The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Traditional Catholic Liturgy
Adapted from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger

Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
At length, on the distant horizon, rises, with a soft and radiant light, the aurora of the Sun which has been so long desired. The happy Mother of the Messias was to be born before the Messias Himself; and this is the day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The earth already possesses a first pledge of the divine mercy; the Son of Man is near at hand. Two true Israelites, Joachim and Anne, noble branches of the family of David, find their union, after a long barrenness, made fruitful by the divine omnipotence. Glory be to God, Who has been mindful of His promises, and Who deigns to announce, from the high heavens, the end of the deluge of iniquity, by sending upon the earth the sweet white dove that bears the tidings of peace!

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin's Immaculate Conception is the most solemn of all those which the Church celebrates during the holy Season of Advent; and if the first part of the cycle had to offer us the commemoration of some one of the mysteries of Mary, there was none whose object could better harmonize with the spirit of the Church in this mystic season of expectation. Let us, then, celebrate this solemnity with joy; for the Immaculate Conception of Mary tells us that the Birth of Jesus is not far off.

The intention of the Church in this Feast is not only to celebrate the anniversary of the happy moment in which began, in the womb of the pious Anne, the life of the ever-glorious Virgin Mary; but also to honor the sublime privilege, by which Mary was preserved from the original stain, which, by a sovereign and universal decree, is contracted by all the children of Adam the very moment they are conceived in their mother's womb. The faith of the Catholic Church on the subject of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is this: that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance 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, but rather was filled with an immeasurable grace which rendered Her, from that moment, the mirror of the sanctity of God Himself, as far as this is possible to a creature. The Church with Her infallible authority, declared, by the lips of Pope Pius IX, that this article of Her Faith had been revealed by God Himself. The Definition was received with enthusiasm by the whole of Christendom, and the 8th of December of the year 1854 was thus made one of the most memorable days of the Church's history.

It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity could not be reconciled with Her undergoing the humiliations of this punishment. She was not only Daughter of the Eternal Father; She was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son and the veritable Bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity; not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His Divine Majesty in Heaven; in a word, as the great Doctor St. Anselm says, "It was just that this Holy Virgin should be adorned with the greatest purity which can be conceived after that of God Himself, since God the Father was to give to Her, as Her Child, that Only-Begotten Son, Whom He loved as Himself, as being begotten to Him from His own bosom; and this in such a manner, that the selfsame Son of God was, by nature, the Son of both God the Father and this Blessed Virgin. This same Son chose Her to be substantially His Mother; and the Holy Ghost willed that in Her womb He would operate the conception and birth of Him from Whom He Himself proceeded."


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The Church, even before the solemn proclamation of the grand dogma, kept the Feast of this 8th day of December; which was, in reality, a profession of Her faith. It is true the Feast was called simply the Conception of Mary. But the fact of such a feast being instituted and kept was an unmistakable expression of the faith of Christendom in that truth. St. Bernard and the Angelical Doctor, St. Thomas, both teach that the Church cannot celebrate the feast of what is not holy; the Conception of Mary, therefore, was holy and immaculate, since the Church has, for ages past, honored it with a special feast. The Nativity of the same Holy Virgin is kept as a solemnity in the Church, because Mary was born full of grace; therefore, had the first moment of Mary's existence been one of sin, as is that of all the other children of Adam, it never could have been made the subject of the reverence of the Church. Now there are few feasts so generally and so firmly established in the Church as this which we are keeping today.

The Greek Church, which, more easily than the Latin, could learn what were the pious traditions of the East, kept this Feast even in the 6th century, as is evident from the ceremonial or, as it is called, the Type, of St. Sabbas. In the West, we find it established in the Gothic Church of Spain as far back as the 8th century. A celebrated calendar which was engraved on marble, in the 9th century, for the use of the Church of Naples, attests that it had already been introduced there. Paul the Deacon, secretary to the Emperor St. Karl the Great, and afterwards monk at Monte Cassino, composed a celebrated hymn on the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. In 1066 the Feast was first established in England, in consequence of the pious Abbot Helsyn's being miraculously preserved from shipwreck; and shortly after that, was made general through the whole island by the zeal of the great St. Anselm, monk of the Order of St. Benedict, and Archbishop of Canterbury. From England it passed into Normandy, and took root in France. We find it sanctioned in Germany, in a Council held in 1049, at which Pope St. Leo IX was present; in 1090 at the Abbey of Irach in Navarre; in Belgium, at Liège, in 1142. Thus did the Churches of the West testify their faith in this mystery, by accepting its Feast, which is the expression of faith.

