Friday, December 9, 2016

“Catholic Twitter Takes”: Did Mary Receive The Sacrament of Baptism?

The feast of the Immaculate Conception gives us a great opportunity to sit back and ponder the unique place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in salvation history. 

For Catholics, Mary’s role as the Mother of God and the Mother of all Christians is of great spiritual importance. We see our relationship with her as helping to push our relationship with her son to unimaginable heights. As St. Maximillian Kolbe once said, “Whoever does not wish to have Mary Immaculate as his Mother will not have Christ as his Brother.”

This year, as I reflect on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, formally defined by Pope Piux IX in 1854, I sit and wonder if the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most perfect of all God’s creation, was ever baptized. 

And, as many Catholics do when they have a deep spiritual question these days, I have taken to the Catholic corners of Twitter to find the answer!

Two quick thoughts before we dive in: 

First, we should be clear that there is nothing in Scripture about Mary receiving the Sacrament.

Second, we should be clear that Mary would not have needed the Sacrament of Baptism. She was conceived without original sin and remained sinless throughout her life. Thus, as the angel Gabriel put it so well, she was already “full of grace”.  

However, one can imagine based on what we know of Mary, that she would have wanted to participate fully in the Christian life and to be as Christ-like as possible, and from that we might assume that she would have chosen to be baptized just as her son was. 

Now onto the burning question: What does Catholic Twitter have to say on the topic?

Fr Harrison Ayre (@christian_state), a priest of the Diocese of Victoria: “Whatever happened for the Apostles happened for Mary.”

Fr. Victor (@FrVictorr), a Catholic priest studying in Italy: “Nope. Have a heard time thinking anybody would be so bold as to initiate Mary into the Body of Christ.”

Trev Sliw (@PeasantCatholic), a husband and father from Alta, Canada: “Some gather that John was baptized by Christ as was also the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Ian Podraza (@podraza): “Mary was born without original sin. She wouldn’t need baptism, because there would be nothing to free her from.”

Fintan Burns (@fintanburns): “The Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb on hearing Mary’s greeting…Her Magnificat inspired by the Holy Spirit was her Baptism.”

VMNT (@VMNTblog): “We don’t know and it doesn’t matter.”

Shawn Rain Chapman (@shawn_rain): “I think she would have followed her Son in being baptized.”

Karen Tighe (@DontEatItsMine): “Wasn’t Jesus baptized? Not because he need it, but to be an example. Perhaps Mary did too then?”
Meg (@justamegamom): “Where is the need? She had the preternatural gifts. She didn’t have the stain of original sin. It wasn’t necessary.”

J Corley (@jhcorley): “Yes, in the same way Christ was baptized, probably by our Lord himself.”

Fr. Edward Looney (@FrEdwardLooney): “She may have been baptized but it would not have been Sacramental.”

Maria Johnson (@bego), Author of My Badass Book of Saints”: Great question! I’ll vote, but I have to say I never ever pondered it.”

Turning to the vote Maria mentioned, our poll that posed the question “Do you think Mary received the Sacrament of Baptism?” opened this up for the entire Twitterverse to share their opinion. 

After 118 votes were cast, 57% said no, 43% said yes.

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