Is Christ the Savior of His Mother Mary?

Is Christ the Savior of His Mother Mary? The Catholic Church answers, “Yes, Christ is the Savior of His Mother Mary.”

christ savior of mary

Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception

Here is the exact quote from Pope Pius IX’s Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus from December 8, 1854 in which the Pope infallibly declared the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own:

“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that 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 Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

Mary was regenerated, justified, and sanctified at the very moment of her conception. Pope Pius IX, in conformity with Catholic tradition, taught that this unique act of salvation occurred “in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.” This is why Mary can still refer to God as “God my Savior” (Lk 1:47).

To summarize, then, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception is due to the merits of Jesus Christ as “Savior”.

Saint Augustine on Immaculate Conception

Saint Augustine stands in this tradition, writing in the early 400s:

“Now with the exception of the holy Virgin Mary in regard to whom, out of respect for the Lord, I do not propose to have a single question raised on the subject of sin – after all, how do we know what greater degree of grace for a complete victory over sin was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him who all admit was without sin — to repeat then: with the exception of this Virgin, if we could bring together into one place all those holy men and women, while they lived here, and ask them whether they were without sin, what are we to suppose that they would have replied?” (St. Augustine, De natura et gratia, Patrologia Latina 44:267)

Luke 1:28 and the Immaculate Conception

Lastly, it should be noted that for Pope Pius IX the locus classicus in Sacred Scripture for the doctrine of the Mary’s immaculate conception is not Luke 1:28 (“Hail full of grace”), but Gen 3:15 (“I will place enmity between you [Satan] and the woman”).

The woman who shall bear the Savior shall have perfect enmity with Satan and thus it is necessary that Satan have no dominion over her. In other words, she must be without sin. Hence, the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

(Members of the New Saint Thomas Institute received a video relating to this topic on Dec 3, 2013. Please see “Did Thomas Aquinas Deny the Immaculate Conception” in the NSTI online course catalogue.

Are you not yet a Member of the NSTI? Learn more about becoming an NSTI Member by clicking here.

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • Justas399 .

    Notice that no exegesis of Scripture was done to support this doctrine. This doctrine creates all kinds of problems for Roman Catholics.

    • JoeAllen

      I believe the Scriptures are the miraculous word of God, and I am a Jewish Catholic. Jesus is my King and He has made Mary my Queen-Mother, just as Solomon made Bath-Sheba the Queen-Mother. You are a wonderful Christian, but you are mis-reading the Scriptures. Most Protestants read the Scriptures thru a Greek filter. Most Roman Catholics read the scriptures thru a Roman-Greek filter. Once you un-lock the Scriptures using only a Jewish filter (and you will), please share your light with others.

      • Dan McClellan

        Bear in mind that Jesus repeatedly said that the jewish religious leaders misread the scriptures. The world view that is required to understand the scriptures is one of humility & the understanding that all of scripture is about Christ. John 5:39, Matthew 22:29.

        An understanding of Jewish culture is helpful for much of scripture, so is an understanding of Greek & Roman culture. But since God determined to write the scripture to the whole world & not only to Jews he did it in such a way that the main truths of it would be understandable across cultural boundaries.

        • JoeAllen

          Yes, in general, the Pharisees and Sadducees mis-read the Bible and the Law. Jesus said they had replace the Law of God with the legalisms of men.

          Nevertheless, Salvation is thru the Jews. All of the apostles and disciples of Jesus were Jews. Paul was a Jew. Note that the Jews were NOT degenerated by the curse at the Tower of Babel; they were allowed to continued to use the alphabet and language of Adam and Eve, namely, Hebrew.

      • Justas399 .

        Jesus never refers to Mary as His queen. The apostles do not either.

        • JoeAllen

          Unfortunately, this world of earthquakes and tornados is the Kingdom of Satan. Fortunately, the things of this world will pass away. The old heaven and old earth will pass away. The works of Shakespeare and Da Vinci will all pass away. Satan’s kingdom will be annihilated.

          After the Resurrection we will be made perfect and will be able to understand many wonderful new things. Christ our KIng will take His throne and He will have a 2nd throne placed at His right hand. Stay tuned and stay SALTY, my friend.

  • Dan McClellan

    Question from a protestant; If Mary had no sin, what need did she have of a savior?

    • JoeAllen

      SALVATION is the most mis-understood word among Christians today. Adam and Eve did NOT need a Savior because they were protected from Death and annihilation by their marriage to God. Once they chose in their perfection to divorce themselves from God, Satan was able to murder them.

      Mary is faithfully married to God and Satan can NOT murder her. Therefore, Mary does NOT need a Savior. We the IMPERFECT children of Adam and Eve are in the process of being MURDERED by Satan, so we do need a Savior.

      • Dan McClellan

        Joe, salvation is misunderstood. Romans says that all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. So unless the scripture says explicitly that someone has not sinned, then they have. Nowhere in scripture is the idea that Mary was sinless.

        Matthew tells us why sinful Mary could give birth to a holy child “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” The holy spirit overshadowed her sinful nature to prevent it from being passed to her son. The angel explicitly said that the reason the child will be holy is that the power of the most high will overshadow you.

