|Feast of the Immaculate Conception|
|Also called||Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception|
Immaculate Conception Day
|Observed by||Roman Catholic Church|
|Significance||The most pure and sinless conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary without Original Sin|
|Celebrations||Festive pageantry, grand fireworks, cultural dancing,|
religious and military processions, food and costumes
|Observances||Mass and other liturgical celebrations|
|Next time||8 December 2021|
|Related to|| Nativity of Mary |
Assumption of Mary
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, also called Immaculate Conception Day, celebrates the belief in the sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, celebrated on September 8. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church celebrated worldwide.
By Pontifical decree, it is the patronal feast day of America, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Korea, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Philippines, Spain and Uruguay. By royal decree, it is designated as the patroness of Portugal. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some select Protestant Christian denominations.
Since 1953, the Pope visits the Column of the Immaculate Conception in the Piazza di Spagna to offer expiatory prayers commemorating the solemn event.
The feast was first solemnized as a Holy Day of Obligationon 6 December 1708 under the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus by Pope Clement XI and is often celebrated with Catholic Mass, parades, fireworks, processions, food, and cultural festivities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is generally considered a Family Day, especially in many populous Catholic countries.
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of the Catholic Church
The Eastern Christian Church first celebrated a "Feast of the Conception of the Most Holy and All Pure Mother of God" on December 9, perhaps as early as the 5th century in Syria. The original title of the feast focused more specifically on Saint Anne, being termed sylepsis tes hagias kai theoprometoros Annas" ("conception of Saint Anne, the Ancestress of God").By the 7th century, the feast was already widely known in the East. However, when the Eastern Church called Mary achrantos ("spotless" or "immaculate"), this was not defined doctrine.
The majority of Orthodox Christians do not accept the Scholastic definition of Mary's preservation from original sin before her birth as subsequently defined in the Western Church after the Great Schism of 1054.After the feast was translated to the Western Church in the 8th century, it began to be celebrated on December 8. It spread from the Byzantine area of Southern Italy to Normandy during the period of Norman dominance over southern Italy. From there it spread to England, France, Germany, and eventually Rome.
In 1568, Pope Pius V revised the Roman Breviary, and though the Franciscans were allowed to retain the Office and Mass written by Bernardine dei Busti, this office was suppressed for the rest of the Church, and the office of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was substituted instead, the word "Conception" being substituted for "Nativity."
According to the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus, dated 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI mandated the feast as a Holy Day of Obligation which is to be celebrated in future years by the faithful.Furthermore, the pontiff requested that the papal bull be notarized in the Holy See to be further copied and reproduced for dissemination.
Prior to Pope Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception as a Roman Catholic dogma in 1854, most missals referred to it as the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The festal texts of this period focused more on the action of her conception than on the theological question of her preservation from original sin. A missal published in England in 1806 indicates the same Collect for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used for this feast as well.
The first move towards describing Mary's conception as "immaculate" came in the 11th century. In the 15th century, Pope Sixtus IV, while promoting the festival, explicitly tolerated both the views of those who promoted it as the Immaculate Conception and those who challenged such a description, a position later endorsed by the Council of Trent.
The proper for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Medieval Sarum Missal merely addresses the fact of her conception.
The collect for the feast reads:
O God, mercifully hear the supplication of thy servants who are assembled together on the Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, may at her intercession be delivered by Thee from dangers which beset us.
In 1854, Pius IX issued the Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus : "The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin."This marked no actual change in doctrine, but rather marked the first instance of formal definition of the dogma.
According to the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 5, when the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which always occurs within Advent, falls on a Sunday, it is transferred to the following Monday.(In some countries, including the United States, the obligation to attend Mass does not transfer.) The 1960 Code of Rubrics, still observed by some in accordance with Summorum Pontificum , gives the feast of the Immaculate Conception preference even over an Advent Sunday.
The solemnity is an official public holiday in the following sovereign countries and territories:
The Holy See, through the Sacred Congregation of Rites grants the expressed privilege to use blue or cerulean vestments on this day for the Spanish crown and its former territories. Numerous pontiffs have expressed the same sentiment via a Pontifical decree, namely the following:
Several petitions were submitted to the Holy See to use blue or violet vestments for other Marian feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is considered an ecclesiastical abuse by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and ruled against it on 23 February 1839.
