Full of Grace

Author: Fr. William Most


By Fr. William Most

To defend the translation Full of grace, we note that the Church always uses that- but that goes back to the Vulgate of St. Jerome. Can we defend that? Yes.

St. Luke wrote .

This is a perfect passsive participle, and as such, is very strong. It is of the verb . The verbs in normally mean to put a person or thing into the state indicated by the root. That root here is , which means favor or grace. But if we translate favor, we must keep firmly in mind that it does not mean God just sits there and smiles, giving nothing, so the person does something by his own power. That would be Pelagian. So it is best to use grace.

Very importantly, the word is used in place of a personal name. That is comparable to our English pattern of saying e.g., he is Mr. Tennis - meaning the ultimate in the category of tennis.

So she is Miss Grace - the ultimate in the category of grace.