The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you” Luke 1:26-29.  

On Friday, December 8, 1854, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Pius IX (or Pio Nono as he was called) solemnly proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a dogma of the Catholic Faith.

These are the words of the definition included in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus: “We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that 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 Saviour 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.”

This was the clarification of the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. Mary was granted this extraordinary privilege because of Her unique role in history as the Mother of God. That is, she received the gift of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception.

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 142-143 teaches that “No sin would touch her, so that she would be a fitting a worthy vessel of the Son of God. The Immaculate Conception does not refer to the virginal conception and the birth of Christ, but rather to Mary’s being conceived without inheriting Original Sin.”

Only four years after the proclamation of this dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Immaculate Virgin appeared to St. Bernadette in the grotto at Lourdes and said to her “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

What a mighty God that we serve.

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I pray the good LORD, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, keep and bless you all the days of your life in the mighty name of J E S U S Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

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Peace be with you.