508 From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. ‘Full of grace’, Mary is ‘the most excellent fruit of redemption’ (SC 1o3):from thefirst instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her l~fe.

509 Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’ since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself

510 Mary ‘remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin’ (St Augustine, Serm. i86, i: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is ‘the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk 1:38).

~ ii The Virgin Mary ‘co-operated through free faith and obedience in human salvation’ (LG ~6). She uttered her yes ‘in the name of all human nature’ (St Thomas Aquinas, STh 111,30, i). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

Paragraph 3. The Mysteries of Christ’s Life

512 Concerning Christ’s life the Creed speaks only about the mysteries of the Incarnation (conception and birth) and Paschal mystery (passion, crucifixion, death, burial, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension). It says nothing explicitly about the


mysteries of Jesus’ hidden or public life, but the articles of faith

concerning his Incarnation and Passover do shed light on the whole of his earthly life. ‘All that Jesus did and taught, from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven’,’7’ is to be seen in the light of the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.
513 According to circumstances catechesis will make use of all the

561, 426

richness of the mysteries of Jesus. Here it is enough merely to

indicate some elements common to all the mysteries of Christ’s life (I), in order then to sketch the principal mysteries ofJesus’ hidden (II) and public (III) life.

I. Christ’s Whole Life Is Mystery 514 Many things aboutJesus of interest to human curiosity do not figure in the Gospels. Almost nothing is said about his hidden life at Nazareth, and even a great part of his public life is not recounted.’72 What is written in the Gospels was set down there ‘so that