Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary – Thursday, December 8th
Wednesday, December 7 – 5:30 PM (Vigil)
Thursday, December 8 – 6:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:10 PM, 5:30 PM, and 7:00 PM
This is a holy day of obligation.
Church Teaching on the Immaculate Conception of Mary
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX released the Ineffabilis Deus Apostolic Constitution, which defines and details the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. “Ineffeabilis Deus” is Latin for “Ineffable God.” This term refers to the mystery of God’s omnipotence, wisdom, and plan for us, a mystery we cannot fully comprehend; the Immaculate Conception of Mary is part of this mystery. Ineffabilis Deus states:
“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance 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, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates this dogma: Mary was born without original sin so that she could give birth to Christ.
“[Mary] received the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception,” Catholic News Agency explains.
This dogma can be challenging to understand, and perhaps that is why Pope Pius named the constitution “Ineffabilus Deus.” Its meaning is beyond words, indescribable – all part of the great and beautiful Mystery of faith.
For more information on this doctrine, read this article from New Advent that takes you line-by-line through this statement from Pope Pius IX.