Lastly, it was adopted by Rome herself, and her doing so rendered the united testimony of her children, the other Churches, more imposing than ever. It was Pope Sixtus IV who, in the year 1476, published the Decree of the Feast of Our Lady's Conception for the city of St. Peter. In the next century, in 1586, Pope St. Pius V published the universal edition of the Roman Breviary, and in its calendar was inserted this Feast as one of those Christian solemnities which the faithful are every year bound to observe.

How Thy gentle light gladdens our wearied eyes, sweet Mother! Generation had followed generation on this earth of ours. Men looked up to Heaven through their tears, hoping to see appear on the horizon the star which they had been told should disperse the gloomy horrors of the world's darkness; but death came, and they sank into the tomb, without seeing even the dawn of the light, for which alone they cared to live. It is for us that God had reserved the blessing of seeing Thy lovely rising, O Thou fair Morning Star, which sheddest Thy blessed rays on the sea, and bringest calm after the long stormy night! O prepare our eyes that they may behold the Divine Sun which will soon follow in Thy path, and give to the world His reign of light and day. Prepare our hearts, for it is to our hearts that this Jesus of Thine wishes to show Himself. To see Him, our hearts must be pure: purify them, O Thou Immaculate Mother! The Divine Wisdom has willed that of the Feasts which the Church dedicates to Thee, this of Thy Immaculate Conception should be celebrated during Advent; that thus the children of the Church, reflecting on the jealous care wherewith God preserved Thee from every stain of sin because Thou wast to be the Mother of His Divine Son, might prepare to receive this same Jesus by the most perfect renunciation of every sin and of every attachment to sin. This great change must be made; and Thy prayers, O Mary, will help us to make it. Pray — we ask it of Thee by the grace God gave Thee in Thy Immaculate Conception — that our covetousness may be destroyed, our concupiscence extinguished, and our pride turned into humility. Despise not our prayers, dear Mother of that Jesus Who chose Thee for His dwelling-place, that He might afterwards find one in each of us.

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A Homily by St. Bernard the Abbot

Rejoice, father Adam, and yet more thou mother Eve, ye that are the source of all, and the ruin of all, and the unhappy cause of our ruin before ye gave them birth. Be comforted both in your daughter; but chiefly thou, O woman, of whom the first evil came, and who hast cast thy slur upon all women. The time is come for the slur to be taken away, and for the man to have nothing to say against the woman. At the first, when he unwisely began to make excuse, he scrupled not to throw the blame upon her, saying, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Wherefore, O Eve, betake thyself to Mary: Mother, betake thyself to thy daughter: let the daughter answer for the mother: let her take away her mother's reproach; let her make up to her father for her mother's fault: for if man be fallen by means of woman, it is by means of woman that he is raised up again.

What didst thou say, O Adam? The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. These are wrathful words, by the which thou dost rather magnify than diminish thine offence. Nevertheless, Wisdom hath defeated thy malice. God asked thee that he might find in thee an occasion of pardon, but, in that he found it not, he hath sought and found it in the Treasure of his own mercy. One woman answereth for another; the wise for the foolish; the lowly for the proud; for her that gave thee of the tree of death, another that giveth thee to taste of the tree of life; for her that brought thee the bitter food of sin, another that giveth thee of the sweet fruits of righteousness. Wherefore accuse the woman no more, but speak in thanksgiving, and say, Lord, the woman whom thou hast given me, she hath given me of the tree of life, and I have eaten; and it is in my mouth sweeter than honey, for thereby hast thou quickened me. Behold, it was for this that the angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin, to the most worshipful of women, a woman more wonderful than all women, the restorer of them that went before, and the quickener of them that come after her.

