The meaning of the celebration
+ On this day, the Church meditates on the great mystery that, from the moment of her conception, the Virgin Mary was preserved from every stain of original sin.
+ Based on the teachings of great saints and theologians through the centuries, especially Blessed John Duns Scotus, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854.
+ It is under her title of “Immaculate Conception” that Mary is honored as the patron of the United States of America.
For prayer and reflection
“We thank you, Immaculate Mother,
for reminding us that, because of Jesus Christ’s love,
we are no longer slaves to sin,
but free, free to love, to love one another.”—From a Prayer by Pope Francis in honor of the Immaculate Conception
On this day we also remember Saint Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran. Born in Ecuador to a poor family, she worked as a seamstress in her early life to support her siblings and provide for the poor. She spent the final years of her life living with a community of Dominican Nuns in Lima, Peru, dedicating herself to prayer and service, although she herself never took vows and remained a lay person her whole life. Saint Narcissa died in 1869 and was canonized in 2018.
The Benedictine Sisters of Monastery Immaculate Conception (Ferdinand, IN): www.thedome.org
The Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception: www.crossfire.org/daughtersofmary
The Dominican Sisters of Immaculate Conception Province: www.sistersop.com
The Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception: www.confhic.org
The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception: www.lsic.us
The Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception: www.mficusa.org
The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God: www.smic-missionarysisters.org
The Passionist Nuns of Immaculate Conception Monastery (Ellisville, MO): www.passionistnunsofstlouis.org
The Poor Clares of the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception (Palos Park, IL): www.chicagopoorclares.org
The Sisters of Christian Charity: www.scceast.org
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception: www.westpeoriasisters.org
The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate: www.ssmi-us.org
The Benedictine Monks of Conception Abbey (Conception, MO): www.conceptionabbey.org
The Marians of the Immaculate Conception: www.marian.org
who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son,
grant, we pray, that as you preserved her from every stain
by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw,
so, through her intercession,
we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.