In the Church of England, the "Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary" may be observed as a Lesser Festival on 8 December. However, they do not attach the Catholic belief that Mary was special, perfect nor sinless.
The situation in other constituent churches of the Anglican Communion is similar, i.e., as a lesser commemoration.Many Anglo-Catholic parishes observe the feast using the traditional Roman Catholic title, the "Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary".
While the Eastern Orthodox Churches have never accepted the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, they do celebrate December 9 as the Feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos. While the Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary was, from her conception, filled with every grace of the Holy Spirit, in view of her calling as the Mother of God, they do not teach that she was conceived without original sin as their understanding and terminology of the doctrine of original sin differs from the Roman Catholic articulation.The Orthodox do, however, affirm that Mary is "all-holy" and never committed a personal sin during her lifetime.
The Orthodox feast is not a perfect nine months before the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8) as it is in the West, but a day later. This feast is not ranked among the Great Feasts of the church year, but is a lesser-ranking feast (Polyeleos).
The Assumption of Mary is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, and some Lutheran and Anglo-Catholic Churches, among others, the bodily taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus, into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. The analogous feast in the Eastern Churches is known as the Dormition of the Theotokos. In Lutheranism and Anglicanism, the feast is celebrated in honour of St. Mary, Mother of our Lord.
In the Catholic Church, holy days of obligation are days on which the faithful are expected to attend Mass, and engage in rest from work and recreation, according to the Third Commandment.
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic, Orthodox Churches, and some Anglo-Catholic Churches.
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of Mary, the Marymas or the Birth of the Virgin Mary, refers to a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus.
In Christianity, the Visitation is the visit of Blessed Virgin Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, to St. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56.
Munificentissimus Deus is the name of an apostolic constitution written by Pope Pius XII. It defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was the first ex-cathedra infallible statement since the official ruling on papal infallibility was made at the First Vatican Council (1869–1870). In 1854 Pope Pius IX made an infallible statement with Ineffabilis Deus on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was a basis for this dogma. The decree was promulgated on 1 November 1950.
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The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom she had circumcised on the 8th day, according to the biblical and Jewish Law. Christians see him as the Lord, the Son of God. It is celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation in areas that have not abrogated it.
Ineffabilis Deus is an apostolic constitution by Pope Pius IX. It defines the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The decree was promulgated on December 8, 1854, the date of the annual Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and followed from a positive response to the encyclical Ubi primum.
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Fulgens corona is an encyclical by Pope Pius XII, given at St. Peter's, Rome, on 8 September 1953, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the fifteenth year of his Pontificate. The encyclical proclaims a Marian year for 1954, to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.
The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary, Help of Christians is a Roman Catholic Marian devotion, with a feast day inscribed into the General Roman Calendar on May 24.
Mariological papal documents have been a major force that has shaped Roman Catholic Mariology over the centuries. Mariology is developed by theologians on the basis not only of Scripture and Tradition but also of the sensus fidei of the faithful as a whole, "from the bishops to the last of the faithful", and papal documents have recorded those developments, defining Marian dogmas, spreading doctrines and encouraging devotions within the Catholic Church.
Ubi primum is an encyclical of Pope Pius IX to the bishops of the Catholic Church asking them for opinion on the definition of a dogma on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It was issued on February 2, 1849.
The Ranking of liturgical days in the Roman Rite is a regulation for the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church. It determines for each liturgical day which observance has priority when liturgical dates and times coincide, which texts are used for the celebration of the Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the hours and which liturgical color is assigned to the day or celebration.
The Feast of the Conception of the Virgin Mary is a liturgical holiday celebrated on December 9 by the Orthodox Church and a number of Eastern Catholic Churches. It is also the name given in the Catholic Tridentine Calendar for 8 December. In the present General Roman Calendar, the feast is called the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the holy day was once called the Feast of Conception of Saint Anne.
In the Catholic Church, several locations around the world invoke the patronage of the Immaculate Conception. Catholic diocesan authorities with the expressed and written approval of the Pope in countries including the United States, Brazil, Korea, the Philippines and Spain designate the Blessed Virgin Mary as their principal patroness.