The Unbaptized Jewish Catholic Saints

Those Catholics who take a narrow view of salvation outside the visible structure of the Church would do well to consider certain Catholic Saints, who were never baptized Christian:

{1:5} There was, in the days of Herod, king of Judea, a certain priest named Zechariah, of the section of Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
{1:6} Now they were both just before God, progressing in all of the commandments and the justifications of the Lord without blame.

{1:40} And she entered into the house of Zechariah, and she greeted Elizabeth.
{1:41} And it happened that, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
{1:42} And she cried out with a loud voice and said: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Saint Zechariah and Saint Elizabeth were “without blame” before God in all of the commandments and justification (i.e. doctrines and disciplines) of the Lord. And Sacred Scripture tells us that Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit”. So they both must have been in the state of grace. Yet neither Saint was ever baptized, as far as we know. Nor does Tradition or Scripture or the Magisterium propose to us that they must have been baptized in order to be Saints.

{11:11} Amen I say to you, among those born of women, there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Saint John the Baptist was so holy that Jesus proclaimed that no one “born of women” (i.e. conceived and born in the usual manner, which therefore excludes Jesus and Mary) is holier than John. And yet John was not baptized by Jesus, nor at all by anyone. He remained a Jew, not a Christian (at least formally), and yet he is saved.

Something similar can be said of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s parents: Saint Joachim and Saint Ann. They were never baptized as Christians, as far as we know. And yet they are each held to be Saints by Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.

Therefore, we must conclude that some persons, even today, may be saved without formal baptism and without formal conversion to Christianity.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone
available in print (paperback, 510 pp.) and in Kindle format.

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2 Responses to The Unbaptized Jewish Catholic Saints

  1. Victor says:

    I believe that ‘John was baptized in the womb at the Visitation’.

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