Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Most Blessed Virgin Mary: "Que Soi Era Immaculada Concepcion" — "I Am The Immaculate Conception". (Part Four).

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

From The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast Day 8 December.

Double of the First-Class
      with an Octave.
White Vestments.

Thus, we have, in the first five centuries, such epithets applied to her as "in every respect holy", "in all things unstained", "super-innocent" and "singularly holy"; she is compared to Eve before the Fall, as ancestress of a redeemed people; she is "the Earth before it was accursed."

The well-known words of Saint Augustine (†430 A.D.) may be cited: " As regards the Mother of God," he says, " I will not allow any question whatever of sin." It is true that he is here speaking directly of actual or personal sin. But his argument is that all men are sinners; that they are so through original depravity; that this original depravity may be overcome by the Grace of God, and he adds that he does not know but that Mary may have had sufficient Grace to overcome sin "of every sort" (omni ex parte).

The Bull of Definition of the Dogma, "Ineffabilis Deus", mentioned in particular the Patristic interpretation of Genesis 3:15 as referring to a woman, Mary, who would be eternally at enmity with the evil serpent and completely triumphing over him. It said the Fathers saw foreshadowings of Mary's "wondrous abundance of Divine Gifts and Original Innocence" "in that ark of Noah, which was built by Divine Command and escaped, entirely safe and sound, from the common shipwreck of the whole world; in the ladder, which Jacob saw reaching from the Earth to Heaven, by whose rungs the Angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord Himself leaned; in that bush, which Moses saw in the holy place, burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way, but grew green and blossomed beautifully; in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armour of the strong; in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots; in that resplendent City of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains; in that most august Temple of God, which, radiant with Divine Splendours, is full of the Glory of God; and in very many other Biblical types of this kind."

File:Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Albany, New York) - Nave, decorated for Christmas.jpg

Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception,
Albany, New York.
Photo: 10 January 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Nheyob.
(Wikimedia Commons)

File:Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Albany, New York) - interior, stained glass window depicting the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.jpg

The Lady Window,
depicting the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception,
Albany, New York.
Photo: 10 January 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Nheyob.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Bull recounts that the Fathers interpreted the Angel's address to Mary, "highly-favoured One" or "full of Grace", as indicating that "she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of Perpetual Benediction"; and they "frequently compare her to Eve, while yet a Virgin, while yet Innocence, while yet Incorrupt, while not yet Deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent".

The Immaculate Conception.

A number of locations consider themselves under the Patronage of the Immaculate Conception. These include Brazil, Ireland, Korea, Nicaragua, Philippines, Spain (Old Kingdoms and present), Portugal, and the United States of America.

For differing reasons, belief in Mary's Immaculate Conception, in the Catholic Doctrinal Form, is not part of the official Doctrines of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Churches.

The Roman Missal, and the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours, naturally includes references to Mary's Immaculate Conception in the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. An example is the Antiphon that begins: "Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. Your clothing is white as snow, and your face is like the sun. You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honour to our people. You are all beautiful, Mary.

File:Perlez Mary-Immaculate.jpg

The Immaculate Conception is also portrayed 
by artists in the Orthodox Church
for example in this Orthodox Church
Date: 8. XII. 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Stebunik.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On the basis of the original Gregorian Chant music, polyphonic settings have been composed by Anton Bruckner, Pablo Casals, Maurice Duruflé, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, José Maurício Nunes Garcia, and Nikolaus Schapfl,

Other Prayers honouring Mary's Immaculate Conception are in use outside the formal Liturgy. The Hymn, Immaculate Mary, addressed to Mary as the Immaculately Conceived One, is closely associated with Lourdes. The Immaculata Prayer, composed by Saint Maximillian Kolbe, is a Prayer of entrustment to Mary as the Immaculata. A Novena of Prayers, with a specific Prayer for each of the nine days, has been composed under the title of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

The 1476 extension of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to the entire Latin Church, reduced the likelihood of controversy for the artist or patron in depicting an image, so that emblems, depicting The Immaculate Conception, began to appear.


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception,
Syracuse, New York.
Photo: 12 June 2004.
Date: 16 December 2006 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia
transferred to Commons by User:Kafuffle 
Author: Joegrimes.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Many artists in the 15th-Century faced the problem of how to depict an abstract idea, such as the Immaculate Conception, and the problem was not fully solved for 150 years. The Italian Renaissance artist, Piero di Cosimo, was among those artists who tried new solutions, but none of these became generally adopted so that the subject matter would be immediately recognisable to the Faithful.

The definitive iconography for the Immaculate Conception, drawing on the emblem tradition, seems to have been finally established by the master, and then father-in-law, of Diego Velázquez, the painter and theorist Francisco Pacheco. Pacheco's iconography influenced other Spanish artists, such as Bartolomé Murillo, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco Zurbarán, who each produced a number of artistic masterpieces based on the use of these same symbols.

The popularity of this particular representation of The Immaculate Conception spread across the rest of Europe, and has since remained the best known artistic depiction of the concept: In a heavenly realm, moments after her creation, the spirit of Mary (in the form of a young woman) looks up in awe at (or bows her head to) God. The Moon is under her feet and a halo of twelve stars surrounds her head, possibly a reference to "a woman clothed with the Sun" from Revelation 12:1-2. Additional imagery may include clouds, a golden light, and Cherubs. In some paintings, the Cherubim are holding lilies and roses, flowers often associated with Mary.


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