Eve where it was meant to go” by “taking what is fragmented and making it united.”[17] Writing in the early 2nd century A.D., the apologist St. Justin Martyr saw fit to state that Jesus “became man by the Virgin” since “Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy” and conceived Him through “whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.”[18] Likewise, St. Irenaeus in the mid 2nd century A.D. made the startling assertion that Eve “having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race.”[19]

In the mid 4th century A.D., after the Council of Nicaea, St. Cyril of Jerusalem taught that “through Eve yet virgin came death; through a virgin, or rather from a virgin, must the Life appear: that as the serpent beguiled the one, so to the other Gabriel might bring good tidings.”[20] And St. Ephraim the Syrian, also writing in the mid 4th century A.D., puts to melody this exegetical conclusion of the Early Fathers, writing, “In her virginity Eve put on the leaves of shame: Your Mother put on in her Virginity the garment of Glory that suffices for all. She gave the little vest of the Body to Him that covers all,” and “Let women praise Her, the pure Mary, — that as in Eve their mother — great was their reproach — lo! In Mary their sister — greatly magnified was their honour.”[21] These Fathers of the Church note the fittingness of Mary’s faithful obedience as being that which recapitulates Eve’s role as mother of the human race and, in a sense, ‘redeems’ Eve’s disobedience. Whereas through Eve mankind received sin and death, through Mary (by means of Christ) man receives sanctifying grace and everlasting life. Moreover, while not explicitly stated, the teachings of the Fathers already point towards the Virgin Mary’s sinlessness by comparing her to the virgin Eve, who was initially created sinless.[22]

Nevertheless, the theological opinion (for it had not been definitively defined as doctrine yet) of Mary’s Immaculate Conception remained a source of contentious debate through the medieval period. Due to the hugely formative influence of St. Augustine’s theology on original sin and grace, Nichols sees fit to describe the Latin Church as generally holding to the opinion that “simply by virtue of entering into human nature at biological conception, human persons take on not only a flawed moral inheritance but also a situation of originally guilty estrangement from God.”[23] Thus, theologians working in the Cistercian and Dominican traditions logically extended the doctrine concerning the transmission of original sin by means of generation to encompass Mary–because she is born in the race of Adam, Mary is subject to the same punishment that all human beings are bound to suffer. From the Cistercians, St. Lawrence Brindisi notes that St. Bernard of Clairvaux “seems to be the first of all to set forth this opinion,” the “opinion which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin.”[24] Perhaps the best example of the opposition towards the opinion of Mary’s Immaculate Conception can be found in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas presented two primary objections. Firstly, St. Thomas states that Mary was “sanctified in the womb from original sin, as to the personal stain; but she was not freed from the guilt to which the whole nature is subject, so as to enter into Paradise otherwise than through the Sacrifice of Christ.” [25] In other words, would Mary being conceived without original sin mean she did not need to be redeemed by Jesus, despite the fact that He gave Himself “as a ransom for all”?[26] Secondly, concerning the timing of her sanctification, St. Thomas reasons, “Now sin cannot be taken away except by grace, the subject of which is the rational creature alone. Therefore before the infusion of the rational soul, the Blessed Virgin was not sanctified.”[27] Nichols reiterates St. Thomas’s thought on the matter, namely “that to contract original sin in one’s own person and to be redeemed from it are correlative concepts. You cannot be positively redeemed except from a negative state of affairs.”[28] The debate thus centered around the timing of her sanctification and, relatedly but more importantly, the necessity of her sanctification through Christ from original sin (for, as St. Lawrence states as he discusses St. Thomas’s view that Mary committed no venial sin after birth, “it must simply be stated that the Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, whether mortal or venial”).[29]

The Franciscans led by Bl. Duns Scotus would ultimately provide the key to resolve these problems. Scotus addressed both concerns of St. Thomas “by developing a distinction between the preservative and reparatory application of Christ’s merits.”[30] In his own words, Scotus argues that “the nature in itself is prior to each – both to the privation and to the form – and is neither, because its nature is neither privation nor form.”[31] Therefore, “neither justice nor the lack of it is included” in “being a son or daughter of Adam.”[32] Because having a rational nature does not entail a lack of original justice per se, Scotus articulates a concept of redemption applied to Mary in a preservative (before the fact), rather than reparative (after the fact), sense:

God could in the first instant of the soul have poured into it as much grace as he poured into another soul at circumcision or baptism; therefore in its first instant the soul would not have had original sin, just as neither would it have had original sin afterwards when the person was baptized.[33]

