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Can you explain the Immaculate Conception?

by Ian on November 6, 2007


"On December 8 we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary"

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!' But she was greatly troubled at the saying , and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

- Gospel of St. Luke, 1:26-30

“To become the mother of the Savior, Mary 'was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.' The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as 'full of grace.' In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

'The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.”

- Catechism of the Catholic Church 490, 491


Fr. H. O'Laverty, B.A.

The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts


Author: Fr. H. O'Laverty, B.A.

St. John Eudes

The Wonderous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God


Author: St. John Eudes

Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

Hail Holy Queen


Author: Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Editor

The Catholic Answer Book of Mary


Author: Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Editor

Monica Dodds, Bill Dodds

Encyclopedia of Mary


Authors: Monica Dodds, Bill Dodds

The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion

Introduction to Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion

Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

A Biblical Understanding of Mary: A New Look at Our Lady CD


Author: Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

Finding Jesus And Mary In The Old Testament - 3 CDs  Author:  Br. Bob Fishman

It Is Written: Finding Jesus And Mary In The Old Testament - 3 CDs


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“The 'splendor of an entirely unique holiness' by which Mary is 'enriched from the first instant of her conception' comes wholly from Christ: she is 'redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son.' The Father blessed Mary more than any created person 'in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places' and chose her 'in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God 'the All-Holy' (Panagia) and celebrate her as 'free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.' By the grace of God, Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.”

- Catechism of the Catholic Church 492, 493

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Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Theotokos of Vladimir Icon Ave, Regina caelorum,
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

V. Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.

Oremus. Concede, misericors Deus, fragilitati nostrae praesidium: ut, qui sanctae Dei Genitricis memoriam agimus; intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Hail, O Queen of Heaven.
Hail, O Lady of Angels
Hail! thou root, hail! thou gate
From whom unto the world, a light has arisen:
Rejoice, O glorious Virgin
Lovely beyond all others,
Farewell, most beautiful maiden,
And pray for us to Christ.

V. Allow me to praise thee, O sacred Virgin.

R. Against thy enemies give me strength.

Grant unto us, O merciful God, a defense against our weakness, that we who remember the holy Mother of God, by the help of her intercession, may rise from our iniquities, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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