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The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
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Posted on 02/11/2007 2:54:59 PM PST by NYer

The Early Church Fathers believed that Mary was full of grace and thus sinless.

Justin Martyr

[Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course that was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied, "Be it done unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38) (Dialogue with Trypho 100 [A.D. 155]).

Irenaeus

Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, "Behold, 0 Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word." Eve . . . who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband — for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children . . . having become disobedient [sin], was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient [no sin], was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

Origen

This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

Hippolytus

He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).

Ephraim the Syrian

You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

Ambrose of Milan

Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin (Commentary on Psalm 118:22-30 [A.D. 387]).

Gregory Nazianzen

He was conceived by the virgin, who had been first purified by the Spirit in soul and body; for, as it was fitting that childbearing should receive its share of honor, so it was necessary that virginity should receive even greater honor (Sermon 38 [d. A.D. 390]).

Augustine

We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honor to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin (Nature and Grace 36:42 [A.D. 415]).

Theodotus of Ancrya

A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns (Homily 6:11[ante A.D. 446]).

Proclus of Constantinople

As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain (Homily 1[ante A.D. 446]).

Jacob of Sarug

[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary[ante A.D. 521].

Romanos the Melodist

Then the tribes of Israel heard that Anna had conceived the immaculate one. So everyone took part in the rejoicing. Joachim gave a banquet, and great was the merriment in the garden. He invited the priests and Levites to prayer; then he called Mary into the center of the crowd, that she might be magnified (On the Birth of Mary 1 [d. ca A.D. 560]).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: bouguereau; bvm; catholic; immaculateconception; mary; orthodox

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse unto thee!

Please allow a few minutes to post the Scriptural Basis. Thank you!

1 posted on 02/11/2007 2:55:02 PM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

In keeping with guidelines posted by the Religion Moderator, we are posting this thread (and future ones) a series on the Early Church Fathers, as a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus. Protestants are welcome to post comments but restraint from attacks, would be appreciated. This thread is posted to inform, support and defend the historic orgins of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

2 posted on 02/11/2007 2:58:17 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
Scriptural Basis


II. Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant

Exodus 25:11-21 - the ark of the Old Covenant was made of the purest gold for God's Word. Mary is the ark of the New Covenant and is the purest vessel for the Word of God made flesh.

2 Sam. 6:7 - the Ark is so holy and pure that when Uzzah touched it, the Lord slew him. This shows us that the Ark is undefiled. Mary the Ark of the New Covenant is even more immaculate and undefiled, spared by God from original sin so that she could bear His eternal Word in her womb.

1 Chron. 13:9-10 - this is another account of Uzzah and the Ark. For God to dwell within Mary the Ark, Mary had to be conceived without sin. For Protestants to argue otherwise would be to say that God would let the finger of Satan touch His Son made flesh. This is incomprehensible.

1 Chron. 15 and 16 - these verses show the awesome reverence the Jews had for the Ark - veneration, vestments, songs, harps, lyres, cymbals, trumpets.

Luke 1:39 / 2 Sam. 6:2 - Luke's conspicuous comparison's between Mary and the Ark described by Samuel underscores the reality of Mary as the undefiled and immaculate Ark of the New Covenant. In these verses, Mary (the Ark) arose and went / David arose and went to the Ark. There is a clear parallel between the Ark of the Old and the Ark of the New Covenant.

Luke 1:41 / 2 Sam. 6:16 - John the Baptist / King David leap for joy before Mary / Ark. So should we leap for joy before Mary the immaculate Ark of the Word made flesh.

Luke 1:43 / 2 Sam. 6:9 - How can the Mother / Ark of the Lord come to me? It is a holy privilege. Our Mother wants to come to us and lead us to Jesus.

Luke 1:56 / 2 Sam. 6:11 and 1 Chron. 13:14 - Mary / the Ark remained in the house for about three months.

