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Reflections: Mary, Our Mother Sctn. (Imc.Cncp.)

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Return to Mary, Our Mthr.Reflctns. | Mary Our Mthr.Sctn.

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Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness

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Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness

Infallible Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception

 

Category
Quotation

Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"You shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it." (Ex. 25:10-11) [Note: This Old Testament passage referring to the Ark of the Covenant may also be applied to Mary - the immaculate Ark of the New Covenant.]

"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee." (Cant. 4:7)

"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Lk. 1:26-33)

"O Virgin undefiled, undefiled is your birth." (St. Andrew of Crete, a. 740 A.D.) 

"Thou, O Lord, and thy Mother are the only ones who are perfectly beautiful in every respect, for in thee, O Lord, there is no blemish, and in thy Mother there is no stain." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

"From the moment of her conception in the womb of her Mother, Ann, when, having chosen her as the mother of his own son, he freed her from the yoke of the heritage of original sin." (Pope John Paul II)

"For nothing is worthy to receive God unless it be pure, according to Psalm 93:5: 'Holiness becometh Thy House, O Lord.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The Immaculate Conception is the name which reveals with precision who Mary is: it not only affirms a quality, but it exactly defines her person; Mary is radically holy in the totality of her existence from the very beginning." (Pope John Paul II)

"The commemoration of the mystery of the Most Holy Virgin, conceived immaculate and immune from all stain of original sin, should, in the first place, urge us to that innocence and integrity of life which flees from and abhors even the slightest stain of sin." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953)

"It was fitting that Jesus Christ should have such a mother as would be worthy of Him as far as possible; and she would not have been worthy, if, contaminated by the hereditary stain even for the first moment only of her conception, she had been subject to the abominable power of Satan." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953)

"Come, then, and search out Your sheep, not through Your servants or hired men, but do it Yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sara but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain of sin." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"This holy Synod declares nevertheless that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary mother of God, but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV of happy memory are to be observed, under the penalties contained in these constitutions, which it renews." (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

"In the matter of sin, it is my wish to exclude absolutely all questions concerning the holy Virgin Mary, on account of the honor due to Christ. For since she conceived and brought forth Him who most certainly was guilty of no sin, we know that an abundance of grace was given her that she might be in every way the conqueror of sin." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[The Church] did not hesitate to present for the public devotion and veneration of the faithful the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin. By this most significant fact, the Church made it clear indeed that the conception of Mary is to be venerated as something extraordinary, wonderful, eminently holy, and different from the conception of all other human beings" (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of woman. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely benefited the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"The Catholic Church, directed by the Holy Spirit of God, is the pillar and base of truth and has ever held as divinely revealed and as contained in the deposit of heavenly revelation this doctrine concerning the original innocence of the august Virgin - a doctrine which is so perfectly in harmony with her wonderful sanctity and preeminent dignity as Mother of God - and thus has never ceased to explain, to teach and to foster this doctrine age after age in many ways and by solemn acts." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"If then God has such a horror of sin as to have willed to keep free the future Mother of His Son not only from stains which are voluntarily contracted but, by a special favor and in prevision of the merits of Jesus Christ, from that other stain of which the sad sign is transmitted to all us sons of Adam by a sort of hapless heritage: who can doubt that it is a duty for everyone who seeks by his homage to gain the heart of Mary to correct his vicious and depraved habits and to subdue the passions which incite him to evil?" (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904)

"And so these two very singular privileges [Immaculate Conception & Assumption], bestowed upon the Virgin Mother of God, stand out in most splendid light as the beginning and as the end of her earthly journey; for the greatest possible glorification of her virgin body is the complement, at once appropriate and marvelous, of the absolute innocence of her soul, which was free from all stain; and just as she took part in the struggle of her only-begotten Son with the wicked serpent of Hell, so also she shared in His glorious triumph over sin and its sad consequences." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953)

"The devotion to the most blessed Virgin Mary is indeed of long standing among the faithful of Christ who believe that her soul, from the first instant of its creation and infusion into her body, was preserved immune by a special grace and privilege of God from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our human race, and who, in this sense, esteem and solemnly celebrate the festivity of her conception...We renew the Constitutions and decrees published by Roman Pontiffs in favor of the opinion that asserts that the soul of the blessed Virgin Mary at its creation, and at its infusion into her body, was blessed by the grace of the Holy Spirit and was preserved from original sin." (Pope Alexander VII, 1661 A.D.)

"It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment. She was not only daughter of the eternal Father; she was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son, and the veritable bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity: not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His divine majesty in heaven" (Dom Gueranger)

"From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"And indeed it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent. To her did the Father will to give his only-begotten Son - the Son whom, equal to the Father and begotten by him, the Father loves from his heart - and to give this Son in such a way that he would be the one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was she whom the Son himself chose to make his Mother and it was from her that the Holy Spirit willed and brought it about that he should be conceived and born from whom he himself proceeds." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"'We shrink from saying,' is the answer of Dionysius of Chartreux, 'of this woman who was to crush the head of [Satan] that had been crushed by him and that Mother of God that she had ever been a daughter of the Evil One' (Sent. d. 3, q. 1). No, to the Christian intelligence the idea is unthinkable that the flesh of Christ, holy, stainless, innocent, was formed in the womb of Mary of a flesh which had ever, if only for the briefest moment, contracted any stain. And why so, but because an infinite opposition separates God from sin? There certainly we have the origin of the conviction common to all Christians that Jesus Christ before, clothed in human nature, He cleansed us from our sins in His blood, accorded Mary the grace and special privilege of being preserved and exempted, from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904)

