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The Immaculate Conception
Feast Day December 8


Trace in our actions the lines of her love,
in our hearts her readiness of faith.
Prepare once again a world for Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.

~From the Immaculate Conception Prayer

 

On the Immaculate Conception
From the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 56

“[Mary] gave to the world the Life that renews all things, and she was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.

“It is no wonder, then, that the usage prevailed among the holy Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, fashioned by the Holy Spirit into a kind of new substance and new creature. Adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendors of an entirely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is, on God’s command, greeted by an angel messenger as ‘full of grace’ (cf. Luke 1:28). To the heavenly messenger she replies: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38)”.

Homily, Pope Benedict XVI
December 8, 2007, The Angelus, St Peter's Square

For this reason, the liturgy has us celebrate ...the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary: the mystery of God's grace that enfolded her from the first instant of her existence as the creature destined to be Mother of the Redeemer, preserving her from the stain of original sin. Looking at her, we recognize the loftiness and beauty of God's plan for everyone: to become holy and immaculate in love, in the image of our Creator.

To reach Jesus, the true light, the sun that dispels all the darkness of history, we need light near us, human people who reflect Christ's light and thus illuminate the path to take. And what person is more luminous than Mary? Who can be a better star of hope for us than she, the dawn that announced the day of salvation?

About the Feast

A feast called the Conception of Mary arose in the Eastern Church in the seventh century. It came to the West in the eighth century. In the eleventh century it received its present name, the Immaculate Conception. In the eighteenth century it became a feast of the universal Church. In 1854, Pius IX solemnly proclaimed: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant 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.”                             ~From American Catholic

 

Hymn

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing
Who reigns now with Christ, our Redeemer and King.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

In heaven the blessed your glory proclaim
On earth we, your children, invoke your fair name.
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

Immaculate Conception Prayer

Father,
Mary had a faith that Your Spirit prepared
and a love that never knew sin,
for You kept her sinless
from the first moment of her conception.
Trace in our actions the lines of her love,
in our hearts her readiness of faith.
Prepare once again a world for Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

Prayer of St Ephraem

O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from your sublime heights turn your eyes of pity on my. Filled with confidence in your goodness and knowing full well your power, I beg you to extend to me your assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. In order that I may never be a slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to you. I consecrate my heart to you forever, my only desire being to love your divine Son, Jesus. Mary, none of your devout servants has ever perished; may I, too, be saved. Amen.