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William H. Burke, Jr. wrote:

Dear Sirs,

I have been a Catholic all my life (born in 1945), and I have been to visit Lourdes twice due to my extreme devotion and love for the Virgin Mary. I feel St. Bernadette's identifying the Lady she was seeing as The Immaculate Conception was the greatest miracle of Lourdes.

This is because Bernadette, being an uneducated peasant girl had no idea what these words meant and couldn't possibly have made them up herself. So she could have only gotten them from the Virgin Mary, herself. To me, this is a perfect proof of the existence of God that modern atheists are always denying because there is no evidence that God exists.

  • My question is, as I strongly believe in the dogma of The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, (that she was conceived without the stain of original sin), then was it necessary for Jesus to redeem Mary also by His Death on the Cross, since she was actually already free from original sin, as a special grace given to her by God in recognition of the merits of her Divine Son, Jesus?
  • Since Mary was free from sin from the moment of her conception, did she still need to be redeemed?

Thanks for your help,

William H. Burke, Jr.

  { Was it necessary for Jesus to redeem Mary by His Death on the Cross, since she was freed from sin? }

Bob replied:


Yes, Mary needed to be redeemed, but in a special manner. The grace of redemption was applied to her — in advance — so she would be able to be the pure vessel God deemed fitting for the Son.

Consider this: if one has fallen into a hole and can’t get out, someone must save him.

  • If someone is walking toward a hole and doesn't see it, but someone rushes in to prevent them from falling in, are they not also saved?

They are different manners of salvation but the merits come from the same source, Jesus.

Hope that helps.


Bob Kirby

Eric replied:


I don't think anyone has answered your question yet. Sorry for the delay. I think there may have been a spam classification issue.

The answer is that Mary did in fact need to be redeemed and was redeemed on the Cross by Jesus Christ, but the fruits of his redemption were applied to her retroactively.

An example is rescuing someone from falling into a hole:

  1. You can rescue them by lifting them up from the hole after they have fallen into it, or
  2. you can rescue them by preventing them from falling into it.

Either way, they are rescued. Our Lady was rescued in the latter way, the rest of us in the former way.


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