Know the Truth – The Immaculate Conception (with Bible Study)

The following bible verses are referenced from the YouTube post of Know the Truth on “The Immaculate Conception of Mary” presented by  apologist Atty Marwil Llasos, OP from Know the Truth (KTT) Philippines (based from a series in the magazine KNOW THE TRUTH by Fr. Paul Kaiparambadam, an Indian priest who lived in the Philippines). For the actual video, please check 


The Immaculate Conception of Mary is the Patroness of the Philippines. Her feast is celebrated every Dec. 8.

Before we talk about the Marian Dogmas, we learn the difference between dogma and doctrine.

All dogmas are doctrines (aral), but NOT all doctrines are dogmas. It is like saying, lahat ng bangus ay isda, pero hindi lahat ng isda ay bangus.

Catholics have MARIAN dogmas:  The Immaculate Conception is one of the dogmas about Mary, which is the focus of this presentation. The other three   dogmas are: 1) Mary as Mother of God (Theotokos as we learned)   2.  Mary’s Perpetual Virginity    3) Mary’s Assumption into Heaven. These are dogmas of the church.

That “Mary is Mediatrix of all Grace” is a doctrine, but it is NOT a dogma.

So when does a doctrine become a dogma?

Immaculate Concepcion is an old teaching but for many years, many questions, some doubted, theologians like the Dominicans and Franciscans were debating about it. But when the dogmatic bull issued by Pope Pius IX in December 8, 1854, the debate is over.

A doctrine becomes a dogma when the church stamps it with the seal of infallibility.  When a doctrine is questioned or doubted, the Church exercises her divinely given charism of infallibility and settles the question once and for all. The faithful are not permitted to hold any contrary opinion than what the Church has solemnly defined. To do so would make one a heretic and therefore, excommunicated (“latae sententiae”) from the body of Christ.

Can we find dogma in the Bible? 

In the original Greek and later translation to Latin, you will find the word “dogmata,” which is plural of dogma (see below).

Acts 16:4-5 (Greek) > 4   Hōs de dieporeuonto tas poleis paredidosan autois phylassein ta dogmata ta kekrimena hypo tōn apostolōn kai presbyterōn tōn en Hierosolymois 5   Hai men oun ekklēsiai estereounto tē pistei kai eperisseuon tō arithmō kath’ hēmeran

Acts 16:4-5 (Latin Vulgate) cum autem pertransirent civitates tradebant eis custodire dogmata quae erant decreta ab apostolis et senioribus qui essent Hierosolymis 5 et ecclesiae quidem confirmabantur fide et abundabant numero cotidie.

Mga Gawa 16:4-5 (Magandang Balita Biblia with Deuterocanon, MBBTAG-DC) > 4 Sa bawat lungsod na kanilang dalawin, ipinaaalam nila sa mga kapatid ang pasya ng mga apostol at mga pinuno ng iglesya sa Jerusalem, at iniutos na sundin iyon. 5 Kaya’t tumibay sa pananampalataya ang mga kaanib ng mga iglesya, at araw-araw ay nadagdagan ang kanilang bilang.

Mga Gawa 16:4-5 (Ang Biblia 1978, ABTAG1978) > 4 At sa kanilang pagtahak sa mga bayan, ay ibinigay sa kanila ang mga utos na inilagda ng mga apostol at ng mga matanda sa Jerusalem, upang kanilang tuparin. 5 Kaya nga, ang mga iglesia’y pinalakas sa pananampalataya at naragdagan ang bilang araw-araw.

Acts 16:4-5 > 4 As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. 5 Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number.

In some other bible versions, the word “decision” is changed to “commands”.

Apostles –> Bishops

St Peter –> Pope

Mga utos na dapat tuparin ng mga nanampalataya – either through the ecumenical councils, like the council of Ephesus decided by the bishops together with the pope; or  through a dogma, like the Immaculate Conception decided only by the Pope.

Understanding the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Kalinis-linisang Paglilihi) as presented in KTT Magazine by Fr. Paul Kaiparambadam

First point of reflection:  Let us first understand the original plan of God for us.  In Eph. 1:4 > “As he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love “  …. Sa Banal na Kasulatan, ang sinasabi ay:  “At sa atin ngang pakikipag-isang tao, hinirang na Niya tayo bago pa nilikha ang sanlibutan upang maging banal at walang kapintasan sa harapan Niya, dahil sa pagibig ng Diyos….” So here we san see that the original plan of God  is for us to be holy and without blemish (immaculate), not only for Mary but for all of us… ..Unfortunately, this was not realized. Our first parents, Adam and Eve sinned, this resulted to what we call “original sin.”  Instead of the original plan, it became original sin.

