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Was John the Baptist Immaculately Conceived?


A listener named Michael asks Father Dave if John the Baptist was immaculately conceived like Mary. He wonders if this is the case because Elizabeth was older and past childbearing years, and the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. 

Father Dave responds, “When the angel appears to Mary in what we call the Annunciation, he informs Mary that Elizabeth is with child. We would consider that a surprising or even miraculous conception, but it wasn’t an immaculate conception because that would imply that John the Baptist was conceived without sin, and we do not hold that teaching about John the Baptist.”

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Father Dave also points out that the Immaculate Conception only refers to Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb and not the Annunciation in which the angel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus.