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For centuries, Christians have believed that Mary was conceived
without any sin, original or actual. Blessed Mary, Daughter of God the
Father, Mother of God the Son is the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit.
This means that she gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God by the power of
the Holy Spirit. She had no children with her husband St. Joseph. Their
marriage was a celibate one. However, she was the one who was
immaculately conceived having parents St. Ann and St. Joachim. Her
beginning in the womb of her mother Ann was an immaculate conception.

St. Irenaeus, St. Ephraem, St. Ambrose, and others declare
the “purity” of Mary. St. Augustine said that Mary was free from
original sin. Let us think about this-these saints devoted their lives
to praying, writing, and teaching the truth, and they believed in the
teaching of the Immaculate Conception. This feast has been celebrated
in both East and West since early centuries. St. Thomas Aquinas and the
Dominicans believed that Mary had some sin, but it was Duns Scotus, a
Franciscan, who said otherwise. Not until 1854 did the Church
officially define the Immaculate Conception dogma, after centuries of
Christians believing it. Four years later, the Blessed Mother told St.
Bernadette of Lourdes—“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Even before 1854, the popes made statements about Mary’s
“spotless condition”. Pius V in 1567 condemned Baius who said that the
Mother of God, “ever virgin” was subject to original sin. The pope then
placed the feast of the Immaculate Conception on the Roman calendar.
Pope Alexander VII, in 1661, explained this doctrine much like Pius IX.
In 1708, December 8th was made a holyday of obligation by Pope Clement
XI. Mary Immaculate was declared by the 6th Provincial Council of
Baltimore in the United States to be Patroness of the U.S. in 1847.

How can this be? She is the “woman” of Genesis 3:15, who
“crushed the head of Satan” by bringing into the world the Savior
promised by the prophets. God would not want any person to bring his
Son Jesus into the world with any kind of sin. Just as he is sinless,
she too is sinless. The Fathers of the Church have numerous writings
about Mary as the New Eve and Jesus as the New Adam. The Church has had
a lot of time to think about this matter, over 2,000 years. Someone out
of the “blue” today who claims that this doctrine is not true is not
that privileged.

Mary is the “full of grace” of Luke 1:28. No more grace
could fill her, for she was already filled with God’s grace completely
up to the “rim” and overflowing of her being. God bestowed this special
gift upon her. Jesus was her Savior too. Before all eternity, he
preserved her and saved her from falling into the “pit of sin”. Many
Christians for centuries likewise felt, that if Mary was “immaculately
conceived”, then her body was in that state of perfect grace, it could
never undergo earthly corruption. The Book of Revelation reveals the
“Ark of the Covenant” seen in heaven, as Mary is crowned as Queen. No
longer was the Old Testament ark needed, for the Blessed Mother was the
New Ark, the living embodiment of the “Bread of Life,” the Holy
Eucharist, the Word of God, and the High Priest Jesus Christ. She
replaced forever the manna, the stone tablets, and the staff of Aaron.
The old type of ark was now the antitype of Mary as the Ark of the
Covenant in the New Testament.

Fitting in with this is the doctrine of the Assumption
declared by Pope Pius XII in 1850, whereby Mary was declared assumed
into heaven, body and soul. The Fathers of the Church agreed with the
pope. He related this doctrine to the Immaculate Conception, in that
Mother and Son are not in any instance separated. The bones of the
saints are sought after by the faithful but never has it been heard
that the relics or remains of Mary are fought for by any city on this
earth. As early as the 5th century, the feast of the Assumption was
celebrated in Syria, in the 6th century in Jerusalem, and maybe in
Alexandria. Both East and West believed in the Assumption of Mary.
Spain celebrated the Assumption as a feast in the 9th century. From the
13th century until the present, there was an undeniable faith in Mary’s
Assumption by the Church.

If people can believe that Enoch and Elijah had gone to
heaven, why is it possible for some to disbelieve that God can work
this wonder with Mary! It is said by St. John Damascene in the 8th
century that Mary died in the presence of all the apostles. St. Thomas
the Doubter requested her tomb to be opened but there was no body found
in it. The result of original sin is death, but since Mary was free
from all sin, her body along with her soul passed from this earth into
heaven.

Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, Forever Virgin, Assumed
into Heaven Body and Soul, Queen of Heaven and Earth is Mother of the
Church—teachings of the Catholic Church. For those who find it hard to
believe, pray about it. She has appeared to the humblest of children
throughout the ages, only to bring man to her Son.

 


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