Do you think God would be overcome by sin? No.

God punished Adam and Eve for their sin.  God cursed the snake (devil) that tempted them to disobey Him.  We read the curse here

Genesis 3:15 > “Kayo ng babae laging mag-aaway, binhi mo’t binhi niya ay laging maglalaban. Ito ay dudurog ng ulo mong iyan at ang sakong niya’y ikaw ang tutuklaw.”

Genesis. 3:15 > God then said: “I will put an enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; and He shall crush thy head, while you strike at

When God said “I will put enmity between the snake/devil and the woman and between your seed (offspring) and her seed (offspring) ,” that curse of God to the devil came with it His promise of salvation… meaning, the  woman’s offspring would become the promise of salvation.  The woman here is Mary (magdadala ng binhi); the offpsring is Hesus (binhi ng  babae). Ang babae na magdadala ay si Maria, ang binhi ay si Hesus. “At ang binhi (si Hesus) na yun ng babae (Maria) ay siyang dudurog sa ulo ng diablo.”

As we said, this was God’s promise of salvation. We call this the proto-evangelium, the first Good News, the first Gospel containing the message of God’s plan of salvation.

Personal opinion of Marwil:  The conception of Mary did not start in the womb of Anna, her mother. Anna’s womb was where Mary was physically formed; it is where the actual immaculate conception happened. BUT EVEN BEFORE THAT, FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME; THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ORIGINATED IN THE MIND OF THE FATHER. Right after original sin, the Father already promised salvation through the conception of Mary, a conception that is holy and immaculate.

The promise of God is clear. The woman and the snake (devil) will always be enemies. Think about this: If Mary ever committed any form of sin, would she still be the enemy of the devil? NO.

Because anyone who is holy and immaculate is the devil’s enemy.

Elizabeth: Blessed are you among women (#Mary) and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (#Jesus).

Second point of reflection: Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan, the Indian priest who started the series of Know the Truth teachings , explained the dogma of the Immaculate Conception this way:  The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states that from the very beginning of her origin, Mary was privileged to be kept out of original sin and its stain because of the special grace she received from God. She was free of concupiscence or the inclination to sin. God did not allow that she would be stained with original sin.  And that special grace made her become Mary, full of grace.

Third point of reflection:   Pope Pius IX in his Papal Bull (or Apostolic proclamation) “Ineffabilis Deus” (The Ineffable God)  where he declared the  Dogma of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854:  “We declare, pronounce and define that the “that the doctrine, which holds that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary at the first moment of her conception was, by singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the Human race, preserved from all stains of original sin, is revealed by God, and therefore to be firmly and resolutely believed by all the faithful.”

When Pope Pius IX declared this, there was no more further debate… a dogma was immediately created.

Himay himayin natin…

Life starts at conception, the meeting of the egg cell and the sperm. That is why  we Filipino Catholics do not support the RH Bill (Reproductive Health Bill) . We do not support immaculate contraception (the killing of the zygote, the 1st cell that gives rise to new life..….

  • Mary, from the first instance of her conception, was already immaculate.
  • She alone has this singular grace, nobody else This was the singular grace of God, a privilege for her alone from the Almighty. ….
  • And in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, she was preserved from original sin and its stains. This is called preservative redemption, the anticipated grace of Christ’s redemptive act.

All these are not understood by other religious sects.  These are their false claims and misconceptions:

Misconception 1: The doctrine is a new teaching. They claim that the Immaculate Conception started only in December 8, 1854, the day Pope Pius IX declared the dogma.

Misconception 2: Mary is not sinless as stated in Romans 3:23:” For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Misconception 3:   Luke 1:47 says: Mary said in the Magnificat :” My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.”   The other sects  say that Mary was also saved because she, too, was a sinner. If she did not sin, she would not be saying she rejoices in God, her Savior. She would not be needing a savior….. Also ! if Christ is really universal, He would not be making any exception of making Mary sinless.

