The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
~ The Saint Andrew Daily Missal (1937)
Having decided from all eternity to make Mary Mother of the Incarnate Word (Epistle), God willed that she should crush the head of the serpent from the moment of her conception. He covered her “with a mantle of holiness” (Introit) and, “preserving her soul from all stain, He made her a worthy dwelling place for His Son” (Collect). The feast of the “Conception” of the Virgin was, from the eighth century, celebrated in the East on December 9th, from the ninth century in Ireland on May 3rd, and in the eleventh century in England on December 8th. The Benedictines with St Anselm, and the Franciscans with Duns Scotus (1308) favoured the feast of the “Immaculate Conception,” which in 1128 was kept in Anglo-Saxon monasteries. In the fifteenth century Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, erected at the Vatican the Sixtine Chapel in honour of the Conception of the Virgin. And on December 8th, 1854, Blessed Pius IX officially proclaimed this great dogma, making himself the mouthpiece of all the Christian tradition summed up in the words of the Angel: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women: (Gospel) “ Thou art all beautiful, O Mary, and the original stain is not in thee “ says in truth the alleluia verse. Like the dawn which announces the day, Mary precedes the Sun of Justice which will soon illumine the world of souls. Bringing to us her Son, it is she who first appears in the liturgical cycle. Let us ask God “to heal us and to deliver us from all our sins” (Secret, Postcommunion) in order that by the graces which specially belong to the feast of the “Immaculate” we may become more worthy of receiving Jesus in our hearts when He comes into them on December 25th.
Our Lady of the Rosary Library