The first mystery of Christ is His Virgin Mother, She Who is the Immaculate Conception. This dogma reminds us of St. Paul’s teaching in regard to God’s plan for the Redemption: “All things are done for your sakes” to which St. John Eudes adds, “If He created the world, it was for us, if He became Man, it was for us. If He was born in a stable, it was for our sake…For our sake, He died on the Cross, ascended into Heaven, established Holy Church, confided the sacraments to her care and especially the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar where He resides for us…In a like manner, if He willed to have a Mother on earth, it was for our sake.” To the words of the saint must be added, “And if He created His Mother as the Immaculate One, it was for our sake.”
When through his own fault, Adam lost Original Justice, Original Sin took its place, affecting both body and soul. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that while in the state of justice, “the whole body was held together in subjection to the soul” but, with the fall of Adam, all “the powers of the soul were left, as it were, destitute of their proper order, whereby they are naturally directed to virtue,” and this “destitution is called a wounding of nature.”
Barred from the Tree of Life and wounded by the four chief effects of his sin (weakness, ignorance, malice and concupiscence), the first father Adam could bequeath to all of his descendents only his fallen human nature, sullied with the Original Sin.
The New Adam and the New Eve
“But from this general misfortune,” wrote St. Alphonsus de Liguori, “God was pleased to exempt that Blessed Virgin whom He had destined to be the Mother of the second Adam – Jesus Christ – who was to repair the evil done by the first.”
A fundamental doctrinal theme of St. Paul’s is that Our Lord is Adam’s archetype by way of contrast, for Jesus came to undo the work of Adam and to open the gates of Heaven, long closed to the first man’s posterity as a consequence of the Original Sin. St. Paul speaks of “Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come…But not as the offense, so also the gift. For if by one man’s offence, death reigned through one; much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ.”
The Teaching of the Catholic Church explains, “A man led to our loss of the sanctifying grace of God; a Man gave us back the gift. Death reigned in the race of Adam; through one born of Adam’s race true Life was restored to men. Death was the punishment decreed for our first father’s sin; when the Redeemer died, death was found to be the one efficacious remedy for our loss.”
The corresponding doctrine that the Blessed Virgin is the archetype of Eve is the teaching of all antiquity, and it was for this reason that St. Ephrem wrote, “Those two innocents, those two simple ones, had been equal the one to the other, but afterward, one became the cause of our death, the other of our life.” Our Lady is “rightly called the second Eve in the same sense that Her divine Son is rightly called the second Adam…”
For the sake of the Incarnation and the Passion of Christ which would offer redemption to the human race, the Lord’s Virgin Mother was conceived without sin, “redeemed in the highest way – the way of prevention – from the shipwreck that involved all the other children of Adam, all our race, in dire catastrophe.”
The Redemption of the Virgin
St. Alphonsus was careful to observe, “There are two means by which a person may be redeemed, as St. Augustine teaches us: ‘the one by raising him up after having fallen, and the other by preventing him from falling,’ and this last means is doubtless the most honorable.” 
When Adam was in the state of original justice, the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon him and took one of his ribs to form the first woman, Eve.  From the very moment of her existence, grace was imparted to the woman, granted by God through the stainless Adam.
In a similar fashion, the Virgin Mary (the New Eve) received at the very moment of Her existence the gift of sanctifying grace, communicated from God through the virginal Jesus (the New Adam). How was this done, when Our Lady preceded Her Divine Son in historical time?
The answer is found in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God is present to all things that are, were or shall be. What He is and does, He is and does outside of time. To Him, creatures and events which succeed each other in time are ever present. In the great mystery of the Holy Trinity, which our limited human minds cannot fathom, the three Divine Persons applied to Our Lady the foreseen merits of Jesus, the Word made Flesh. 
To quote the illustrious words of St. Bernard: “One man and one woman have wrought us exceeding harm; nevertheless, thanks to God, through one Man and one Woman all things are restored…and indeed Christ would have sufficed. Surely all of sufficiency is of Him, but it would not have been good for us that Man should be alone. Rather, it was fitting that both sexes should take part in our Reparation, for neither sex had been guiltless in our fall.” 
“I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwelleth,”  said King David, for the Holy Ghost inspired him to speak of his future daughter Mary, the living Temple of God and Ark of the Covenant. For the glory of His name, for the sake of the Incarnation of Christ, and for our sakes, the maiden Mary was prepared for Her dignity and office as the Virgin Mother of God, both spiritually and physically, in Her soul and in Her body. Exempted and preserved from the sin which, as one of Adam’s descendants, She otherwise would have inherited as the naturally generated child of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin.
The Immaculate Conception is “the woman,” whose appearance in time commenced the fulfillment of the Lord’s prophecy against the ancient serpent, the devil: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”  Created by the Holy Trinity to be the ever-Immaculate Mother of God, Our Lady “was fittingly prepared for the virginal childbearing through which was crushed the serpent’s head.”
“In the Christian religion,” explained Cardinal Billot, “Mary is absolutely inseparable from Christ both before and after the Incarnation: Before the Incarnation in the hope and expectation of mankind, after the Incarnation in the worship and love of the Church. For, indeed, in the primeval prophecy [of Genesis 3:15] we were shown not only Christ, but also the Woman whose Child He is...” 
“The Immaculate Conception means the restoration of grace once more to the human race,”  wrote Fr. H. O’Laverty, author of The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts. “The Immaculate Conception…was the long looked-for event in the history of the world, and from this we may really trace all the good things we have received through the sufferings and death of Christ.”