This resolves St. Thomas’s concerns about the timing of Mary’s sanctification, while also upholding the necessity of Mary’s redemption by means of Christ.[34]

Of utmost importance with regards to overcoming the resistance towards the definition of the Immaculate Conception was the work of St. Lawrence Brindisi. He engaged in the vast project of synthesizing a biblical exegesis of Mary in the Old and New Testament with the teaching of the Fathers and theologians.  He situates his entire work within the all-important paradigm of Mary’s Divine Maternity:

Think of who God is, what he can do, wills to do, and finds becoming for his majesty. Then think of Mary as true spouse of God, true and natural Mother of Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Almighty God: Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.[35]

All the rest of his thought proceeds from this base premise. He first identifies Mary as “this dwelling” that “the Most High himself has founded.”[36] This leads him to identify three locations in the Old Testament that God resided in in a special way, which he connects with the Church, Christ, and finally Mary: “Three dwellings of God are mentioned in Scripture: the first is Moses’ Tabernacle; the second is David’s tabernacle for which this religious king prepared a place in his own palace in Jerusalem; the third is Solomon’s temple.”[37] He also compares her to “Jerusalem,” which “foundations of the city, he says are on the holy mountains or the mountains of holiness” and thus “signifies that this city was founded and conceived in holiness and grace and not just any grace but grace higher than that of all other saints.”[38] He continues, “Not only must we conclude that God could preserve Mary from sin, which no one can doubt unless he has totally lost his mind, but also that God would preserve her from sin.”[39] To augment this point, he puts forth the positive argument that “It [the Immaculate Conception] manifests God’s power…God’s wisdom…God’s goodness…finally, the immaculate conception also manifests God’s perfect love for Christ.”[40] He also puts forth the negative argument that God would not countenance Mary to be born under the influence of the devil: “And God would permit the one chosen to be his Spouse and the Mother of his Only-begotten Son to be defiled and violated by the devil?”[41] While this comprises only a small sampling of his biblical exegesis, it suffices to show that St. Lawrence demonstrated through extensive Scriptural exegesis that it was right and proper for Mary to be completely free from all sin so that she could be the Theotokos. St. Lawrence Brindisi thus contributed greatly to the definition of the Immaculate Conception with his sermons.

Pope Pius IX made use of biblical exegesis, much of it almost certainly synthesized by St. Lawrence, the opinions of the Early Fathers regarding Mary as the New Eve, and the logical distinctions made by Bl. Duns Scotus when defining the Immaculate Conception.[42] The definition of the dogma is thus: “the most blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”[43] When understood with this dogma in mind, “full of grace” briefly captures the beauty of a soul preserved from the stain of sin. But, as one may ask, for what? Why was Mary preserved from all stain of sin? So far in this essay, it has been shown that Mary was preserved from original sin so that she could be the Mother of the Son of God. But does the import of Mary’s Immaculate Conception end there, or can and should it be tied to the as-yet undefined theology of Marian co-redemption? As Nichols points out, some, the so-called Marian co-redemptrix minimalists, argue that Mary’s role in redemption ended at her Fiat in the Annunciation; since “the incarnation was a necessary condition of that [redemptive] death,” Mary cooperated in the redemption insofar as she was the Theotokos.[44] Marian co-redemptrix maximalists, on the other hand, connect Mary’s Annunciation with her presence at the foot of the Cross so as to show that Mary’s “contribution enters into the overall constitution of Christ’s sacrifice as that sacrifice transpired in itself before God.”[45] This is where, as Nichols shows, the Patristic exegesis of Mary as the New Eve comes into play again. Just as Christ was the New Adam come to reverse the Fall of the old Adam, Mary is the subordinate helpmate who reversed the subordinate role Eve played in Adam’s fall, “the occasion for Christ of aid in his redeeming work.”[46]

