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DECEMBER 8th, and the Church celebrates with great solemnity the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
For some time, this honorable title borne by Our Lady, has been mistakenly attributed to the conception and birth of Our Lord, when in fact the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, conceived spotless, free from original sin, by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, but God acted upon her soul, keeping it “Immaculate”. The doctrine was dogmatically defined in 1854, by Pope Pius IX.
Four years after this Papal proclamation, on the 11th of February, 1858, Our Lady appeared to a young 14 year old girl by the name of Bernadette Soubirous, at Massabielle, about half a mile outside of Lourdes, France.
The “beautiful lady” whose name was unknown to Bernadette from the beginning, was to appear 18 times over the period from 11 February to July 16, 1858. It was early in the morning of March 25th, that ‘The Lady’ finally gave an answer to Bernadette’s repeated question “What is your name?”
“I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION”.
This statement from the Lady confirmed the infallible Doctrine of Pope Pius IX, who had spoken “ex cathedra” (from the chair of Peter) four years earlier. He had declared that the Virgin Mary, alone of all human beings who have ever lived, was conceived without the stain of original sin in her mother’s womb.
The Immaculate Conception is no fluke, and Our Lady wasn’t randomly selected to be the Mother of God, it was all part of the magnificent plan of God the Father for our salvation, and for the plan of the New Heaven and Earth long prophesied in Scripture.
For She is the woman spoken of in Genesis 3:15 – “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed. She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”
In Genesis, we observe the disobedience of Eve – in the Gospel of Luke, we observe Mary’s obedience and co-operation. So, it is with great love that we celebrate this magnificent feast day in Our Lady’s honour and proclaim that amongst all women, she is truly blessed.
We advise that currently there are road works in the vicinity of the John Paul II Centre for Life/Family Life Catholic Gifts, but parking is available across the road from the shop and we are ready and waiting to serve you, supplying beautiful gifts for the Advent and Christmas season.
SHOP LOCATION: 569 Richardson Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland Phone (09)629 0820
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