Catechism of the Catholic Church

40 Part One to him as righteousness.” 8 Because he was “strong in his faith,” Abraham became the “father of all who believe.” 9 147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who “received divine approval.” 10 Yet “God had foreseen something better for us”: the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” 11 Mary—“Blessed is she who believed” 148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that “with God nothing will be impossible” and so giving her assent: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.” 12 Elizabeth greeted her: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 13 It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed. 14 149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal 15 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith. II. “I K now W hom I H ave B elieved ” 16 To believe in God alone 150 Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to 8 Rom 4:3; cf. Gen 15:6. 9 Rom 4:11, 18; 4:20; cf. Gen 15:5. 10 Heb 11:2, 39. 11 Heb 11:40; 12:2. 12 Lk 1:37-38; cf. Gen 18:14. 13 Lk 1:45. 14 Cf. Lk 1:48. 15 Cf. Lk 2:35. 16 2 Tim 1:12. 839 494, 2617 506 969 507, 829 222