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The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast Day 8 December.
Double of the First-Class
with an Octave.
The Immaculate Conception
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church,
Clonmel, County Tipperary,
Photo: 7 September 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Andreas F. Borchert.
English: The Immaculate Conception.
Español: La Inmaculada concepción de los Venerables.
Français: L'Immaculée Conception des Vénérables.
Artist: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682).
Notes: Deutsch: Urspr. Altargemälde im Hospital de los Venerables
in Sevilla, Auftraggeber: Justino de Nece.
One of the chief proponents of the Doctrine was the Hungarian Franciscan, Pelbartus Ladislaus, of Temesvár. Pope Pius V, while including the Feast in The Tridentine Calendar, removed the adjective "Immaculate" and suppressed the existing Special Mass for The Feast, directing that The Mass for The Nativity of Mary (with the word "Nativity" replaced by "Conception") be used instead. Part of that earlier Mass was revived in The Mass that Pope Pius IX ordered to be used on The Feast and that is still in use.
On 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI made The Feast of The Conception of Mary, at that time still with The Nativity of Mary formula for The Mass, a Holy Day of Obligation. Until Pope Pius X reduced in 1911 the number of Holy Days of Obligation to eight, there were, in the course of the year, thirty-six such days, apart from Sundays.
During the Reign of Pope Gregory XVI, the Bishops in various countries began to press for a Definition as Dogma of the teaching of Mary's Immaculate Conception.
Date: Upload March 2008.
Source: Weltwoche 8/08.
Author: unknown, Upload by Adrian Michael.
Saint Bernadette is best known for her participation in the Marian apparitions of "a small young lady", who asked for a Chapel to be built at a cave-grotto in Massabielle, France, where the apparitions occurred between 11 February 1858 and 16 July 1858. She would later receive recognition when the lady, who appeared to her, identified herself as The Immaculate Conception.
Despite initial scepticism from The Catholic Church, Saint Bernadette's claims were eventually declared "Worthy of Belief" after a Canonical Investigation, and the Marian apparition is now known as Our Lady of Lourdes. Since her death, Saint Bernadette's body has apparently remained internally incorrupt.
The Marian Shrine at Nevers (Bourgogne, France) went on to become a major Pilgrimage site, attracting over five million Christian Pilgrims of all denominations each year.
In 1839, Mariano Spada (1796 - 1872), Professor of Theology at the Roman College of Saint Thomas, published Esame Critico sulla dottrina dell’ Angelico Dottore S. Tommaso di Aquino circa il Peccato originale, relativamente alla Beatissima Vergine Maria, in which Aquinas is interpreted, not as treating the question of The Immaculate Conception, later formulated in The Papal Bull "Ineffabilis Deus", but, rather, the Sanctification of The Foetus within Mary's womb. Mariano Spada furnished an interpretation, whereby Pope Pius IX was relieved of the problem of seeming to foster a Doctrine not in agreement with the Aquinas' Teaching. Pope Pius IX would later appoint Spada as Master of the Sacred Palace in 1867.
Pius IX, at the beginning of his Pontificate, and again after 1851, appointed Commissions to investigate the whole subject, and he was advised that The Doctrine was one which could be defined and that the time for a Definition was opportune.
It was not until 1854 that Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic Bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, promulgated the Papal Bull "Ineffabilis Deus" (Latin for "Ineffable God"), which defined, Ex Cathedra, The Dogma of The Immaculate Conception:
We declare, pronounce and define that the Doctrine which holds that The Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her Conception, by a singular Privilege and Grace of The Omnipotent God, in virtue of the Merits of Jesus Christ, The Saviour of Mankind, was preserved Immaculate from all stain of Original Sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the Faithful.
— Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854.
The Immaculate Conception.
Image: CATHOLIC TRADITION
The Papal definition of The Dogma declares, with absolute certainty and authority, that Mary possessed Sanctifying Grace from the first instant of her existence and was free from the lack of Grace, caused by Original Sin at the beginning of human history. Mary's Salvation was won by her Son, Jesus Christ, through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, and was not due to her own merits.
For the Roman Catholic Church, the Dogma of The Immaculate Conception gained additional significance from the reputed apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858. At Lourdes, a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed that a beautiful woman appeared to her and said, "I am The Immaculate Conception".
Pope Pius IX defined the Dogma of The Immaculate Conception "not so much because of proofs in Scripture or ancient tradition, but due to a profound sensus fidelium and the Magisterium".
English: High Altar of Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion
(The Immaculate Conception Cathedral),
Français: Cuenca, Équateur : autel principal de la cathédrale de l'Immaculée Conception, communément appelée Nouvelle cathédrale par les habitants de la ville.
Photo: 8 April 2010.
Source: Own work.