The Eternal Bond of the Woman and Her Seed
“A religion that separates Mary from Jesus – the Woman from Her Seed – is neither the religion of the promises and prophecies as we read of in the Old Testament, nor the religion of their fulfillment as we see it in the New,”  explains The Teaching of the Catholic Church.
Christ is Our Divine Savior, and Mary is our holy Mother. Since the first days of the Church, there have always been those who try to separate Our Lord from His Mother. Just as many who forget that the entire human was not condemned until Adam sinned are blindly inclined to point only to Eve as the reason for mankind’s fall, conversely there are those who claim to admit Christ as Lord and Savior but contemptuously dismiss Our Lady’s office in the Redemption. Just as the Lord God joined together the first Adam and Eve, whose fates were intertwined, so did He join together the new Adam and Eve in the proto-evangelium of Genesis 3:15.
To further the points of “figure-types” previously made, the historical persons of Adam and Eve can always be positively compared or negatively contrasted to their perfect archetypes, the Lord Jesus and the Lady Mary. Gathered from the Fathers of the Church, the following syllabus clarifies God’s binding of the first Adam and Eve and that of “the Woman and her seed”:
• Adam was created before Eve; the Word in Eternity - the Second Person of the Holy Trinity - Who said, “Before Abraham came to be made, I am” - preceded His human but sinless mother.
• Adam was formed by God from the virginal earth; Jesus was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.
• Sanctifying grace was bestowed to Eve through Adam; Mary was conceived in grace through the foreseen merits of the new Adam.
• Eve sinned before Adam; Mary was born before Christ.
• Adam and Eve were created in Original Justice but fell from grace; Jesus and Mary were always full of grace.
• Adam and Eve were intended to be the lord and lady over all the earth; Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady Mary possess dominion over all creation.
• Mary is the cause of our salvation, even as Eve was the cause of our ruin.
• “As Eve was seduced by an angel’s word to shun God after having transgressed His Word, so Mary, also by an Angel’s word, had the good tidings given Her so that after obeying His Word she might bear God within Her.” (St. Irenaeus) 
• Adam, who sinned early in his life, sentenced the entire human race to death; Christ, Who died in the flower of His youth, redeemed us for eternal life.
• Both the Lady Eve and the Lady Mary became “the mother of all the living,”  Eve in the natural order, Mary in the order of grace – for the Mother of God is also the Mother of men.
The Holy Scriptures relate that when the Immaculate Conception, already full of grace, gave the angelic messenger Her Fiat, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word,” She was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost. The Lord of all was made Man, and “the woman” became Theotokos  (literally from the Greek, “God-bearer,” or in a variable translation, “God’s mother”). At the moment Our Lady became the Mother of God, She also became the spiritual Mother of all mankind. From that same instant, the new Adam and the new Eve together began the Redemption of mankind.
Those who truly adore the Christ Child in the manger also honor the Perpetual Virgin who brought Him forth. In a similar manner, those who possess devotion “to Jesus through Mary” make their own the witness of St. Alphonsus: “The more we honor Mary, the more we shall honor God,” for when Our Lord came to free us all, He did not disdain the humility of the Immaculate Virgin’s womb.
“And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Born in poverty and adored only by the humble Virgin, St. Joseph, and poor shepherds, the Christ Child would later be sought by wise men from the east, following a star.
“And entering the house, they found the child with Mary, his mother, and falling down they adored him.” So do all the faithful throughout time forever find Christ – always with Mary, His Mother and ours.
 2 Cor. 4,15
 St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary (Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, under license from Loreto Publications, Fitzwilliam, NH. Republished from the 1847 edition): p. 80.
 P.J. Chandlery, S.J., Mary’s Praise on Every Tongue (London: Manresa Press, 1919) at
 Canon George D. Smith, D.D., Ph.D., The Teaching of the Catholic Church: A Summary of Catholic Doctrine, Vol. I (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1959): p. 526.
 St. Alphonsus de Liguori, loc.cit.
 St. Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Question 85, Second and Revised Edition, 1920
 1 Cor 15: 44-49
 Rom. 5:14,17
 Canon Smith, op.cit., p. 523.
 St. Ephrem, Op. Syr., tom.ii, p. 325. Cited by Canon Smith, op. cit., p. 531.
 Canon George D. Smith, op.cit., p. 524.
 Ibid., p. 528. (Emphasis added.)
 St. Alphonsus de Liguori, op.cit., p. 303.
 Gen. 2:21-22.
 Jn. 1:14.
 St. Bernard, Sermo de Duodecim praerogativis B.V.M., I, 2. Cited by Smith, op.cit., p. 530.
 Ps. 25:8.
 Gen. 3:15.
 Canon George D. Smith, op.cit., p. 526.
 De Verbo Incarnato, p. 401 (Rome, 1912). Cited by Smith, op.cit., p. 530.
 Fr. H. O’Laverty, B.A.,The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts (Rockford, IL: TAN Books and Publishers, 1987; republished from the 1908-1915 edition): p.4.
 Canon George D. Smith, loc.cit.
 Jn. 8:58.
 Haer. V.19.
 Gen. 3:20.
 St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 446), Orat. 6, cited by P.J. Chandlery, S.J., op. cit., Section IX.
 Lk. 1:38.
 The dogma that Mary is Theotokos, because Her Son Jesus is one Person but with two natures (divine and human; the hypostatic union), was formally defined at the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.
 Lk. 2:7.
 Matt. 2:11.