Was it not of this thy daughter, O Adam, that God spake when he said unto the serpent, I will put enmity between thee and the woman? And if thou wilt still doubt that he speaketh of Mary, hear what followeth: She shall crush thy head. Who won this conquest but Mary? She brought to nought the whole wiles of Satan, whether for the pollution of her body or the injury of her soul. Was it not of her that Solomon spake, where he saith, Who shall find a virtuous woman? The wise man knew the weaknesses of women, how frail they are in body, and how changeable in mind. But he had read that God had promised that the enemy, who had prevailed by means of a woman, was by a woman to be overthrown, and he believed. But he wondered greatly, and said, Who shall find a virtuous woman? that is to say, If our salvation, and the bringing back of that which is lost, and the final triumph over the enemy, is in the hand of a woman, it must needs be that a virtuous woman be found, meet to work in that matter.
 
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At that time: The Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin's name was Mary. And so on, and that which followeth. Luke : 1, 26-38


A Homily by
St. Tarasius the Bishop

O Mary, where shall I find words to praise thee? Maiden undefiled, virgin unstained, exaltation of women, glory of daughters! Holy Maiden Mother, blessed art thou among women, thy glory is in thy guilelessness, and thy name is a name of purity. In thee the curse of Adam is done away, and the debt of Eve paid. Thou art the clean offering of Abel, chosen out of the firstlings of the flock, a pure sacrifice. Thou art the hope of Enoch, that firm hope that he had in God, and was not ashamed. Thou art the grace that was in Enoch in this life, and his transit to a better. Thou art the Ark of Noah, and the bond of reconciliation with God in a new regeneration. Thou art the the exceeding glory of the kingdom and Priesthood of Melchisedech. Thou art the unshaken trust of Abraham, and his faith in the promise of children that were to be. Thou art the renewed oblation and the reasonable burnt-offering of Isaac. Thou art the ladder that Jacob saw going up to heaven, and the most noble of all his children throughout the twelve tribes of Israel. According to the flesh thou art the daughter of Judah. Thou art the modesty of the old Egypt, yea, and of the Synagogue of the Jews. O purest! Thou art the book of Moses the Lawgiver, whereon the new covenant is written with the finger of God, for the new Israel, fleeing from the spiritual Egypt, even as the old law was written upon Sinai, for the old Israel, that Israel which was fed in the wilderness upon manna and water from the rock, whereof both were types of Christ, which was yet to come from thy womb, as a bridegroom from his chamber. Thou art Aaron's rod that budded. Thou art David's daughter, all glorious within, clothed in a vesture of gold, wrought about with divers colours.

Thou art the vision of the Prophets and the fulfilment of those things which they foretold. Thou art the gate whereof Ezekiel spake, when he prophesied, and said, This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. Thou art the Rod of Jesse, whereof Isaiah spake, even that Rod whose Flower is Christ, and whose offshoots shall choke out all the seedlings of sin, and fill the earth with plants of grace. Thou art the Covenant foretold by Jeremiah when he said, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers?thereby signifying the coming of thy Son, and calling upon all nations to worship him for their God, even to the uttermost parts of the earth. Thou art the great mountain spoken of by Daniel, the man greatly beloved, wherefrom is cut without man's hands the cornerstone, that is, Christ, which hath smitten in pieces the parti-coloured image of the old serpent. I honour thee as the unpolluted fountain, I proclaim that thou art full of grace, I praise thee as the clean and undefiled tabernacle of God. Verily, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. As by a woman death entered into the world, by a woman came the power to rise again. The serpent gave us to eat deadly fruit, but that fall hath ended in the life-giving Bread of Immortality. Eve, our first mother, brought forth Cain the first murderer; thou, O Mary, hast brought forth Christ, the first-fruits of life and of the resurrection. Ear hath not heard the like. It hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive this new thing. Blessed be the unspeakable depths of the Wisdom of God.

And now we, the people of God, a holy generation, an acceptable congregation, the nestlings of the dove of peace, children of grace, do with purified minds and unpolluted lips, praise God in the tongues of all nations in this joyful solemnity of the Virgin. This is a noble Feast wherein the Angels keep holiday and men do most fitly offer praise, even a feast wherein we echo with reverence and joy that salutation first spoken by Gabriel. Hail Mary! hail, thou paradise of God the Father, whence the knowledge of him floweth in broad rivers to the ends of the earth! Hail, Dwelling-place of God the Son, whence he came forth clothed in flesh! Hail, mysterious Tabernacle of God the Holy Ghost! Hail, thou that art holier than the Cherubim! Hail, thou that art more glorious than the Seraphim! Hail, thou that art nobler than the heavens! Hail, thou art brighter than the sun! Hail, thou that art fairer than the moon! Hail, manifold splendour of the stars! Hail, light cloud, dropping the dew of heaven! Hail, holy breeze, clearing the air of the vapours of sin! Hail, royal theme of the Prophets! Hail, sound of the Apostles gone out into the all the earth! Hail, most excellent confession of the Martyrs! Hail, just hope of the Patriarchs! Hail, peculiar honour of all the Saints! Hail, source of health to dying creatures! Hail, O Queen, ambassadress of peace! Hail, stainless crown of motherhood! Hail, advocate of all under heaven! Hail, restoration of the whole world! Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, and from thee, and that is with us. To him, with the Father, and the most holy and life-giving Spirit, be ascribed all praise, now and ever, world without end. Amen.

