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The Profession of Faith

123

eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel,

a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, “a virgin betrothed

to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the

virgin’s name was Mary”:

126

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be

preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so

that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so

also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

127

489

Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy

women

prepared

for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was

Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a pos-

terity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise

that she will be the mother of all the living.

128

By virtue of this

promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age.

129

Against

all human expectation God chooses those who were considered

powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises:

Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther;

and many other women.

130

Mary “stands out among the poor and

humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation

from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in

her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is

established.”

131

The Immaculate Conception

490

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched

by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”

132

The angel Gabriel

at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace.”

133

In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her

faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that

she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

491

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more

aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,

134

was redeemed

from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the

126

Lk

1:26-27.

127

LG

56; cf.

LG

61.

128 Cf.

Gen

3:15, 20.

129 Cf.

Gen

18:10-14; 21:1-2.

130 Cf.

1 Cor

1:27;

1 Sam

1.

131

LG

55.

132

LG

56.

133

Lk

1:28.

134

Lk

1:28.

722

410

145

64

2676, 2853

2001

411