        Since you have no problem contradicting the Catholic Church (amen), I assume that you take scripture as the absolute authority on all spiritual matters. Is that true?

        Please support any response with scripture.

        • JoeAllen

          For most Christians, SIN is a LEGALISM. For Jews, Sin is only relevant because it is associated with DEATH. The saga of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is very simple; it is about LIFE and DEATH. Moses said “Choose Life” and Jesus said “Chose me because I am Life.” Satan seduced Adam and Eve for ONE REASON, to murder them; Satan invented Death to exterminate them and us (Hebrews 2: 14).

          Mary chose Jesus and Life. Stay SALTY, my friend.

          • Dan McClellan

            That’s true, the Bible does present things that way. Mary chose Jesus & life, just like all believers today chose Jesus & life. Therefore her sin was forgiven & her life was saved. Good perspective.

          • JoeAllen

            We are imperfect in this life and can NOT perfectly chose Jesus and Life. Can a mentally ill child or an aborted baby chose Jesus .. ??? After the Resurrection we will all be perfect and will be able make perfect decisions, just as Adam and Eve made their perfect, but deadly, decision.

          • Dan McClellan

            A little off topic, but sure. I do not know what happens to aborted babies. I like to think that the Lord keeps them, my pastor thinks he does.

            I think that the process of election remains undisturbed in most mentally ill people. My wife works with the mentally ill. She once simultaneously cared for 2 people. We’ll call them Jack & Kate. Kate was very sinful & it was evident, Jack was naturally sweeter, but more significantly, loved Jesus. He knew that jesus, who died for his sins, could hear his thoughts & loved to have my wife pray with him. Both Jack & Kate were spastic paraplegics without the cognitive ability to associate cause & effect or control their emotions & Jack can’t even form words.

            Back on topic: As it relates to the perfection of our decisions every person ever on the earth (including Mary) is in the same category, save Adam & Jesus Christ himself (1 Corinthians 15:42-48, Romans 5:12-21). We are sinful & need a savior.

          • JoeAllen

            Your pastor is a POLITICIAN? Nearly all pastors and ministers will tell us that Aborted babies go to Heaven. If this is true, then Abortion is a good thing; I say ABORT all babies … !!!

            Likewise, nearly all pastors will tell the parents of a child who dies in infancy, that the child is “NOW IN HEAVEN WITH GOD.” If this is true, then we should pray that all children die in infancy … !!!

            Most non-Jewish versions of Christianity are reduced to politics and legalisms when confronted with realities like Abortion and Mental Illness. Why? Because these versions require a judgment in this life even though the judgment is totally ludicrous.

          • Justas399 .

            So you agree Mary was a sinner?

          • JoeAllen

            If Mary was a sinner, then she died. Where is her dead body buried? Why is there absolutely NO Christian tradition involving the place of Mary’s death and burial … ???

          • Justas399 .

            There is a tradition for what happened to Mary after she died.

            The Roman Catholic writer Eamon Duffy concedes that, ‘there is, clearly, no historical evidencewhatever for it …’ (Eamon Duffy, What Catholics Believe About Mary (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1989), p. 17). For centuries in the early Church there is complete silence regarding Mary’s end. The first mention of it is by Epiphanius in 377 A.D. and he specifically states that no one knows what actually happened to Mary. He lived near Palestine and if there were, in fact, a tradition in the Church generally believed and taught he would have affirmed it. But he clearly states that ‘her end no one knows.’ These are his words:
            But if some think us mistaken, let them search the Scriptures. They will not find Mary’s death; they will not find whether she died or did not die; they will not find whether she was buried or was not buried … Scripture is absolutely silent [on the end of Mary] … For my own part, I do not dare to speak, but I keep my own thoughts and I practice silence … The fact is, Scripture has outstripped the human mind and left [this matter] uncertain … Did she die, we do not know … Either the holy Virgin died and was buried … Or she was killed … Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and He can do whatever He desires; for her end no-one knows.’ (Epiphanius, Panarion, Haer. 78.10-11, 23. Cited by juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. II (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), pp. 139-40).

          • JoeAllen

            Read the Gospel of Luke. Mary is the UNIQUE source for this information. The Gospel of Luke should be called the Gospel of Mary and Luke. This gospel was written in Galilee near the home of John. Who was living in John’s home at this time … ???

            Satan rebelled at the thought of a Human being the greatest of God’s creations. But the greatest of God’s creations is profoundly humble; she is pre-figured by Bath-Sheba who was the source of Solomon’s wisdom, but who gets none of the credit.

            She wrote a Gospel but did NOT seek the credit for it. She left this world in a private Assumption, at her request. After the Resurrection, Jesus will take His throne as King of all Creation, and He will immediately invite His mother to sit at His right hand, and you and I will be there to witness it. Shalom.

        • TaylorB

          Dan:

          There’s a phrase I’ve heard: Aim at Mary, hit Jesus.

          St. Paul says all have sinned. But if we take that 100% dead one, he would be saying that Jesus sinned.

