"From the first moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of Mankind, kept free from all stain of original sin." ~ As defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.
While we all know December as being squarely in the season of Advent, which is a minor penitential season intended to get our minds and souls properly prepared for the birth of Christ culminating with Christmas, the Church also celebrates another important day in December; the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which falls on December 8th and is a holy day of obligation. In fact, the entire month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. which just so happens to occur nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary. Strange how that works, huh?
The feast was instituted as a Holy Day of Obligation on December 6, 1708 under the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus by Pope Clement XI. This feast day gained great acclaim across Europe when on March 25, 1858, St. Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes asked the Virgin Mary to identify herself and Mary replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Let us use the month of December to begin or renew our devotion to the Immaculate Conception! Our Lady is greatly honored by this and her Son and our Lord takes notice of this. Honoring our Lady gains us many graces from Christ!
Below you'll find prayers that you may use during the month of December to honor the Immaculate Conception.
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† The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary †
Anthem, Versicle, and Prayer in Honor of the Immaculate Conception
Ant. This is the rod in which was neither knot of original sin, nor rind of actual guilt.
V. In thy conception, O Virgin! Thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, Whose Son thou didst bring forth.
Let Us Pray
O God, Who, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, didst prepare a worthy habitation for thy Son, we beseech Thee, that as by the foreseen death of that same Son, thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to Our Lady Immaculate
Most holy virgin, who wast pleasing to the Lord and became His Mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on the wretched who implore thy powerful patronage. The wicked serpent, against whom was hurled the first curse, continues fiercely to attack and ensnare the unhappy children of Eve. Do thou, then, O Blessed Mother, our queen and advocate, who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of the enemy, receive the prayers which, united with thee in our single heart, we implore thee to present at the throne of God, that we may never fall into the snares which are laid out for us, and may all arrive at the port of salvation; and, in so many dangers, mat the Church and Christian society sing one again the hymn of deliverance and of victory and of peace. Amen.
In thy conception, O Virgin May, thou wast immaculate; pray for us to the Father, Whose Son, Jesus Christ conceived of the Holy Ghost, thou didst bring forth.
(Ind. Of 300 days)