All About Mary

Labor Pains and Mary

Q: If Mary is the woman mentioned in Revelation 12:1-6 and if she was without sin, why is she having labor pains? How does that square with Genesis 3:14-16, where labor pains were a curse from God because of sin?

A: The woman in Revelations 12:1-6 is, exegetically speaking, a collective personality making reference to Isaiah, Mary, the Church founded by Jesus and its ultimate fulfillment in eternal life as Heavenly Jerusalem. Consequently, the reference to labor pains is not about the historical person of Mary but about the travail of bringing God into this world at all times. Besides, the Catholic Church never taught that Mary was exempt from labor pains; some theologians agree, others oppose this opinion.

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