December 7, 2016

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception | 2016

Immaculate Conception

December 8th, the Church celebrates the most holy solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. With Mary's "yes" to the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel, all creation celebrated the imminent arrival of its Savior. Free from all taint of original sin, the "new Eve" benefited uniquely from the work of Christ as the most perfect Mediator and Redeemer. The first redeemed by her Son, Mary shares his holiness in full; she is already what the Church hopes to be.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 491)

Almighty ever living God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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