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Celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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Celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On December 8, the Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception of Mary, created and born without the stain of original sin.

Catholics sometimes puzzle over the meaning of [the Feast of the Immaculate Conception]. Many assume the Immaculate Conception refers to the Virgin birth, the grace whereby Mary, without loss of her virginity gives birth to the Savior. The Church does celebrate Mary’s perpetual virginity, but on January 1st. [December 8th], the Church commemorates the special provision that God made for the woman who would become mother of his incarnate Son.


Unlike other human beings descended from Adam, Mary is preserved from the stain of original sin. This means that she enjoys immunity from the ways sin gains sway over us. The Church teaches that Mary’s special prerogative flows from the foreseen merits of Christ’s death on the cross. . . . While it is true that we who suffer the punishment of original sin can gain merit by sustaining the struggles involved in doing good, Mary proceeds uninhibited by such difficulties. . . . Because she is able to love more than we can, Mary’s merits reach beyond those of all the saints. By her sinless meriting, the pilgrim Church benefits. Because Mary is our mother, she is able to obtain the sanctification of all those who place themselves under her mantle.”

-A reflection on Luke 1:26-38, by Fr. Romanus Cessario, Senior Editor for Magnificat. Excerpted from the 2008 Magnificat Advent Companion.

Fall is the perfect time to learn some new recipes. Why not get a cookbook with recipes that are traditional for the different feast days throughout the year, including the upcoming feast days?


Feast Day Cookbook - The Traditional Catholic Feast Day Dishes of Many Lands


The Feast Day Cookbook is perfect to learn about traditional dishes that aren't well known to most people.

We also have cookbooks dedicated to Jesuit soupmaking, Jesuit breadmaking, monastery salads, and more. Check out all of our cookbooks at our Books about Cooking page.


The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church
Only $12.95

Author: Fr. Donald Calloway


Meet Mary - Getting to Know the Mother of God
Only $12.95
Author: Dr. Mark Miravalle

A Queen's Command - The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette
Only $18.95

Author: Anna Kuhn


The Essential Mary Handbook

Only $14.95

Author: Liguori Publications
Author: St. John Eudes
The Mother of God and her Glorious Feasts
Only $15.00

Author: Fr. H. O'Laverty

Immaculate Conception
Only $2.00
Author: Fr. Jude Winkler


We are continuing to add items to our Clearance Sale


We have books, music, movies, and more at our Clearance Sale. Browse here.

Don't forget - we offer the option of having your order gift wrapped. At checkout, just tell us which items you would like gift wrapped, and tell us what you'd like written on the gift card!


Our DVD recommendation this week will help you understand the person of Mary more deeply:

Part of the Footprints of God series, this DVD takes you on a journey through Israel, Turkey, and Greece with guide Stephen Ray. It includes a study guide to help you learn more about Mary as we know her from the Bible, and to understand better her Immaculate Conception, her role as intercessor, and her Assumption into Heaven.


The Immaculate Conception

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.

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 other 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.


If you're trying to figure out what to get someone for Christmas, why not give them a gift they'll use all year? We offer a selection of magazine and periodical subscriptions, including Our Sunday Visitor, a weekly Catholic newspaper, The Catholic Answer, a popular bi-monthly question and answer magazine, and The Priest, a monthly magazine written specifically with priests and deacons in mind.

Go here to see all the magazines and periodicals we offer.

More Marian Items

We have a great selection of children's books to help them learn about Advent, Christmas, feast days, and saints.

Browse all our children's books, including prayer books, coloring books, and activity books, here.

Let Us Pray:

A Prayer to the Virgin Mary

Mystical Rose, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, I venerate thee that I might honor thy Divine Son and thereby win His mercy. I ask for thy help in the clemency of thy Maternal Heart in all confidence that I will be heard.

Mystical Rose, Mother of the Savior, Queen of the Holy Rosary and Mother of the Church, Christ's Mystical Body, I beseech thee on behalf of a war-torn world enslaved by sin, be merciful to those about to be lost for all eternity, especially those who have no one to pray for them, and pray for us, your children through consecration.

Mystical Rose, Queen of the Apostles and the clergy, grant to priests' hearts docile to thee and thy Motherly Heart, holy zeal for souls and a love of poverty in union with thee and Jesus Christ. I beg thee on behalf of those priests who know you little and seek not thy friendship in the Holy Rosary: pour on them thy mercy and solicitude.

Mystical Rose, Help of Christians, pray for us. Mystical Rose of the Immaculate Conception, protectress of priests and the consecrated, win them the favor of Jesus Christ!

Amen.

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