With this in mind, Nichols reduces the two main issues regarding the potential doctrine of Mary’s co-redemption: “the congruence of Mary’s contribution to the redemption” and “its possibility given that her Son is the only mediator of salvation.”[47] In the end, he asserts that both can be answered affirming the co-redemption’s legitimacy. As to the matter of congruence, convenientia, Nichols argues that it is fitting “that the New Adam should have a helpmate in the achieving of salvation who was a human person,” since Christ “achieved our salvation” as “a divine person acting in human nature,” and that it should be “a female human person” originally free, like the first Eve, from sin.[48] As to the matter of possibility, Nichols states that, understood using “the principle causa causae et causa causate,” Mary’s unique sanctification was not just ordered “to the incarnation event, but… to the purpose of the incarnation—to its redemptive purpose” that is due “to the unique plenitude of grace given her at her conception.”[49] Her role was that “of the costing ratification of the offering of Christ by a human person,” and while it was “subordinate, dependent, and participatory” and “added nothing to the intrinsic value of Christ’s sacrifice,” “humanity in her made its own the supreme act of reparation which only Christ could put in place.”[50] Because of Mary’s unique union and cooperation with Christ in the Redemption, Mary can be said to have merited the graces won by Christ on the Cross.[51] As Coleman O’Niell says, “Our grace, accordingly, has been won for us on two titles, by Christ as principal mediator and by Mary in virtue of Christ.”[52] In this way does the Co-Redemption complete the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.[53] Only unfallen, grace-filled man in the Person of Jesus Christ could redeem the fallen human race, and in the same way, only unfallen, grace-filled (plena gratia) woman in the person of Mary could cooperate on behalf of the rest of humanity in our redemption.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aquinas, St. Thomas. Summa Theologiae. Trans. by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. From The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2nd rev. ed. (1920). New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

Augustine. On Nature and Grace. Trans. by Peter Holmes and Robert Ernest Wallis, and revised by Benjamin B. Warfield. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol.    5. Edited by Philip Schaff. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed November 3, 2019).

Brindisi, St. Lawrence. The Mariale: Collected Sermons and Homilies of St. Lawrence Brindisi   in Twelve Books. Trans. by Vernon Wagner, O.F.M.CAP. Media House Delhi, 2014 (Second Edition). Kindle and PDFs provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages.

Cyril of Jerusalem. Catechetical Lectures. Trans. by Edwin Hamilton Gifford. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 7. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace.    Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1894. Revised and edited for New    Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed October 29, 2019).

Ephraim the Syrian. Hymns on the Nativity. Trans. by J.B. Morris (Hymn nos. 1-13) and A. Edward Johnston (Hymn nos. 14-19). From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed October 29, 2019).

Irenaeus of Lyon. Adversus Haereses. Trans. by Alexander Roberts and William Rambaut. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

Martyr, St. Justin. Dialogue with Trypho. Trans. by Marcus Dods and George Reith. From Ante-  Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A.     Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

Nichols, Aidan. There Is No Rose: The Mariology of the Catholic Church. Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2015. JSTOR (PDFs provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages).

O’Neill, Coleman. “Our Lady in the Mass.” In Meeting Christ in the Sacraments, rev. ed, 221-231. New York: Alba House, 1991. PDF provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages.

Pius IX. Ineffabilis Deus. 8 December 1854. New Advent online (accessed November 6, 2019).

Ratzinger, Joseph. Mary, The Church at the Source. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005. PDF     provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages.

Scotus, Bl. Duns. The Ordinatio. Trans. by Peter L. P. Simpson. From vol. 9 of the Vatican critical edition of the Latin text edited by the Scotus Commission in Rome and published by Quarrachi. April 2018. Aristelophile.com (accessed October 24, 2019).


                [1] Romans 5:12 (RSVCE). “Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned…”

                [2] St. Lawrence Brindisi, The Mariale: Collected Sermons and Homilies of St. Lawrence Brindisi in Twelve Books, Part III, The Angelic Salutation, Sermon 5, trans. by Vernon Wagner, O.F.M.CAP (Media House Delhi, Second Edition, 2014), 141. Kindle and PDFs provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages. All subsequent citations will be from the same book but different collections of sermons.

                [3] Romans 5:5 (RSVCE); St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part III, The Angelic Salutation, Sermon 5, 141.

                [4] Romans 8:9 (RSVCE); St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part III, The Angelic Salutation, Sermon 5, 141.

                [5] Luke 1:28 (morphological Greek New Testament), Blue Letter Bible online.

                [6] Luke 1:28 (Vulg.), Blue Letter Bible online.

                [7]  St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part III, The Angelic Salutation, Sermon Five, 139.

                [8] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part III, The Angelic Salutation, Sermon Five, 140-142.

                [9] Aidan Nichols, There Is No Rose: The Mariology of the Catholic Church (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2015), 7-8. JSTOR (PDFs provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages).

                [10] Nichols, 9.

                [11] Dr. Tracy, in-class lecture.

                [12] Dr. Tracy, in-class lecture.

                [13] Joseph Ratzinger, Mary, The Church at the Source (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 67-68. PDF provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages.

                [14] Dr. Tracy, in-class lecture.

                [15] Dr. Tsakanikas, in-class lecture.