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At that time: The Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin's name was Mary. And so on, and that which followeth. Luke : 1, 26-38

Blessed indeed art thou among women, for thou hast turned the curse of Eve into a blessing; thou hast even brought a blessing upon Adam, when he lay smitten by the first sentence of death. Blessed indeed art thou among women, for thou art the mean whereby the Father's blessing hath come upon man, and delivered him from the old curse. Blessed indeed art thou among women, for by thee thy fathers have found salvation; the salutation of the Angel telleth thee that thou art about to bear them a Deliverer. Blessed indeed art thou among women, for thou, not knowing a man, conceivest a Son through whom the whole earth shall be blessed, and bring forth thorns and thistles no more. Blessed indeed art thou among women, for thou remainest thyself no more than a woman, and yet art made Mother of God. If that holy Thing which shall be born of thee be truly God made Man, then art thou truly Mother of God, for God is made thine Offspring.

Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God, abiding grace. Thou hast found grace with God, exceeding grace. Thou hast found grace with God, all desirable grace. Thou hast found grace with God, greater grace than any other. Thou hast found grace with God, unfailing grace. Thou hast found grace with God, saving grace. Thou hast found grace with God, immoveable grace. Thou hast found grace with God, invincible grace. Thou hast found grace with God, everlasting grace. Before thee there have been others, many others, made wonderful in holiness, but to none hath it been given, as to thee, to be full of grace; to none hath it been given, as to thee, to attain to such divine riches; to none, as to thee, to be prevented by purifying grace; to none, as to thee, to shine from the dayspring with light from heaven; to none, as to thee, to be exalted above all things before created.

And justly; for none hath ever drawn so near to God as thou hast; none hath ever been gifted by God with good gifts as thou hast; none hath ever received of God's grace as thou hast. Thou art mightier than all things which are called mighty among men; thou hast received more than the goodness of God hath conferred on any other. It is indeed because God made his home in thee that thou thus aboundest. There hath never been any save thee that hath comprehénded the Incomprehensible; none save thee that hath enjoyed his presence so much; none that he hath made so ready therefor; none on whom the uncreated light hath shone so clearly; and therefore none who hath, like thee, sheltered the Lord God, the Maker and Lord of all, conceived him in thy womb, and brought him into the world, to redeem men lying under the Father's sentence, and to offer to them everlasting salvation. Wherefore, O Lady, I have already cried unto thee with the Angel, and I will still cry: Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women!

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A Homily by St. Ambrose the Bishop

The mysteries of God are unsearchable, and it is especially declared by a Prophet, that a man can hardly know his counsels. Nevertheless, some things have been revealed to us, and we may gather from some of the words and works of the Lord our Saviour, that there was a special purpose of God, in the fact that she who was chosen to be the Mother of the Lord was espoused to a man. Why did not the power of the Highest overshadow her before she was so espoused? Perhaps it was lest any might blasphemously say that she had conceived in adultery the Holy One.
 
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At that time: The Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin's name was Mary. And so on, and that which followeth. Luke : 1, 26-28
A Homily by St. Germanus the Bishop

Hail, Mary, full of grace, holier than the Saints, higher than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim, more honourable than the Seraphim, and the most worshipful thing that the hands of God have made. Hail, O dove, bearing in thy beak the olive-branch of peace that telleth us of salvation from the spiritual flood,?dove blessed omen of a safe harbour, whose wings are of silver, and thy feathers of gold, shining in the bright beams of the Most Holy and Light-giving Spirit. Hail, thou living garden of Eden, planted towards the East by the right hand of the Most Merciful and Mighty God, wherein do grow to his glory rich lilies and unfading roses, for the healing of them that have drunk in death from the blighting and pestilential breezes of the bitter West; Eden, wherein hath sprung that Tree of life, whereof if any man eat he shall live for ever. Hail, stately Palace of the King, most holy, stainless, purest, House of the Most High God, adorned with his royal splendour, open to all, filled with Kingly dainties; Palace wherein is that spiritual bridal chamber, not made with hands, nor hung with divers colours, in the which the Eternal Word, when he would raise up fallen man, wedded flesh unto himself, that he might reconcile unto the Father them who had cast themselves away.

