Feast day: December 8
The Immaculate Conception is the belief that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her conception. It is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church. Pope Bl. Pius IX proclaimed the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of faith in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” The feast is observed nine months before the feast marking Mary’s birthday on Sept. 8.
O God, 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,
God, for ever and ever.