BIBLE STUDY: Deepening on the BIBILICAL BASIS OF THE Immaculate Conception of Mary Dogma (based on Know The Truth Magazine by Fr Paul Kaiparambadan)

The Immaculate Conception of Mary cannot be understood if the holiness of God is not understood. God is all Holy!  Holiness is one of His attributes.

Isaiah 52:11 (King James Version, KJV) > 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

Isaias 52:11 > (ABTAG1978) > 11 Kayo’y magsiyaon, kayo’y magsiyaon, kayo’y magsialis doon, huwag kayong magsisihipo ng maruming bagay; kayo’y magsilabas sa gitna niya; kayo’y mangagpakalinis, kayong nangagdadala ng mga sisidlan ng Panginoon.

This is the instruction to the priests to those who will bear the vessels of the Lord.

Mary, will the bear the vessel, but actually is the vessel of Christ. So it only follows that she is the cleanest, the cleanest among the clean.

She must not only be clean, she must be immaculate because that is demanded by the holiness of God.

Jesus, her Son is not only human but divine, who only deserved a holy and an immaculate mother.

It will be easy to understand this dogma if we start looking at the holiness of God.

Verses on holiness as cited in the KTT material

Mga Hukom 13:3-4 (MBBTAG-DC) > 3 Minsan, nagpakita sa babae ang anghel ni Yahweh at sinabi, “Hindi ka pa nagkakaanak. Ngunit hindi magtatagal, maglilihi ka at manganganak. 4 Kaya, mula ngayon ay huwag kang iinom ng anumang uri ng alak ni titikim ng anumang ipinagbabawal na pagkain. 

Judges 13:3-4 > “An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her: “Though you are barren and have had no children, you will conceive and bear a son. 4 Now, then, be careful to drink no wine or beer and to eat nothing unclean”

The above verses show that God, the Father is keenly interested in the condition of the womb of the woman who is about to become a mother. Eat only clean food. Drink no alcohol.

The above verses were told to an ordinary woman [1]. If God wishes any woman to be clean, how much more should HE wish that Mary be clean, she who was going to bear, carry and give birth to the Jesus His Son, who is all holy!

New testament, we also have biblical regarding the immaculate conception.

Lucas 1:28 > Paglapit ng anghel sa kinaroroonan ng dalaga, binati niya ito. ‘Matuwa ka! Ikaw ay kalugud-lugod sa Diyos,’ wika niya. ‘Sumasainyo ang Panginoon!’’ 

Lucas 1:28 > “Chaire, kecharitomene, ho kurious meta sou”

In English Luke 1:28 New American Bible (Revised Edition, NABRE) 28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

After the sacrament of confession, we are in a state of grace. There are no sins in us, they are forgiven.

If you committed a mortal sin, you are in a state of sin, not in the state of grace.. That is, disgrace is opposite of grace. If she is full of grace, then she is full, no less than 100%.

Kecharitōmenē – this is a singular privilege as it is found only once in the whole bible (Luke 1:28), which means “full of grace”:  It indicates that Mary was exceptionally “highly favored with grace”

This greeting by the Angel Gabriel indicates that Mary was highly and exceptionally favored with grace from above. Hence, the title “Full of Grace”.

We are all familiar with this from the prayer Hail Mary.  … Hail Mary, full of grace……..

In English, Ephesians 1:6 (King James Version, KJV) > 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Efeso 1:6 (ABTAG1978) > 6 Sa ikapupuri ng kaluwalhatian ng kaniyang biyaya, na sa atin ay ipinagkaloob na masagana sa Minamahal:

Biyaya or Grace was mentioned here but there is a difference between Luke and Ephesians.

In Luke 1:28, Mary was told “full of grace,” which was before the death of our Lord; in fact, Mary is full of grace, before Jesus was conceived.

In Ephesians, we received the grace after the death of our Lord.

Charitoo = “to grace” ; charis is its root word (gift).  Charismatic – gifted children

Perfect present participle: In Greek, it is participle which can be used as an adjective (panlarawan)

“Charitoo” is a description/an adjective to describe Mary.  The angel Gabriel is describing Mary´s graced condition – full of grace!

“Charitoo” is passive = Mary does not produce grace; but she is a recipient (The Lord gave it to Mary)

“Charitoo” is used as perfect tense = action completed in the past but have continuing effect in the present; Perfect tense – before her existence until now, she was filled with grace.  Where then can sin come in? Grace excludes sin. There is no space for sin!  “Immaculate Conception”

Vocative case = used to invoke someone. The angel used this as a direct address to Mary.  Recall there was no mention of Mary´s name when the Angel said “Hail favored one.”  Only us, in our prayer of Hail Mary, that we added Mary.

