Feast of the Immaculate Conception

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Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Saint Anne and her young Mary

On Thursday, December 8, we will celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  There is some confusion regarding the meaning of this commemorative event.God has plans for people long before they are aware of any special mission asked of them.  The psalmist says, “You formed me in my mother’s womb . . .  my days were shaped, before one came to be.” (Ps 139: 13,16)  God prepared mary to become the mother of  His son and enriched her with special gifts.  At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel saluted her as “full of grace.”  Through the centuries the Church has been aware that Mary “full of grace” was free from sin from the moment of her conception.  This is different from the miracle of Jesus’ conception.In 1854 Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Immaculate Conception as a dogma (creed) of the Church.  Mary was from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, preserved free from all stain of original sin.In 1854 the Mother of God appeared numerous times to Bernadette Soubiroux a poor shepherdess from Lourdes, France. Bernadette knew nothing about Church doctrine, yet Our Lady of Lourdes used her to affirm this dogma.  When Bernadette asked the beautiful lady who she was she said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

By guest blogger, Sister Melanie Gagne, OSB

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized

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