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Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Mary and the Catholic Church

Anissa Ford's picture

Many people confuse the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with Mary’s birthday. Others mistakenly believe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is day Jesus Christ was conceived. But, the Immaculate Conception is the celebration of the day Mary was conceived to her mother, Saint Anne. Mary's birthday is September 8 and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is nine months away, today December 8.

According to Roman law, Mary was conceived without original sin. Her conception is said to be “immaculate” and her role as the Mother of God, the Church believes was predestined. Mary’s exemption from sin at the moment of conception is considered a gift from God. From the first moments of her existence, it is said that Mary was in the state of sanctifying grace and free from the corrupt nature that original sin brings.

Catholic communities and churches all over the world have convened at mass this morning and again this evening to commemorate the Feast which was declared a dogma in the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

In Guam, Pacific News Center reported thousands of people participated in a procession for the island’s patron saint, Marian Kamelan. The mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was also broadcast live on the internet at www.agana.cathedral.org.

Today in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Angelus (also known as the Hail Mary) in St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican radio reports the Holy Father said the mystery of the dogma proclaimed by Pius IX in 1854 is a “source of inner light, of hope, and comfort.” The pope said Mary teaches us that grace is greater than sin and that God’s mercy is more powerful than evil and knows how to turn it into good.

He also said that Mary helps us to have faith in God, to believe in his word and always reject evil and choose good.

In Florida, Father Gianno Agostinelli said that the Feast of the Immaculation Conception celebrates five mothers: Eve, the mother of humanity; Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary' Elizabeth, the mother of St. John who bore him late in life,;Mary, the mother of God and the subject of today’s celebration, and the fifth mother, Agostinelli said, is the church. Father Agostinelli’s homily is the you tube audio.

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