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The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

(Vatican Radio) On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception it is tradition for Popes to pay homage to Mary by the statue of Our Lady near the Spanish steps in the heart of Rome. This year Pope Francis will keep to the tradition but has added something to the day by donating a statue of Our Lady with child to his Cathedral of Saint John Lateran.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is one  which highlights Mary’s sinless perfection, a great sign of hope for the Church and for the world. 

One  which falls each year on the 8th of December, a couple of weeks ahead of Christmas and which refers to a dogma proclaimed by Pius IX in 1854 by the title of ‘Ineffabilis Deus’, which defines the belief that Mary, by special divine favour, was without sin from the moment she was conceived.
An idea that came as a result of a complex theological debate over the centuries in part because some theology felt it might contradict a major tenet of the Catholic faith: the universality of Redemption

However as we know when Pius IX proclaimed the dogma he quoted from Saint Luke’s account of the Annunciation and the Angel Gabriel’s ” Hail Mary, full of grace”. Understood as a recognition that Mary must always have been free of sin …

Benedictine Abbot Timothy Wright gives us a more in depth explanation: 

(from Vatican Radio)

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