Today is Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the holy, solemn day to commemorate the immaculate conception of the Blessed Mother.
While most people know the phrase “Immaculate Conception,” there is at least one common misconception about the doctrine. The Immaculate Conception does not refer to the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary (for which we have the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25th), but rather the conception of Mary to her mother, Saint Anne.Unlike Christ, who according to Scripture is said to be born of virgin birth, Mary was conceived in a normal, biological way. To become the Mother of God, Mary was deemed “full of grace” at the moment of her conception, meaning she was free of original sin. She has to be pure and holy from the very moment of her conception in her mother’s womb to be able to grow into a woman who was to become the first living tabernacle, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin,” Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854.
How apt is it that the Holy See has proclaimed the Year of Mercy starting from today – the day that celebrates the conception of our Divine Mother to whom was born the savior of the world, the king of mercy.
Let us make full use of this time that the Lord has provided us through the Church and pray for His mercy. May Lord’s mercy engulf the world and all things in it.