Immaculate Conception: What it is and what it is not


Catholics around the world celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday, December 8, which marks the conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary’s mother, St. Anne.

“The Catholic Church’s doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is, in my opinion, one of our most beautiful but often misunderstood teachings,” Fr. This was announced by Cassidy Stinson, priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia.

“In short, this feast day celebrates the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was prepared for her unique and special role as the mother of God by the gift of being saved and protected at birth. original sin, which we usually call father- we inherit from our mother,” he said.

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While many people think the phrase “immaculate conception” refers to Jesus’ conception, that’s not true, Stinson said.

“Often, this teaching is easily confused with the story we are more familiar with: the conception of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

“Immaculate Conception” is one of the many titles of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church.
(Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe)

The Annunciation is celebrated on March 25, nine months before Christmas.

And while the celebration of the Immaculate Conception is “centered on Mary,” Stinson clarified, “Like everything the Catholic Church celebrates about Our Lady, it always leads us to her son, Jesus.”

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In the United States and several other countries, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation.

Catholics should attend evening prayers on that date or the day before, according to the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In some parts of Europe, as well as in many countries of Central and South America, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is also a public holiday.

The Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the Conception National Mausoleum of Bengal, shown in the picture, is one of the largest churches in the world.

The Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the Conception National Mausoleum of Bengal, shown in the picture, is one of the largest churches in the world.
(EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

The title “Celebration of the Immaculate Conception” is especially important to American Catholics.

In 1846, the bishops of the United States unanimously declared the Virgin Mary as the patron saint of the United States under her title of Immaculate Conception, according to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basilica website.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is located in Washington, DC, near the campus of The Catholic University of America.

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It is the largest Catholic church in North America; The shrine is known as the “Catholic Church of America”.

In his address to the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis urged people to entrust themselves to Mary amid the world’s struggles.

Pope Francis, pictured here in January 2022, told Catholics on Thursday to look to the Blessed Mother as a guide to avoid sin.

Pope Francis, pictured here in January 2022, told Catholics on Thursday to look to the Blessed Mother as a guide to avoid sin.
(AleVatican Pool/Getty Images)

“Today, the word of God teaches us another important thing: preserving our beauty requires a cost, a struggle,” the pope said.

Choosing not to sin “takes action,” he said.

“It will cost us; we must work to preserve the good in us.”

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“Today,” he said, “we have good news: Mary, the only sinless person in history, is with us in battle, she is our sister and above all, our mother,” Pope Francis said.

“And those of us who have trouble choosing the good can entrust ourselves to him,” he said.

“Trusting and consecrating ourselves to Mary, we say to her:” Take me by the hand, mother, guide me: with you I will have more strength in the fight against evil; I will rediscover my true beauty with you. “

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