Articles and Essays

Our Lady and Evolution


The human race has not evolved from apes because Our Lady of Lourdes identified herself as, "the immaculate conception".  Before this statement, the possibility of Adam being conceived would have had to be conceded, but in the light of it, Adam, who was certainly immaculate before the original sin, cannot have been conceived since Our Lady is identifying herself as the only creature to have been immaculately conceived.


I'm skeptical of the belief held by many today that the human race has evolved from apes.  My skepticism is based on scientific and theological reasons.  However, it is in the realm of theology, and private revelation in particular, that I wish to present the following thoughts.

Paragraph 67 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says the following about private revelations:

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church.

I will confine myself to those private revelations which have been recognized by the authority of the Catholic Church.  In my amateur musings on the Evolution debate I have become more and more impressed with the evidence against the theory of evolution both from science and theology.  Coupled with this, has been a growing interest in some private revelations of Our Lady.

Bearing in mind the heavy emphasis the Catholic Church has placed on Marian devotion in recent times,

(eg the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and the Assumption in 1950; considering private revelations such as:  Our Lady of Guadalupe's appearances in 1531 to St Juan Diego leaving a miraculous tilma in Mexico to this day; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris in 1830 to St Catherine Laboure, whose body remains incorrupt; Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 and the solar miracle witnessed there by 70,000 people)

and, in the midst of all the confusion that a topic such as evolution throws up,

(evolution theory pleases the atheist, it gives credence to dialectical materialism, the Communist theory of class struggle depends on the idea of Social Darwinism and its ‘survival of the fittest', Marx welcomed the writings of Darwin, Engels wrote that exploitation began when the first human hand evolved, Communist governments place strong emphasis on the enforced teaching of evolution in order to eradicate belief in God, both Freud and Jung were greatly influenced by Haekel's fraudulent evolution-based recapitulation theory, many ideologies from Nazism to New Age have been influenced by evolution, not to mention the denial in Church circles of central tenets of the faith such as belief in Adam and Eve and Original Sin because of theories such as evolution - see part 4 of Gerard J. Keane's book Creation Rediscovered, 1999, Tan Books)

I wondered if, as many anti-evolutionists claim, evolution was such a harmful theory, surely Our Lady would have spoken about it explicitly, as she did about Communism (and implicitly evolution) at Fatima in the very same month that the Russian Revolution occurred when she said "Russia will spread its errors")?

Consider these dates:

  • 1830, Charles Lyell's ‘Principles of Geology', according to Francis Hitching (The Neck of the Giraffe, p. 156, 1982, Pan Books), Lyell sought an alternative to the MIRACULOUS.  Darwin's theory needed the long ages hypothesis that Lyell's uniformitarianism offered.  One might argue that this was a fulfillment of the prophecy of the first Pope who said that in latter times scoffers of the Flood of Noah would appear claiming falsely that things have always been as they are now (2 Peter 3: 3-4).  In the very same year, 1830, just when the miraculous was about to fall out of fashion, Our Lady appeared to Sr Catherine Laboure (an incorrupt saint), and gave the world the MIRACULOUS Medal, summoning in what Archbishop Fulton Sheen called the age of Mary.  The inscription on this medal focuses on the Immaculate Conception.  St Maximilian Kolbe called this medal the "silver bullet.
  • 1854, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was declared infallibly by Pope Bl. Pius IX.
  • 1858, only 4 years later, the apparitions of Our Lady to St Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes
  • 1859, only one year after the Lourdes apparitions, Charles Darwin published his ‘Origin of the Species'

Did Our Lady say anything at Lourdes (only one year before Darwin's theory was published) that could help us discern the truth of the theory that says the first human was conceived by an ape?

On the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March 1858, (the feast of the Virginal Conception of Our Lord in the womb of Our Lady) Our Lady identified herself to St Bernadette Soubirous by saying, "I am the Immaculate Conception" (emphasis added).  In saying these words, is it not reasonable to suppose that, among other things, the Virgin Mary was ruling out the possibility that Adam had been conceived by an ape?  I mention Adam only, because the Church teaches that from one ancestor God made all nations (see CCC, para 360; see also 375); and Eve was formed in some mysterious fashion from Adam's body and was not therefore conceived (see Denzinger 2123, Pontifical Biblical Commission 1909; Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, Pope Leo XIII, 1880; and Pope Pius XII to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences 30 Nov 1941).

Certainly, Our Lord's conception in Mary was also immaculate, but:

  • the Church doesn't call it that, the Church names the conception of Jesus in Mary as the ‘Virginal Conception' (CCC 497); it's the conception of Mary by her parents Sts Joachim and Anne that is referred to, by the Church, as the ‘Immaculate Conception' (CCC 491)

  • The actual proclamation of the dogma by Pope Bl. Pius IX included the term:  ‘... by a singular grace and privilege ...' implying that such a privilege was given to no other creature.  And in Lumen Gentium 53 of Vatican II, the same implication could be deduced from the quote:  "the splendour of an entirely unique holiness" (see also CCC 492)

  • Jesus is divine and human and so if we confine Our Lady's statement to that of creatures and not the God-Man Creator, Our Lady could easily be meaning that she is the only human creature that was immaculately conceived

  • There was a time in history when Our Lady was, in fact, the only immaculate conception, our Blessed Lord included:  from the time of her conception to that of Christ's conception, she was the only immaculate conception

  • When Our Lady appeared at Guadalupe she was pregnant, when Our Lady appeared to the children at Fatima she was with the infant Jesus (October apparition); Our Lady though now existing out of time in Heaven can, and obviously has, appeared in a particular historical context.  The context in which Our Lady appeared at Lourdes could be the historical context of Mary prior to conceiving Jesus and hence being the only immaculate conception.

The first man, Adam, was immaculate before the Original Sin (CCC 390), but he couldn't have been conceived because Our Lady is telling us at Lourdes that she alone is the only creature to have been conceived immaculately (remember, Jesus is not a creature, Jesus is the Creator).

It must be conceded that the Church never imposes on her faithful the obligation of believing the private revelations or personal theological opinions of great saints such as Bernadette Soubirous.  However, it should be noted that Bernadette's canonization, like all canonizations, are infallible statements and it is hardly likely that an incorrupt saint (Bernadette's body remains miraculously incorrupt in Nevers cathedral in France after her death more than a hundred years ago) would have lied about what Our Lady said to her.  Note also the apparent divine approbation given both to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the veracity of the Lourdes apparitions from the miraculous waters of Lourdes; of the hundreds of miracles claimed at Lourdes, the rigorous international medical commission based there has verified more than 60 miraculous cures.

Therefore, is it not reasonable to suppose that Our Lady's statement at Lourdes could be taken to be a supernatural affirmation that humans have not evolved from apes?

Perhaps Lourdes needs to be shouted from the roof tops, alongside all the other evidence currently being presented against the theory of evolution, especially in this year 2008 when we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions to St Bernadette.  Because you can be sure 2009 will herald a very noisy celebration of the 150th anniversary of Evolution.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Yours in Jesus through Mary,

Paul Kelly


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