          But you’ll say that St. Paul didn’t say that, right? So why not the same about Mary, the one full of grace?

          • Dan McClellan

            Taylor, that’s a very on-point question. The reason that we understand that Jesus (& not Mary) is the exception to the rule that all have sinned is that we are told in scripture (1 Peter 2:22) that Jesus did not sin. It is also necessary to our salvation that Jesus did not sin. For if he had, he would have had his own sin to pay for & couldn’t save us. Mary on the other hand is not credited with perfection anywhere in scripture.

          • JoeAllen

            The Scriptures say that Mary was FULL OF GRACE. This means there is/was NO way to increase her relationship with God; her relationship with God was PERFECT.
            Sin is Death. Jesus was without Sin; therefore, He was NOT subject to Death. He could have lived forever. However, He permitted his own murder by Satan as way to show that Satan hated BOTH humanity and God.

          • Dan McClellan

            Actually, the scriptures only use the phrase “full of grace” twice to my knowledge. Once in John 1:14 referring to Jesus & once in Acts 6:8 in reference to Stephen. I believe that in context Acts 6:8 is describing a temporary state in which the Lord was especially enabling Stephen to live in an extraordinary way for a time.

            “Full of grace” in reference to Mary doesn’t actually show up in any original greek manuscripts but was added to the latin vulgate by St. Jerome in the fourth century. No, I’m sorry, but Mary was not sinless & it is quite impossible to derive from scripture that she was. It’s merely a tradition of the Catholic Church. I hope you can see this. No one but Christ could ever be sinless. Glory to God.

          • JoeAllen

            I realize that Martin Luther unilaterally added and deleted words from Scriptures, but now you “reveal” that St. Jerome did the same thing. QUESTION: How do we know the original Greek manuscripts are to be trusted since they were under the control of the same nasty Catholic Church … ???

          • Dan McClellan

            It’s true that the oldest & most reliable copies we have are still copies of copies. By “original” I mean in the original language. They can be trusted more because they haven’t undergone translation.

            As far as their being under control of the Catholic church, I don’t think that’s accurate or relevant. Most of the copies are held in museums, many in Israel, I know that there are some at oxford. Even if they were in Catholic control, that wouldn’t, in my mind threaten their credibility. The oldest pieces of Matthew we have were written in the first or second century, before the doctrine of the immaculate conception was popular(1200 at the earliest). Meaning that the Christians who made those copies had very different theology from modern or even medieval Catholics.

            You see I recognize that in a strict organizational sense, the Catholic church is the oldest large Christian denomination possibly even going back to original church plants by the apostles. I’m just as convinced though that it has been corrupted over the centuries by power, politics & superstition.

          • JoeAllen

            I agree with you that the Catholic Church has been corrupted over the centuries by power, politics, and superstition. Jesus, the Jewish carpenter, predicted this when He said the Church would grow into a very large tree, but that many BIRDS (used to represent evil forces) would live in its branches. Our only hope is the Resurrection. The only hope of the aborted and the mentally ill and the disabled, is the Resurrection.

            It is my opinion that the greatest corruption of Jewish Christianity occurred (1) from 100 AD to 300 AD when the Greek philosophers arrogantly attempted to explain supernatural mysteries in great detail, and (2) from 200 AD to 700 AD when Roman lawyers were able to legalize every moment of a person’s life.

            You are a very good person and I wish you the best.

          • JoeAllen

            There is nothing mysterious about Sin. Sin leads to Death, period. The wages of Sin are Death. Death is “Murder by Satan” … !!!

            Did Mary sin? I do NOT believe she is in any way associated with Death. I do NOT believe Satan murdered her. However, I/we will find out for sure after the Resurrection. Try to be patient and humble concerning this issue until after the Resurrection. Stay SALTY, my friend.

          • Justas399 .

            Even tradition says Mary died. Death comes to those who sin.

          • JoeAllen

            We will find out for sure who is correct after the Resurrection. Until then, stay SALTY, my friend.

          • TaylorB

            Justas,

            Again, did Jesus sin? After all, you just said that death comes to those who sin. If not, how did He die?

  • isabel kissinger

    The saints have said wonderful things of Mary, the holy City of God, and, as they themselves admit, they were never more eloquent and more pleased than when they spoke of her. And yet they maintain that the heights of her merits rising up to the throne of the Godhead cannot be perceived; the breadth of her love which is wider than the earth cannot be measured; the greatness of the power which she wields over one who is God cannot be conceived; and the depths of her profound humility and all her virtues and graces cannot be sounded. What incomprehensible height! What indescribable breadth! What immeasurable greatness! What an impenetrable abyss!(Sirach1:1-8). Ref. True Devotion to Mary, Intro. #7.

  • isabel kissinger

    Pope Pius IX – Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Dec. 8, 1854 on the Dogma of Immaculate
    Conception – …..Wherefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow Her (Mother of God) with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of His Divinity this Mother ever absolute free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.

  • isabel kissinger

    To know our MOTHER is a gift from God…to quote King Solomon in Wisdom 8: 21 “And knowing that I could not otherwise possess her unless God gave it—”