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Interested wrote:

Hi, guys —

My understanding it that all humans from the seed of Adam are born with sin. Mary had two human parents including the seed of Adam, which has original sin.

  • In that case, how is Mary free from sin?
  • Was she not born from a human father?
  • Also if she was free from sin why did she die?

According to Genesis 3:22 death is caused by sin.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  { If all humans from the seed of Adam are born with sin, how can Mary be free from sin? }

Paul replied:

Dear Interested,

Good questions. Mary's parents were both human and Mary was conceived in the normal way.
God intervened to keep Mary from being conceived with any stain due to original sin.

We could look at it this way: To create a scenario in which God would create another representative couple of the human race to test, in order to accept His offer of union with Him,
He brought forth a new Adam and new Eve. Jesus and Mary.

Like the first pair, they would have to be free from sin. Jesus' human nature was taken from Mary who was without sin; but since Mary had sinful parents God had to intervene with a miracle for her. We call this the Immaculate Conception. Both Jesus and Mary passed the new covenant test by saying "Yes" to God nullifying Adam and Eve's "No", and attaining for us the gift of eternal salvation and union with God once again.

When thinking about how Mary may have been different from sinners, it is difficult to draw conclusions, particularly because the Church has not been specific on the particulars. But we need to distinguish between what the first parents had as natural gifts, supernatural gifts, and preternatural gifts from God in the original garden. The gift of immortality was a preternatural gift, since our animal nature is prone to death. The question of whether Mary actually died before being assumed into Heaven was never settled, even by Pope Pius XII who defined the dogma of the Assumption. His words were:

"When her earthly journey was complete God raised her up body and soul into heaven."


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