A better understanding of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

A better understanding of the Immaculate Conception of Mary December 6, 2017

Murillo_immaculate_conceptionMany Catholics today misunderstand the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholics celebrate this feast day each year of December 8. Many people believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Though that is one of the great gifts God gave to humanity it is not the one he gave in this instance.

Catholic Doctrine of Mary

The Immaculate Conception refers to the teaching that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from original sin that all mankind has as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. The Catholic Church teaches us that Mary was free from sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. We celebrate the birth of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on September 8; nine months before that is December 8 the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Both feasts offer the opportunity for us to offer gifts of thanksgiving to God for the gifts he has given us through Mary.

Development of a Doctrine

The Catholic Church moves slowly…and for good reason. It does not want to proclaiming teaching without having completed vetted it. Such was the case with the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It was not until after many centuries of discussion and debate that the Church finally declared the Immaculate Conception as an official doctrine (something all Christians must believe) of the Catholic faith. On 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Conception of Mary a Holy Day of Obligation. However, the Church was not done yet.

Declaration of Catholic Dogma

Pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, would declare the Immaculate Conception of Mary a dogma—that is, a doctrine that the Church teaches was revealed by God Himself. In doing so he also moved the celebration of the feast day to December 8.  In his Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX wrote that, “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.”

Immaculate Conception and America

Beyond the obvious obligation to attend Mass on December 8 in America the Immaculate Conception holds even greater significance. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the nation’s patroness. This declaration took place even before the proclamation of the dogma. Turning towards the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first Council of Baltimore 1846 the American bishops collectively placed the nation under the protection of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope Pius IX ratified this decision on February 7, 1847, seven years before declaring the dogma.

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  • OK, I will start this discussion. Did you folks realize that “the immaculate conception” theory came late in the history of Christianity? Yes, early Christians believed that “only the man’s sperm was responsible for the creation of life.” Later, it was learned that the woman, too, had an egg, and the sperm fertilized it. Then and only then, did Mary’s mother have to be conceived without “sin.” Now, having “sex with a man was sinful.”
    Christianity should be wise enough to know that God, if you believe in God, created us to be sexual beings. Sex is NOT sinful, it is natural, and to be enjoyed. Sometimes a child is the result, but today, we can stop that from happening, which we should do, unless we can afford, financially and emotionally a large number of children.
    Jesus was created just as you were and I was. Mary and Joseph, not their real names coming from the area of the world from which they came, were Jesus’ parents. Jesus was a man who showed the Jewish people of his day, how God would want them to behave toward one another. He saw that tribalism was dangerous, as the people of that day thought that it was well and good to enslave, kill or mistreat someone in another tribe. However, they should not behave that way toward a member of their own tribe. Jesus taught that we should treat all people as we would wish to be treated.
    The Buddhists have the same rule, but written in reverse. “Do not do to another what you would not want done to you.”

    • Robert H. Woodman

      Your comment is unsourced and mis-states what Catholic believe. For a better understanding of the history of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, you should read the material at this link: http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap080400.htm

  • CatholicWarrior

    The Bible is not Catholic.Catholicism comes from Heaven above.The Bible and Christianity are not Catholic and come from Hell.Mary is not the mother of God.The Holy Spirit is the curse of the Baphomet.The Mark of The Beast are The Novus Ordo Catholic baptisms and Protestant baptisms.The Novus Ordo mass is a Satanic supper and the celebration of man as God.The novus Ordo is not Catholic.The Apocalypse is the end of the Seven Sacraments.All Seven Seals have been opened and All Seven Sacraments are invalid.The Holy Ghost is The Father of The Real God Christ.Jesus of Nazareth is not the Real God Christ.Catholicism was founded in Rome not in Jerusalem.God Our Lady is the Mother of God Christ.Deum Jesum Christum He Who Was,Is ,And Ever Shall be is the real God Christ. OurLadyisGod.com