Example:  If one person is called “Beauty” – she is the embodiment of beautiful.  In the eyes of God, Mary is “full of grace”!

Answering objections from other denominations:

Is this a new teaching, only in 1854, that Mary has no original sin? We already discussed about. The dogma of the Immaculate Concepcion has biblical basis: Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28.

Aside from these two bible verses, there have been writings of early church fathers alluding to the immaculate conception of Mary.

1.New Creation = belief of early church fathers

Examples of Citations made by early church father´s writing

a) St Ephrem 306-373 AD of Christian History Together with her Son, she holds the primacy of beauty: “You O Christ alone and Your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in You, nor any stains upon Your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to this?”

b) St Ambrose 340-397 AD, teacher of St Augustin > Lift me up not from Sarah but Mary, a virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin. [2]

c) St Augustin, 354 – 420 AD, Doctor of the church > “Having accepted the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom on account of the honour of the Lord; I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sins for how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her who merited to conceive and bear Him in whom there was no sin?”

2.  Romans 3:23 (New International Version, NIV) > For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The root word of pantes is “pas”.  In Greek, pas does not mean “every single one.” It means “vast majority” and admits of exemptions.  Pas means: generally, vast majority, most great amount.

If we take “all” to mean every single one”, then what about Jesus Christ and the saints who are included in the “all”, did they also sin?  NO! definitely not. So Mary, based on what we heard earlier remains as one who is considered as sinless.

  1. Luke 1:47 (NASB) > My Spirit rejoiced in God my Savior.

True, that Jesus She was preserved by the Lord. There are two types of “redemption” as explained by Blessed Duns Scotus.  By way of examples:

a) Preservative: Bro Peter was walking by the street, and he did not notice that there was an open canal along the path. Thanks goodness, Bro Nestor was nearby and he got hold of Bro Peter by his shoulder, thus sparing him from falling into the canal. Question:  Did Bro Peter save Bro Nestor?  Answer:  Yes

b) Curative: Bro Peter was walking by the street, and he did not notice that there was an open canal and fell right through it. Bro Nestor was nearby and he took Bro Peter out of the smelly water hole, cleansed him and changed clothes. Question: Did Bro Peter save Bro Nestor?  Answer:  Yes

The first example above, preservative was the saving type that Jesus did to Mary, even before she commit sin.

The second example above, curative was the saving type that Jesus did to us sinners.

Mary owes Jesus greatly, because she was preserved from sinning!

By analogy, Mary was vaccinated so she cannot be contaminated of sin, but for us, we were cured of our sins.

Jeremiah 1:5 (NABRE) > 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (#Jeremiah), before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

Luke 1:15 (NABRE) > 15 for he (#John) will be great in the sight of [the] Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb

John the Baptist and Jeremiah were immaculate in their gestation (during their development in the uterus of their mothers from conception to birth)

Here are some bible verses that our Lord can preserve us from sinning:

Psalm 97:10 (New King James Version, NKJV) > 10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV) > 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Atty. Merwil shares his own personal reflections:

  • Adam and Eve were immaculate in their creation. (Unfortunately they lost it.)
  • Mary was immaculate in her conception.
  • John the Baptist and Jeremiah were immaculate in their gestation (during their development in the uterus of their mothers from conception to birth)
  • We, the elect, you and I, will be immaculate in our destination (in heaven). When we go to heaven, we must be holy.

Significance of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

  1. It is a sign of the new creation in Christ. Since God himself would enter in sinful humanity as Jesus Christ. He would have to start in a clean slate. That’s why it comes in advent, to remind us before the birth of the Savior.
  2. Mary is an eminent example of the new creation.

What Mary is, that is our future. So if we want to know what Jesus wants to do for us, we have to look at Mary.

The message of the immaculate conception is HOLINESS:  Be holy for I am holy, says the Lord.

Endnotes: (These are added by LayCore reporter for additional references for the readers.)

[1] The mother´s name is Manoah who will bear a son, named Samson)

[2] Haffner, Paul “The Mystery of Mary”, Gracewing Publication, 2004.  Check this out:

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