The Immaculate Conception

 

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Today we celebrate the conception of Mary, the Mother of God.  Many conceive the notion that it’s Jesus’ conception, but that is simply not true.

The Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son Jesus. The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception keeping her “immaculate”.

The Immaculate Conception is commonly confused with the virgin birth of Jesus.  While all Christians believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus, it is principally Roman Catholics, along with various other Christian denominations, who believe in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Although the belief that Mary was sinless, or conceived without original sin, has been widely held since late antiquity, the doctrine was not dogmatically defined in the Catholic Church until 1854 when Pope Pius IV declared ex cathedra, i.e., using papal infallibility, in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus, the Immaculate Conception to be doctrine. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8; in many Catholic countries, it is a holy day of obligation or patronal feast, and in some a national public holiday.

In 1854 Pope Pius IV declared that from the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted freely by God and in view of the coming merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin.  This is a doctrine, revealed by God, says the pope and therefore it is to be believed firmly and constantly by the faithful.  Four years later after the declaration of this dogma in 1858 our Lady appeared at Lourdes revealing herself to St. Bernadette as The Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

 

Mary was God’s Worthy Vessel “…to be holy and blameless in His sight…” —Ephesians 1:4

Mary, as the Mother of God, needed to be absolutely pure, spotless, and immaculate to be able to carry Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself, in her human womb.

Mary received a special grace for her unique role in the plan of salvation, yet she also foreshadows God’s plan for each of us: to make us all “holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle” (Eph 5:27). With Mary, say “Yes” to a life of holy love for Jesus.

 

Immaculate Mary,
your praises we sing.
You reign now in Heaven
with Jesus our King.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

In Heaven the blessed
your glory proclaim;
On earth we your children
invoke your sweet name.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

We pray for our Mother,
the Church upon earth,
And bless, Holy Mary,
the land of our birth.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

We pray you, O Mother,
may God’s will be done
We pray for His glory,
may his Kingdom come.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!
Lourdes Hymn

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Some of the information used in this post was taken from Wikipedia and Presentation Ministries.com

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2 thoughts on “The Immaculate Conception

  1. Amen! A blessed solemnity and feast day to all the faithful. It was Dons Scotus who finally resolved the controversy of the Immaculate Conception among Catholic theologians in Mediaeval time. He proposed that Christ’s merits applied most perfectly to his Most Blessed Mother (Lk 1:42) by preserving her free contracting the stain of original sin rather than by having it removed from her. Mary, therefore, was redeemed in the most perfect way by this singular grace granted to her because of whose mother she was chosen to be from all eternity (Lk 1:28). Pope Sixtus lV ruled that all debate among theologians must finally cease when he established the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1476. Pope Pius lX chose December 8 to issue his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus. Eastern Catholics have celebrated this feast in communion with Rome for centuries, and many believed in the Immaculate Conception before it was discussed by Western theologians. In the first millennium, it was the Greek fathers of the Church who implicitly taught this doctrine with consistency. So, it took until the Middle ages for the Immaculate Conception to be universally held by the Catholic Church.

    We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face.
    1 Corinthians 13:12

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