The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated every December 8 to commemorate the Virgin Mary. The Sacrament of the Immaculate Conception is a Catholic feast that commemorates Mary’s sinless conception. Even though this feast day falls during the Advent season, which also prepares for the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s birth to her mother, St. Anne. According to the religious doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, “from the very first minute of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was kept free from all stains of original sin, even by the singular grace and entitlement of Almighty God, and given the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of Mankind.”
History of Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is marked annually on December 8. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Immaculate Conception Day, commemorates the Virgin Mary’s sinless life from birth on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary is observed. It is considered one of the most essential Marian feasts in the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar and is celebrated worldwide.
According to a pontifical decree, it is the patronal festival day of Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Nicaragua, South Korea, Paraguay, Spain, the United States, the Philippines, and Uruguay. The Immaculate Conception is the patroness of Portugal’s day by royal decree. The Roman Catholic Church and a few Protestant Christian denominations observe this day. Since 1953, each Pope has paid a visit to the Piazza di Spagna’s Column of the Immaculate Conception every year to offer prayers of penance to honor the solemn event.
The feast was first declared a Holy Day of Obligation on December 6, 1708, by Pope Clement XI in the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus. In some countries, it is commemorated with mass, parades, fireworks, processions, food, and cultural festivities. It is generally considered a family day, particularly in many pious Catholic countries.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception timeline
On December 8, the feast is introduced to the Western Church, first celebrated as the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne, Mother of Mary.
Blessed John Duns Scotus argues that despite Original Sin, Mary is sanctified to become immaculate at the moment of her conception by God’s will.
On February 28, Pope Sixtus IV threatens any Catholic who opposes Immaculate Conception with excommunication.
On December 8, Pope Pius IX declares that same day a holy day for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception FAQs
What does the Immaculate Conception mean?
The Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic dogma that states Mary, Jesus’ mother, was kept clean and free from the impact of Adam’s sin (also known as Original Sin) from the moment she was conceived.
Why do Catholics invoke Mary?
In the rosary, prayer to Mary is the remembrance of the great mysteries of our faith (Incarnation, Redemption through Christ), and praise to God for the magnificent things that he has accomplished. As the Mother of God, Mary can intercede on people’s behalf and have their prayers answered.
When Jesus was born, how old was Mary?
According to the age during which Jewish maidens could marry, Mary may have given birth to her son when she reached thirteen or fourteen years old. There is no historical record that tells us how old she was at the time of the Nativity.
How to Observe Feast of the Immaculate Conception
On Immaculate Conception Day, begin your day by attending church. Almost every Catholic church holds a special mass to mark the occasion.
Share it with your social network
Inform everyone that you are celebrating this day. Share photos of yourself and your loved ones celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on social media.
Allow your religious side to shine through
Make the most of this day by connecting with your religion. Attend Mass and participate in the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Day celebrations. Remind yourself to pray for everyone who needs help and ask for intercession from the Holy Mother.
5 Interesting Facts About The Marian Dogma
This isn't a virgin birth
The Catholic Church believes Mary was conceived normally but that God protected her from inherited sin.
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the world’s oldest international institutions.
Catholics argue that it is required
According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Immaculate Conception is required and without it, Jesus would also have received His flesh from a woman who was a slave to the devil, whom Jesus came to defeat.
She is mentioned in the “Quran”
The Holy Book of Islam, the “Quran,” has a whole section devoted to Mary, and she appears in it more frequently than in the ‘New Testament.’
She was assumed into heaven
Because Mary was conceived without sin and lived a sinless life, dogma dictates that she was taken up into heaven body and soul.
Why Feast of the Immaculate Conception is Important
It is a celebration of family
As we remember Christ's mother, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception evokes memories of affection and security. The Feast itself commemorates Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, the parents of the Holy Virgin. It celebrates the bonds between parents and children, as well as the roles they play in each other’s lives. We enjoy holidays that allow families to come together and be thankful for all of our blessings.
It unites people of the same faith
The events of Immaculate Conception Day, which include feasts, prayers, and parades, bring the Christian community together. It is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your faith and exercise your beliefs.
Celebrating Mary's motherhood
Mary was a rock of strength for Christ. She not only became his mother, but she also dedicated her life to her son's mission, facing persecution and fighting for people's salvation. To this day, people pray to her to intercede and assist in having their prayers answered.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception dates