Hail, O rich and shady Mountain of God, whereon pastured the True Lamb, who hath taken away our sins and infirmities,?mountain, whereout hath been cut without hands that Stone which hath smitten the altars of the idols, and become the head-stone of the corner, marvellous in our eyes. Hail, thou holy Throne of God, thou divinest store-house, thou temple of glory, thou bright crown, thou chosen treasure, thou mercy-seat for the whole world, thou heaven declaring the glory of God. Hail, thou vessel of pure gold, made to hold the manna that came down from heaven, the sweet food of our souls, even Christ. Hail, o purest Virgin, most praiseworthy and most worshipful, hallowed treasury for the wants of all creatures; thou art the untilled earth, the unploughed field; thou art the vine full of flowers, the well overflowing with waters, Maiden and Mother; thou art the Mother that knew not a man, the hidden treasure of guilelessness, and the clear, bright star of holiness; by thy most acceptable prayers, strong from thy motherly mouth, obtain for all estates of men in the Church that they may continually tend unto him who is the Lord, and God, and Maker of thee, and of them, and of all, but of thee the Son also, conceived without man's intervention; obtain this, O Mother, pilot them to the harbour of peace.

Be it thine to clothe God's priests with righteousness, and to make them shout aloud for joy in approved and stainless, and upright and glorious faith. Thine be it to guide in peace the sceptres of orthodox princes, even of princes who put their trust in thee to be the crown of their Majesty, and the Royal Robe of their greatness, and the firm foundation of their dominion, more than in purple, or fine gold, or pearls, or precious stones; thine be it to put under their feet the unfaithful nations, nations that blaspheme thee, and the God that was born of thee; thine be it to keep in meek obedience the people that are under them, according to the commandment of God. Behold, this is thine own city, which hath thee for her towers and her foundations,?crown her with victory, gird the house of God with strength, keep undefiled the loveliness of his tabernacles,?as for them that praise thy name, be thou their deliverer from strife and bitterness of spirit. Free thou the prisoner, protect the wanderer, and if there be any that hath no refuge, be thou him a consolation. Stretch forth thine hand help the whole earth?so shall we year by year keep this and all thy feasts, and at last be found with thee in Christ Jesus, who is Lord of all, and verily our God. To him, with the Holy Father, who is the Fountain of Life, and the coeternal Spirit, Three Persons and One Substance, even as there is one Kingdom, be glory and strength, now and for ever. Amen.
 
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“Qué soï era Immaculado Councepcioũ.”​


Pope Pius IX issued the Papal Bull “Ineffabilis Deus” on this date in ARSH 1854 in which the
Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was defined.

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance 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, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

To confirm this, God sent The Blessed Virgin herself to a tiny village in southern France called Lourdes to appear to an illiterate teenaged peasant girl – at the town garbage dump. Note that the Blessed Virgin did not appear to the theological faculty at Paris, or Louvain or Rome to confirm a nuanced and debated truth about her very existence. No. She appeared to an illiterate peasant girl who had just recently been reprimanded in her catechism class for not knowing THE THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY.

It is shocking to think: how could someone who didn’t even know the Three Persons of the Trinity be deemed worthy to converse with the Mother of God? First, because Bernadette Soubirous was 100% Catholic by virtue of the Sacraments, in which GOD IS THE ACTOR upon the person. But it is clear that Bernadette was deemed worthy because of her CHARITY and her HUMILITY. She went to Mass and Confession and prayed the Rosary and did these things WELL without being able to pass a catechism test because her soul was pure and filled with love of God and of her fellow man, and because she was filled with humility.

