Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception; St Romaric
by americancatholic.org | Source: americancatholic.org
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
A feast called the Conception of Mary arose in the
Eastern Church in the seventh century. It came to the West in the eighth century. In the 11th
century it received its present name, the Immaculate Conception. In the 18th century it became a
feast of the universal Church. It is now recognized as a solemnity.
In 1854, Pius IX solemnly
proclaimed: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant 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."
It took a long time for
this doctrine to develop. While many Fathers and Doctors of the Church considered Mary the greatest
and holiest of the saints, they often had difficulty in seeing Mary as sinless—either at her
conception or throughout her life. This is one of the Church teachings that arose more from the
piety of the faithful than from the insights of brilliant theologians. Even such champions of Mary
as Bernard and Thomas Aquinas could not see theological justification for this
Two Franciscans, William of Ware and Blessed John Duns Scotus, helped develop the theology.
They point out that Mary´s Immaculate Conception enhances Jesus´ redemptive work. Other members of
the human race are cleansed from original sin after birth. In Mary, Jesus´ work was so powerful as
to prevent original sin at the outset.
To read more
about the Saint go to:
Other Saints of the day:
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