Rev 11:19 - at this point in history, the Ark of the Old Covenant was not seen for six centuries (see 2 Macc. 2:7), and now it is finally seen in heaven. The Jewish people would have been absolutely amazed at this. However, John immediately passes over this fact and describes the "woman" clothed with the sun in Rev. 12:1. John is emphasizing that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant and who, like the Old ark, is now worthy of veneration and praise. Also remember that Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1 are tied together because there was no chapter and verse at the time these texts were written.

Rev 12:1 - the "woman" that John is describing is Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so Mary, with the moon under her feet, reflects the glory of the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ.

Rev. 12:17 - this verse tells us that Mary's offspring are those who keep God's commandments and bear testimony to Jesus. This demonstrates, as Catholics have always believed, that Mary is the Mother of all Christians.

Rev. 12:2 - Some Protestants argue that, because the woman had birth pangs, she was a woman with sin. However, Revelation is apocalyptic literature unique to the 1st century. It contains varied symbolism and multiple meanings of the woman (Mary, the Church and Israel). The birth pangs describe both the birth of the Church and Mary's offspring being formed in Christ. Mary had no birth pangs in delivering her only Son Jesus.

Isaiah 66:7 - for example, we see Isaiah prophesying that before she (Mary) was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son (Jesus). This is a Marian prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Gal 4:19 - Paul also describes his pain as birth pangs in forming the disciples in Christ. Birth pangs describe formation in Christ.

Rom. 8:22 - also, Paul says the whole creation has been groaning in travail before the coming of Christ. We are all undergoing birth pangs because we are being reborn into Jesus Christ.

Jer. 13:21 - Jeremiah describes the birth pangs of Israel, like a woman in travail. Birth pangs are usually used metaphorically in the Scriptures.

Hos. 13:12-13 - Ephraim is also described as travailing in childbirth for his sins. Again, birth pangs are used metaphorically.

Micah 4:9-10 - Micah also describes Jerusalem as being seized by birth pangs like a woman in travail.

Rev. 12:13-16 - in these verses, we see that the devil still seeks to destroy the woman even after the Savior is born. This proves Mary is a danger to satan, even after the birth of Christ. This is because God has given her the power to intercede for us, and we should invoke her assistance in our spiritual lives.

3 posted on 02/11/2007 3:02:33 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
The Early Church Fathers

The Early Church Fathers on The Church (Catholic Caucus)

Early Church Fathers on (Oral) Tradition - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Apostolic Succession - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Purgatory - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Salvation Outside the Church [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Early Church Fathers on Mary’s Perpetual Virginity - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on The Primacy of Peter/Rome (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

The Early Church Fathers on Hell - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Intercession of the Saints - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on The Real Presence - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Confession / Reconciliation - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

4 posted on 02/11/2007 4:39:54 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Awesome work, NYer. Thank you for the collection of resources to read and study.


5 posted on 02/11/2007 5:02:08 PM PST by Maeve (St. Maron, pray for us.)
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To: NYer
Rev. 12:13-16 - in these verses, we see that the devil still seeks to destroy the woman even after the Savior is born. This proves Mary is a danger to satan, even after the birth of Christ. This is because God has given her the power to intercede for us, and we should invoke her assistance in our spiritual lives.

13

When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

14

But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, 11 so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year.

15

The serpent, 12 however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.

16

But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth.


6 posted on 02/12/2007 5:53:35 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

Beautiful picture. Do you know the name and the artist?


7 posted on 02/12/2007 6:31:08 AM PST by Hoosier Catholic Momma (We interrupt this tagline to announce that another little FReeper (#4) is due 10/8/07!)
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma

No. I googled it. :) It's supposedly from the church of St. John the Baptist.


8 posted on 02/12/2007 6:49:59 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma; trisham
The painting is titled La Madone aux Roses and the artist is William Bouguereau. (The link takes you to the page for the work with a larger image than trisham posted and that image links to a high resolution image.)