It is also one a species of miracle – which the local clergy and bishop eventually realized – that an illiterate peasant girl like Bernadette could report back to the Bishop, per his request, that the Lady said to Bernadette that the Lady was the “Immaculado Councepcioũ”. For an illiterate peasant girl who struggled to name the Three Persons of the Trinity, for her to drop this phrase – and not in French, and not in Latin, but in her own local dialect of the Occitan language, which is itself an interstitial branch between French and Spanish – was basically impossible unless Bernadette was taught the phrase by The Lady herself, exactly as Bernadette said. Bernadette even said that the Lady had her repeat the words multiple times so that she wouldn’t forget, and then Bernadette kept repeating them as she walked back to town to tell the Bishop so that she wouldn’t forget them.

But why does it even matter if the Blessed Virgin was conceived without the stain of Original Sin? Because the Immaculate Conception speaks directly to the Divinity of Our Lord.

This dogma and non-negotiable tenet of Christianity teaches that Mary was, by the grace of God, prevented from carrying the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. To deny this is a deal-breaker. The logical consequences of denying the Immaculate Conception inevitably lead to denying the Incarnation and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. When the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette and told her in no uncertain terms and in St. Bernadette’s local micro-dialect of the Occitan language, “Qué soï era Immaculado Councepcioũ” the Dogmatic Definition of just over three years earlier by Pope Pius IX was underlined by Heaven itself. All that remained was for science to progress sufficiently to confirm this – and that has now happened. More on that in a second.

Mary was saved from Original Sin by her Son, saved by Him like all of the other faithful, it is just that the timing of her salvation was different from everyone else. This is why Mary, sinless though she is, still calls God “my Savior” in her Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55. Instead of letting Mary fall in the mud puddle of Original Sin like the rest of us, God stuck out His Arm back through time from the Cross and kept her from falling in the mud puddle of Original Sin in the first place – but if it weren’t for God’s positive action of reaching out across time from the Cross and holding her from falling, she would have fallen. This is called “grace”, and is what the Angel Gabriel was referring to when he greeted Mary at the Annunciation with the words, “Hail! Full of grace! The LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28

Full of grace means FULL. OF. GRACE. How full is full? Full is totally full. To the brim. Full does not mean half-full or mostly-full. Full means full. Mary was FULL OF GRACE.

And because Mary was FULL of grace, as we know directly from the inerrant words of the Gospel of Luke, there was absolutely no room for sin. Mary didn’t sin because God her Savior had filled her with grace and therefore she just COULDN’T sin. Most of us reading this have a tiny taste of what this is like. For example, I’m guessing that everyone reading this would be incapable of killing a baby. We just COULDN’T do it. No matter what threat was made against us, no matter what the adverse consequences to our own lives might be, we would take any adverse consequence before killing a baby. We are simply incapable of performing that act. Why? What is that internal force of energy that prevents us from committing acts of evil even when under intense duress and threat? It is grace. Pure and simple.

Sadly, most of us have a little grace, but are not in any way FULL of grace. I am personally much closer to being full of crap than of grace (which many of you have already pointed out to me – thank you very much), hence the daily, persistent, repeated sinning on my part. And I suspect it is a similar situation with you, dear reader, with the grace-to-crap ratio being much higher for you than for me. I really am quite full of crap. With Mary there was no crap because God her Savior had FILLED her with grace, and thus there was no room for crap, and thus there was no sin. It’s really just 2nd grade math if you think about it. But WHY? Why was it essential for Mary to be sinless and sinless from the moment of her conception? That’s where the science comes in.

There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb by the Holy Ghost. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus’ conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s, St. Anne’s, womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:
Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin, including Original Sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.

The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL, to this day, right now as you are reading this, physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.
Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

This also explains why Mary’s body was assumed into heaven immediately at the end of her earthly life, because her body literally contained living cells of Our Lord and thus her body could not remain on earth in physical death to decay in any way.


Knowing that Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him.
Scientes quod Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur : mors illi ultra non dominabitur.
-Romans 6: 9

She simply was afforded the same physical resurrection that all of the faithful will receive, albeit instantaneously for her, given her very special state, both spiritually and physically. This is what is doctrinally referred to as “The Assumption”.
St. Bernadette, pray for us.

Our Lady, conceived without the stain of Original Sin, pray for us.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.


“Qué soï era Immaculado Councepcioũ.”

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The Immaculate Conception, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, ARSH 1768 – 86 years BEFORE the dogmatic

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