Feast of the Immaculate Conception
"It was in prescience of the divine maternity that God
exempted her, not only from original sin, but also from the obligation of contracting it." - Lallemant
Resources & Links
Holy Card Printables for St. Nicholas, St. Lucy and the Immaculate Conception
Mary Newland on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Virgin's Lamp; Prayers and Devotions
A very lovely post on the Immaculate Conception from Crusaders for Christ. Including songs, activities and information on this special day!
Visit our Blog posts on the Immaculate Conception
Great Vintage book reprints on Mary may be found at All The Saints Books
Catholic Life or
Feasts Fasts and Devotions of the Ecclesiastical Year
+ Imprimatur 1908
On this day we commemorate the fact of our Lady's conception without the stain of original sin. When we consider her eminent destiny- to be mother of God Incarnate- we are not surprised that she should be made the exception of the human race. God having taken entire possession of her from the moment that He created her soul and united it to her body, she was freed from concupiscence, and ever after exempt from the least fault, being always careful, not only to preserve this grace, but to merit an increase thereof, by faithfully corresponding with it.
We ought, in like manner, to use all possible care to preserve in our souls the sanctifying grace which we received in Baptism, or recovered by the Sacrament of Penance, that we may imitate the Blessed Virgin in the esteem she had of Divine grace. If Christians could only realize what it is to lose the grace of God, what it is to be His enemy, they would not so easily commit or remain in mortal sin.
Often, then, let us ask ourselves if we, like Mary, have a horror of deliberate sin. Do we, like her, dread it above all evils, and value purity of conscience above all treasures, glories, and gratifications?
Another thought that this feast suggests is, that if the Divine Goodness was pleased to bestow so many and such great privileges upon Mary because she was to become the mother of Jesus, because she was to conceive and bear in her chaste womb the Immaculate Lamb, what ought to be our sanctity, our innocence, our purity, when we approach the Holy Table, and there receive into our hearts the same Body and Blood, now no longer capable of suffering, but
glorious and immortal!
A suitable and profitable practice of piety is to say three "Hail Marys" every morning, followed by the ejaculation "O Mary! though thy Immaculate Conception obtain for me purity and sanctity of soul and body," or "O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
"And, if our Faith had given us nothing more
Than this example of all womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure,
This were enough to prove it higher and
Than all the creeds the
world had known before."
Example- Bernadette of Lourdes
In the winter of 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, a little peasant girl of Lourdes, in the South of France, had a vision which she described as a lady of wonderful beauty having a rosary in her hands.
The child had had this vision many times, but she did not know the meaning of it, nor who it was that thus appeared to her.
After an interval of several weeks, on the Feast of the Annunciation, this vision again appeared, and Bernadette, with charming simplicity, said: "O lady, I beseech you, have the kindness to tell me who you are, and what is your name?" The lady, with her hands joined and her eyes looking up to Heaven, answered the wondering child, saying, "I am the Immaculate Conception."
It was less than four years since the Holy Father, Pius IX., had proclaimed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, but the child had never heard of it, so she kept repeating the words to herself as she went on her way to tell the priest what the vision said.
We know the sequel- the miraculous spring and cures, the magnificent church, the countless pilgrimages, the widespread devotion to our Lady of Lourdes.
Bernadette died in the convent at Nevers, April 16, 1879.