                [16] 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (RSVCE).

                [17] Dr. Tsakanikas, in-class lecture.

                [18] St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 100, trans. by Marcus Dods and George Reith, from Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight, New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

                [19] St. Irenaeus of Lyon, Adversus Haereses, Book III, chapter 22, trans. by Alexander Roberts and William Rambaut, from Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing  Co., 1885), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight, New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

                [20] St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 12, trans. by Edwin Hamilton Gifford, from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 7, edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1894), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight, New Advent online (accessed October 29, 2019).

                [21] St. Ephraim the Syrian. Hymns on the Nativity, Hymns 12 and 15, trans. by J.B. Morris (Hymn nos. 1-13) and A. Edward Johnston (Hymn nos. 14-19), from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 13, edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight, New Advent online (accessed October 29, 2019).

                [22] Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854, New Advent online (accessed November 6, 2019). “Eve listened to the serpent with lamentable consequences; she fell from original innocence and became his slave. The most Blessed Virgin, on the contrary, ever increased her original gift, and not only never lent an ear to the serpent, but by divinely given power she utterly destroyed the force and dominion of the evil one.”

                [23] Nichols, 51-52; St. Augustine, On Nature and Grace, Paragraph 42, trans. by Peter Holmes and Robert Ernest Wallis, and revised           by Benjamin B. Warfield, from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 5, edited by Philip Schaff (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887). Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. New Advent online (accessed November 3, 2019). This is notwithstanding St. Augustine’s own assertion that “we must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord.”

                [24] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 351-352; Nichols, 54. As St. Lawrence notes, St. Bernard expressed this in the context of a letter to the canons of Lyon, who celebrated the feast, because he “feared some new dogma would be introduced by this celebration, since the feast was not being celebrated by any other church, although the authority of the Roman Church had not opposed the celebration.” However, Nichols notes that by the late 13th century the feast “was tolerated in churches owned by religious orders that favored it,” including the Cistercians.

                [25] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Prima Tertiae, Question 27, Article 1, corpus, trans. by Fathers of the English Dominican Province, from The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2nd rev. ed. (1920). New Advent online (accessed October 24, 2019).

                [26]Nichols, 52; 1 Tim. 2:6 (RSV), Blue Letter Bible online, italics mine.

                [27] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Prima Tertiae, Question 27, Article 2, corpus; 1 Timothy 2:6 (RSV) (Blue Letter Bible online). Also refer to Nichols’s discussion of the moment of Mary’s conception being at the first conception or fertilization (conceptus) or the ‘second conception.’ Nichols, 53.

                [28] Nichols, 57.

                [29] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 351.

                [30] Nichols, 59.

                [31] Bl. Duns Scotus, The Ordinatio, Second Part, Third Distinction, Question 1, trans. by Peter L. P. Simpson, from vol. 9 of the Vatican critical edition of the Latin text, edited by the Scotus Commission in Rome and published by Quarrachi April 2018, 95. Aristelophile.com (accessed October 24, 2019).

                [32] Nichols, 59.

                [33] Scotus, 92.

                [34] Scotus, 96. “To the other point [n.14], about the opening of the door, it is plain that the door was opened to her through the merit of Christ’s passion foreseen and accepted specifically in its order to this person [sc. Mary].”

                [35] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 301.

                [36] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 301.

                [37] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 302.

                [38] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 315.

                [39] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 305.

                [40] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 328-329.

                [41] St. Lawrence Brindisi, Part II, The Immaculate Conception, Sermon Seven, 330.

                [42] Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus.

                [43] Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus

.

                [44] Nichols, 67, 69.

                [45] Nichols, 67-69.

                [46] Pseudo-Albert, Mariale, q. 29, a. iii, quoted in Aidan Nichols, There Is No Rose: The Mariology of the Catholic Church (Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2015), 76; Nichols, 72: “The parallelism between Eve and Mary which this doctrine posits runs as follows: by investigating the role of Eve at our creation and fall we can work out the role of Mary at our recreation and rehabilitation.”

                [47] Nichols, 85.

                [48] Nichols, 85-86.

                [49] Nichols, 86. Translation (Nichols’s): “The cause of a cause is the cause of what is caused.”

                [50] Nichols, 87.

                [51] Coleman O’Neill, “Our Lady in the Mass,” in Meeting Christ in the Sacraments, rev. ed, 221-231 (New York: Alba House, 1991), 222. PDF provided by Dr. Tsakanikas on Class Pages.

                [52] O’Neill, O.P,. 222.

                [53] Nichols, 88.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 319 other subscribers