- Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.
O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!
O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.
Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.
[Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954]
It his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX declared as a dogma the belief 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." This is the Immaculate Conception.
On this Holy Day of Obligation, try to spend some time learning more about this dogma. It's much deeper than you probably ever imagined! To facilitate that study and reflection, I offer the following links:
- Mark Shea on the Immaculate Conception:
- What Is It and Why Do People Have Problems with It?
- What Does Paul Mean By "All"?
- So Mary Needed No Savior?
- The Witness of the Gospels: Part 1 and Part 2
- Two Red Herrings
- What about the Eastern Orthodox Churches?
- St. Thomas and St. Bernard on the Immaculate Conception
- Enter the Subtle Doctor: Duns Scotus
- So Why the Dogma?
- A Quick Survey of Some of the Brains of the 19th Century: Part 1 and Part 2
- Rebellion Against God as Father
- The Common Thread
- Why Her and Not Us?
- "All Have Sinned" (Mary?)
- EWTN: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
- How Do We Respond to Romans 3?
- How to Defend the Immaculate Conception
- If Mary Was Sinless, Why Did She Go to the Temple for Purification?
- If Mary Was Sinless, Why Didn't She Redeem Us?
- Immaculate Conception
- Immaculate Conception and Assumption
- Mary Conceived Without Sin: The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
- Mary's Conception in Sacred Scripture and Tradition
- Mary's Immaculate Conception
- Mary's Sinless Life
- Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception
- New Advent: Immaculate Conception
- On the Immaculate Conception
- The Graceful Bridge: How Commonly Held Christian Beliefs Explain and Defend the Catholic Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
- The Immaculate Conception in the Feasts and Liturgy of the Church
- The Immaculate Conception in the Thought of Adrienne von Speyr
- The Immaculate Conception of Mary
- The Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin
- The Immaculate Conception, the Bible, and the Church Fathers
- The Necessity of the Immaculate Conception
- The Universe of Discourse and Questions about Mary's Sinlessness
- Was Mary's Immaculate Conception Absolutely Necessary?
- 8 Things You Need to Know about the Immaculate Conception
Exegesis of Luke 1:28
- Kecharitomenae: Comparing Luke 1:28 and Acts 6:8
- The Navarre Commentary: Luke 1:26-38
- Luke 1:28 and the Immaculate Conception: Linguistic and Exegetical Considerations
- Aquinas on the Angelic Salutation
- Mary: Full of Grace
- The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Annunciation: A Scriptural Commentary
- The Meaning of Kecharitomene: Full of Grace
The Ark of the New Covenant
- Ark of the New Covenant
- Catholic Culture: Ark of the Covenant
- Catholic Legate: Ark of the Covenant
- Mary, Ark of the Covenant
- Mary, New Ark of the Eternal Covenant
- Mary, Overshadowing the Shadows
- Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant
- The Ark of the New Covenant
- Church Fathers on Mary as Ark of the New Covenant
For my own defense of Mary's Immaculate Conception, see Mary's Sinlessness: Part 1 and Part 2.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!