You can view more of his works here by scrolling down a bit. You can also search within the pages that contain his work.

9 posted on 02/12/2007 6:52:04 AM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS

Wow. Well done, ELS! Thanks!


10 posted on 02/12/2007 6:54:43 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma; trisham
Beautiful picture. Do you know the name and the artist?

William-Adolphe Bougereau

READ MORE

11 posted on 02/12/2007 7:15:20 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

What a talented artist. Amazing.


12 posted on 02/12/2007 7:19:33 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: All

Thanks for the response(s)!!!!

Note my new tagline, BTW!


13 posted on 02/12/2007 7:25:20 AM PST by Hoosier Catholic Momma (We interrupt this tagline to announce that another little FReeper (#4) is due 10/8/07!)
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To: NYer

As if "early Church Fathers" is significant name dropping compared to "Biblical reference to the immaculate conception" of which there's none.


14 posted on 02/12/2007 7:26:57 AM PST by DungeonMaster (Acts 17:11 also known as sola scriptura.)
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To: DungeonMaster; Religion Moderator

Please remember that you are a guest in our Church, so to speak. So of us truly value reading and learning more about our faith without unpleasant comments from others.

Please respect the Caucus nature of this thread.


15 posted on 02/12/2007 7:57:55 AM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: ELS; Hoosier Catholic Momma; trisham

A soul brought to heaven

In one of his biographies, I read that a priest was called to his deathbed to administer the Last Rites. Bouguereau repented for some of his artwork and asked the priest to bless his feet, hands and eyes that had brought shame to God. (Wish I could find the original version).

16 posted on 02/12/2007 8:00:49 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma
Note my new tagline, BTW!

Congratulations!!

17 posted on 02/12/2007 8:15:08 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

The angels are amazing, but I don't like how the soul is depicted.


18 posted on 02/12/2007 8:23:04 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: Pyro7480; NYer

Maybe that is what Bouguereau was repenting for as per NYer's reply. ;-)


19 posted on 02/12/2007 8:34:56 AM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: DungeonMaster
As if "early Church Fathers" is significant name dropping compared to "Biblical reference to the immaculate conception" of which there's none

"Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee." (St. Luke 1.28) The word "full of grace" - "kecharitomene" in Greek - means a plenitude of grace received in the past and continuing in the present - "Are-graced".

"It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament).

"She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. ... God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. ... God is with her, meaning that all she did or left undone is divine and the action of God in her. Moreover, God guarded and protected her from all that might be hurtful to her." (Martin Luther, Personal Prayer Book (1522), Jaroslav Pelikan, ed., Luther's Works (St. Louis: Concordia), vol. 43, 40.)

"I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." (Genesis 3.15)

How could Blessed Mary be at enmity with the devil if she was at any time under his power through sin?

"It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary's soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God's gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin." (Martin Luther: Sermon, 1527)

20 posted on 02/12/2007 8:38:48 AM PST by Andrew Byler
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To: Andrew Byler

Sorry, I can't respond on this thread. I didn't see the "caucus" part of the title.


21 posted on 02/12/2007 9:11:39 AM PST by DungeonMaster (Acts 17:11 also known as sola scriptura.)
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To: NYer

I'm amazed that I don't recall ever having heard of him before this. He was a genius.


22 posted on 02/12/2007 10:30:38 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Pyro7480

I have to agree, although his knowledge of the human form is much like Leonardo DaVinci's.


23 posted on 02/12/2007 10:33:07 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: DungeonMaster

I think you can respectfully ask questions or pose your problems with this dogma here without upsetting anyone. Just refrain from personal attacks and attacks on the Church or the Blessed Virgin. I have no problem discussing it here with you on those terms, and don't think anyone else would either.


24 posted on 02/12/2007 1:28:17 PM PST by Andrew Byler
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To: NYer

Bumping these Scriptural References.


25 posted on 12/08/2007 10:05:25 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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