The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a belief that has been held by Christians since the advent of The Church. It is also a dogma which was revealed to Mystics in the church. It was not infallibly defined by the Church until the nineteenth century by Blessed Pope Pius IX in his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus.
The Feast Day Preceded the Definition of the Dogma
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception was instituted by Pope Clement XI on the 6th of December 1708. This is over 200 years before the Dogma was Defined by Pope Pius IX. The feast day is celebrated annually in the Church on the 8th of December.
The following is a short excerpt about the Immaculate Conception from the Mystical City of God by Ven. Mother Mary of Agreda
“Let Us furnish Her with richest gifts and let Us deposit in Her the great treasures of our grace. Since all others, whom We called into existence, have turned out ungrateful and rebellious to our wishes, frustrating our intention and impeding by their own fault our purpose, namely, that they conserve themselves in the happy state of their first parents, and since it is not proper, that our will should be entirely frustrated, let Us therefore create this being in entire sanctity and perfection, so that the disorder of the first sin shall have no part in Her“ – The Mystical City of God, Book 1. Chapter 6
From the Beginning of Salvation History Our Lady was set aside
“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.” 3:15
The Women in this passage is none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary, who almighty God protected from every stain of sin. By this she was able to crush the head of the serpent who never had authority over her.
Quotes from 2 Fathers of the Church
“O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! Oh glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew.” – Saint John of Damascus
“We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.” – Saint Augustine
The Council of Trent Excluded the Blessed Virgin Mary in its Decree on Original Sin
The Holy Council of Trent Decreed the following in the Fifth Session: “If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:–whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.”
The council fathers then went on to say the following, similar to what Saint Augustine said: “This same holy Synod doth nevertheless declare, that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God”
This is evidence that this great truth has always been in the mind of God and never contradicted in the life of the Church.
The Dogma: Pope Pius IX
“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.” – Pope Pius XI, Ineffabilis Deus
Some ways to Honour this Great Feast Day
- Attend Holy Mass. (This day is a day of obligation in the Church, however, in South Africa the Bishops have relaxed this obligation.)
- Pray the Most Holy Rosary
- Prepare to make the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary according to Saint Louis de Montfort 33 days before
- Spend some time in meditation before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Attend a public procession in Honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary if this is available
- Pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary