Was Mary the only one who was “full of grace"? Or were Jesus (John 1:14) and Stephen (Acts 6:8) also full of grace?
It is true that both Jesus and Stephen are said to be “full of grace” in the English translations. However, the Greek phrase that is used for Jesus and Stephen is pleres charitos, whereas the Greek word used with reference to Mary is kecharitomene.
Being a simple adjective, pleres charitos has a different connotation than kecharitomene in that it suggests a completion of grace in the present moment. In the case of Stephen, God filled him with grace at the moment to prepare him for martyrdom. For Jesus, John is emphasizing that Jesus was full of grace at the moment of the Incarnation. He tells us that Jesus remains full of grace later in verse sixteen: “And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.”
Kecharitomene, however, is a perfect passive participle (a verbal adjective). Like pleres charitos, it suggests that Mary is in a completed state of grace at the moment Gabriel approaches her. But unlike pleres charitos, it is a completed and ongoing state in the present that is the result of a past action.
Furthermore, as Tim Staples argues in his book Behold Your Mother, the Greek word kecharitomene seems to be a title (or a new name) rather than a mere description. As such, it reveals something permanent about Mary’s character.
The description of Mary as “full of grace” is therefore very different than the description of Jesus and Stephen as full of grace.
A caveat worth noting: this doesn’t mean Jesus is not full of grace in the way that Mary was—namely, from the moment of conception and permanently throughout life. In fact, Jesus was full of grace in a far superior way, due to the hypostatic union of his human and divine natures.