By Mary Sayad
From the first moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempt from original sin. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius XI issued the "Ineffabilis Deus" which defined the Immaculate Conception as an article of faith and truth contained in the original teachings of the Apostles. The Blessed Virgin Mary was defined "immaculate from all stain of original sin by the singular grace and privilege of the omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind and that this doctrine was revealed by God, and therefore, must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."
Sts. Joachim and Ann were Mary's parents. An angel appeared in a dream to St. Ann that she would conceive a daughter and that she should name her Mary.
Mary's birth should not be confused with Christ's Virgin Birth. Mary was to become the mother of the Divine Son, the Saviour of the world, Who was to come down to earth, suffer, and die in order that all the faithful might live eternally in heaven. God poured forth special graces to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the moment of her conception and thus, she was conceived without original sin.
The Church celebrates this feast on December 8th. It is a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States, Canada, and many other countries.
It is significant to note that the patroness of the United States of America is the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception.
It is sometimes difficult to imagine the scope and reality of all the extraordinary events and silent miracles that occured before, during and after the coming of Jesus, the Son of God. Nevertheless, all the miraculous accounts are written in theHoly Bible. The Holy Bible was written by men, prophets and apostles who were inspired by God.
As Christians, it is our privilege and our duty to become educated with the scriptures of the Bible so that we may live according to Christ's teachings and that these teachings or scriptures become a part of our daily lives. Each and every time we read the daily scriptures, we grow stronger in faith and with the conviction of our Christianity.
During Christ's presence on earth and despite all of the wondrous miracles and signs, some people still refused to acknowledge that He was the promised Messiah and the Son of God.
Today as in the past, we are faced with people who refuse to believe in Jesus and Mary and refuse to accept Our Heavenly Father, God the creator of all that was, all that is and all that will be. We must continue to pray for the conversion of everyone, including ourselves. When we pray for the conversion of everyone, we alleviate the indebtedness of the sins of the world. We redefine and refine our spirits and become wiser, stronger and more compassionate when confronted by nonbelievers.
As devoted Christians, we have a duty to accept our responsibility by living exemplary lives. Since the coming of Jesus, Christians were hated, martyred and oppressed. Indeed, throughout the world today Christians suffer and continue to be oppressed.
Christians are oppressed because they worship God. They are oppressed because they believe in salvation through Jesus and Mary. Through the subtelties of laws and secular decrees, Christians are deprived of their rights of belief and prayer. Refusal in belief of Our Heavenly Father is strong where love of the world is a great force.
Mary accepted her destiny and assumed a great responsibility in accepting her role as the Mother of the Son of God. She is the patroness of the United States and through our prayers she continues to intercede for us through her Son, Jesus and will guard us with her mantle of love and tenderness.
Thank you for your continued rosary recitals and thank you for growing daily in Christ.
Your companion in prayer,