8/12: Feast of the Immaculate Conception

8/12: Feast of the Immaculate Conception

immaculate-conceptionIn the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”

“The Blessed Virgin Mary…”

The subject of this immunity from original sin is the person of Mary at the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body.

“…in the first instance of her conception…”

The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.

“…was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin…”

The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin. The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded. But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam — from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death.

“…by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race.”

The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the redeeming Saviour to obtain this exemption, and to be delivered from the universal necessity and debt (debitum) of being subject to original sin. The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin. Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ’s redeeming wisdom. He is a greater redeemer who pays the debt that it may not be incurred than he who pays after it has fallen on the debtor.

Such is the meaning of the term “Immaculate Conception.”

Source – Catholic Encyclopaedia Online


On this major Feast of Our Lady this thread is provided to allow us to exchange feast-day greetings, and to post favourite  stories, e.g. of favours granted, prayers, poems and hymns – lyrics and/or videos.  Enjoy!  

Comments (20)

  • Athanasius

    On this great Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I wish all and their families the love and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mother throughout their lives and at the hour of death.

    I also strongly recommend the miraculous invocation to Our Lady specific to this Feast, though no less powerful at all other times: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Recited three times with devotion and trust, no petition will be left unanswered.

    December 8, 2014 at 2:07 am
    • westminsterfly

      Also, remember this. Our Lord asked for prayers to Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception:-

      ” In August of 1931, Sister Lucia was praying in the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Rianjo, Spain, begging Our Lord for the conversion of the whole world, naming particularly Europe, Russia, and her own countries of Portugal and Spain. Our Lord expressed to her His pleasure in this prayer: “You please Me very much by this prayer. Ask it also of My Mother. He then taught her this prayer:
      “Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe, and the
      whole world.” Jesus then continued: “Pray this often. At other times, pray
      as follows: ‘By Thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe, and the whole world.’”

      December 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm
      • Fidelis

        Westminster Fly,

        That’s amazing to think Our Lord himself used the title in an apparition, especially one of the Fatima visions. Thanks for posting that. I hadn’t known that before.

        Happy Feast!

        December 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    • Fidelis

      I read the suggestion from Margaret Mary on the other thread to pray especially for Pope Francis today so I’m saying the “O Mary conceived without sin” invocation which you’ve reminded us of. Thank you for the reminder, as I’m offering that prayer for Pope Francis throughout the day today.

      Happy Feast!

      December 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm
    • Lily

      I have two friends who suffer from mental health issues, so I am planning to offer that invocation for them. I would appreciate if other bloggers could spare a prayer for them as well. Very few people realise how terrible mental health illness actually is.

      December 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm
      • Athanasius


        I will offer a prayer for your friends tonight at Holy Mass, but do keep making that invocation to Our Lady for them.

        December 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    Happy Feast everyone!

    I always remember how St Bernadette of Lourdes convinced her parish priest that her visions of Our Lady were true when she was able to say that Our Lady said that she was “the Immaculate Conception” and there was no way Bernadette would have known that title which was still being debated in Rome. The priest knew right off that she was telling the truth then.

    The Lourdes hymn is beautiful, especially when sung during the Torchlight Procession in Lourdes. I thought I’d post it, with the lyrics, here, for the Feast.

    December 8, 2014 at 9:44 am
    • Lily

      I love the words of the Lourdes hymn and I always think it is very powerful when I join in the torchlight procession at Lourdes.

      A very happy feast day to everyone at CT.

      December 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm
  • jobstears

    Happy Feast everyone!

    I was reading Archbishop Lefebvre’s beautiful homily on the Immaculate Conception (http://sspx.org/en/immaculata-keep-our-souls-immaculate) and I was struck by this: “She is the creature that was created, designed by God to destroy sin……. Therefore with the Blessed Virgin there is no compromise, no compromise with sin, no compromise with error; she is completely true, completely holy. She cannot bear error, or sin, or vice.” In this time of diabolical confusion, made worse by the minute, recourse to Our Lady is vital if we are to remain Catholic ( and preserve our sanity :D). .

    December 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    • Fidelis


      “She is the creature that was created, designed by God to destroy sin…”

      How beautiful is that? When was the last time any priest said that in a sermon?

      I will now read the rest of the sermon you’ve linked. Thank you for posting it.

      Happy Feast to all at CT.

      December 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm
  • damselofthefaith

    A Blessed and Holy Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to all at Catholic Truth! May She crush the head of Satan and destroy the wicked heresy of Modernism, ushering in the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the glorious restoration of the Catholic Church.

    December 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm
    • Athanasius


      The triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is infallibly assured and will be made manifest very soon, I have no doubt about that. What’s happening at the moment is that Lucifer is going all out to cause the greatest damage before that great day arrives, when, like a dog on a leash, he will be roped in and re-chained in Hell’s dungeon for the duration of the period of holy peace to come.

      December 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  • Attono

    I wrote this hymn a while back and on this the feast day of the Immaculate Conception I would like to share it with you.

    Hail Mary.

    Hail Mary our beautiful Mother,
    Hail Queen of heaven and earth.
    Mother of God the Almighty,
    To Whom, Thou once did give birth.

    The Angels in heaven all praise Thee,
    And sing of Your glorious deeds,
    O Cherubim, Seraphim sweetly,
    Remind Her of all our needs.

    The Saints they all know of Your beauty,
    Your sweetness, Your kindness, Your love,
    Immaculate Heart of Mary,
    Look down on us from above.

    Jesus, and Mary, and Joseph,
    We give You our hearts and our soul,
    Take us and shape and remake us,
    That we will be Thine for to hold

    Hail Mary once more we salute You,
    All bright, all fair as the moon,
    Blessed art Thou amongst woman,
    And blest is the Fruit of Thy Womb.

    December 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm
    • Lily


      That is a beautiful hymn. It is a great talent to be able to write poetry, I wish I had it. Congratulations on writing something so beautiful which will be sure to please Our Lady a lot on this special feast day, IMHO.

      December 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm
    • Josephine


      I love your beautiful hymn, well done. I agree with Lily that it will please Our Lady especially today, and I, too, wish I had your talent.

      December 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    • Athanasius


      Beautiful words indeed! The Church would not be undergoing the present crisis if every Catholic had that kind of devotion to the Blessed Mother.

      December 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    I agree with everyone about your beautiful hymn and words, you have used your gift well.

    When Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in December 1854, little did he expect Our Lady to appear to St Bernadette in Lourdes in 1858 and confirm it, by saying
    “I am the Immaculate Conception”.


    Happy Feast day everyone.

    December 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm
  • Attono

    Truly I’m humbled by the very kind and generous comments,as I always assumed that this ability was in the gift of all. Just to explain that that I’m just an ordinary Joe Soap struggling hard to stay on the straight and narrow, in union with the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph , all the angels and saints and I pray for the grace one day to arrive with my family in the Heavenly Jerusalem where every tear will will be wiped away.

    December 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm
    • Athanasius


      If you keep your devotion to Our Lady as strong as it is now, turning to her in all your troubles, then you will assuredly reach heaven, as will your family if they too trust in Our Lady. This is the teaching of the saints and fathers of the Church.

      December 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm
  • editor


    Like the others, I think your hymn is really lovely. I notice you were of the opinion that everyone has such a gift – if only! I can’t even write a limerick! I always get stuck on the last line!

    So, thank you for sharing your talent with us here, in order to help us pay tribute to Our Lady on this wonderful and centrally important Marian feast day.

    I’m about to close this thread, so a sincere thank you to everyone who contributed.

    December 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm

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