"[T]he Fathers proclaimed with particular and definite statements that when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned; for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely. They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, 'I will put enmities between you and the woman.' - unmistakable evidence that she has crushed the poisonous head of [Satan]. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"And indeed, illustrious documents of venerable antiquity, of both the Eastern and the Western Church, very forcibly testify that this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the most Blessed Virgin, which was daily more and more splendidly explained, stated and confirmed by the highest authority, teaching, zeal, knowledge, and wisdom of the Church, and which was disseminated among all peoples and nations of the Catholic world in a marvelous manner - this doctrine always existed in the Church as a doctrine that has been received from our ancestors, and that has been stamped with the character of revealed doctrine. For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus - that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"Speaking of the conception of the Virgin, they testified that nature yielded to grace and, unable to go on, stood trembling. The Virgin Mother of God would not be conceived by Anna before grace would bear its fruits; it was proper that she be conceived as the first-born, by whom 'the first-born of every creature' would be conceived. They testified, too, that the flesh of the Virgin, although derived from Adam, did not contract the stains of Adam, and that on this account the most Blessed Virgin was the tabernacle created by God himself and formed by the Holy Spirit, truly a work in royal purple, adorned and woven with gold, which that new Beseleel made. They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows of the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854)

"While in an examination of devout deliberation we are thoroughly investigating the distinguished marks of merit, by which the Queen of Heaven, the glorious Virgin Mother of God, is preferred to all in the heavenly courts; just as among the stars the morning star foretells the dawn, we consider it just, even a duty, that all the faithful of Christ for the miraculous conception of this immaculate Virgin, give praise and thanks to Almighty God (whose providence beholding from all eternity the humility of this same Virgin, to reconcile with its author human nature exposed to eternal death because of the fall of the first man, by the preparation of the Holy Spirit constituted her the habitation of His Only-begotten Son, from whom He took on the flesh of our mortality for the redemption of His people, and the Virgin remained immaculate even after childbirth), and therefore that they say Masses and other divine offices instituted in the Church of God, and that they attend them to ask by indulgences and by the remission of sins to become more worthy of divine grace by the merits of and by the intercession of this same Virgin." (Pope Sixtus IV, 1476 A.D.)

"In the first place, the foundation of this doctrine is to be found in Sacred Scripture, where we are taught that God, Creator of all things, after the sad fall of Adam, addressed the serpent, the tempter and corrupter, in these words, which not a few Fathers, Doctors of the Church and many approved interpreters applied to the Virgin Mother of God: 'I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed' (Gen. III-15). Now, if at any time the Blessed Mary were destitute of Divine grace even for the briefest moment, because of contamination in her conception by the hereditary stain of sin, there would not have come between her and the serpent that perpetual enmity spoken of from earliest tradition down to the time of the solemn definition of the Immaculate Conception, but rather a certain subjection. Moreover, since the same holy Virgin is saluted 'full of grace' and 'blessed among women' (Luke I. 28, 24), by these words, as Catholic tradition has always interpreted, it is plainly indicated that 'by this singular and solemn salutation, otherwise never heard of, it is shown that the Mother of God was the abode of all Divine graces, adorned with all the charisms of the Holy Spirit, yea, the treasury well nigh infinite and abyss inexhaustible of these charisms, so that she was never subjected to the one accursed' (Bull Ineffabilis Deus). This doctrine, unanimously received in the early Church, has been handed down clearly enough by the Fathers, who claimed for the Blessed Virgin such titles as Lily Among Thorns; Land Wholly Intact; Immaculate; Always Blessed; Free From All Contagion Of Sin; Unfading Tree; Fountain Ever Clear; The One And Only Daughter Not Of Death But Of Life; Offspring Not Of Wrath But Of Grace; Unimpaired And Ever Unimpaired; Holy And Stranger To All Stain Of Sin; More Comely Than Comeliness Itself; More Holy Than Sanctity; Alone Holy Who, Excepting God, Is Higher Than All; By Nature More Beautiful, More Graceful And More Holy Than The Cherubim And Seraphim Themselves And The Whole Host Of Angels'. If these praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin? Deservedly, therefore, St. Ephrem addresses her Divine Son in these words: 'Really and truly Thou and Thy Mother are alone entirely beautiful. Neither in Thee nor in Thy Mother is there any stain.' (Carmine Nisibena, Ed. Bickell, 123). From these words, it is clearly apparent that there is only one among all holy men and women about whom it can be said that the question of sin does not even arise, and also that she obtained this singular privilege, never granted to anyone else, because she was raised to the dignity of Mother of God." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953)

Also See: Infallible Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception | Mary & Grace / Graces | Mary & Eve | Mary Vs. Satan | Praise of Mary | We Should Imitate Mary / Mary is Our Model | Mary's Virtues | The Assumption of Mary Into Heaven | Infallible Proclamation of the Assumption | Original Sin (Catholic Basics/Reflections) | Marian Facts | Marian Scriptural References | Some Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary | Some Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Infallible Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: "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." Hence, if anyone shall dare - which God forbid! - to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus," Dec. 8, 1854 A.D.)

Also See: Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness | Mary & Grace / Graces | Mary & Eve | Mary Vs. Satan | Praise of Mary | We Should Imitate Mary / Mary is Our Model | Mary's Virtues | The Assumption of Mary Into Heaven | Infallible Proclamation of the Assumption | Original Sin (Catholic Basics/Reflections) | Marian Facts | Marian Scriptural References | Some Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary | Some Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflectns.: A-Z | Categ. | Scripture: A-Z | Categ. | Help


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