Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

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-Pope Benedict XVI

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

From Fr. Marin's allocutio last week:

Mary's Immaculate Conception was not declared as dogma until 1854, when Pope Pius IX declared it in his Papal Bull.

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful...."

- Pope Pius IX

However, for many many years, it was already in the life of the Church. Mary was blessed more than any other creature. The Greek Fathers believed that she was free from the stain of sin. Only one other woman was born without original sin: Eve. But there is a world of difference between Eve's choice and Mary's choice. Mary is the New Eve, the woman promised in the Book of Genesis. God said that "I will put enmity between you and the woman," and we now know that 'woman' refers to the Virgin Mary. The word 'enmity' in a way means that the serpent will have no power over Mary. It was as if God was already telling us in a vague way that Mary will be preserved from sin. Let us take the opportunity on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to honor her--God's masterpiece, to do something special for her.