What is the Immaculate Conception Of Mary?

A Statue of Mary with the title "I am the Immaculate Conception" behind herTomorrow is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and we have information about that feast here. This solemnity celebrates a doctrine that is unique to Catholics, which is that Mary was conceived without original sin, and thus was without actual sin as well.

Sometimes the doctrine is confused with the Virgin birth (the conception of Jesus  by Mary and the Holy Spirit), but the two are very different.

So, why do Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary? It pretty much boils down to the fact that Mary was the mother of Jesus, God and man. Because she was a holy vessel, carrying our Lord, she needed to be holy as well. When did Mary become sinless and holy, fitting to bear the Son of God? Catholics say it happened from the very beginning, when Mary was conceived. Other Christians place the event at different points in her life. Many Orthodox Christians believe she was purified of all sin when she said “yes” to God’s call

The concept can seem a little confusing because official Church Teaching is that Mary was made sinless by Christ. That’s right. Christ’s saving grace was applied to Mary at her conception before he was even born. It may seem a little odd, but Catholic Teaching is that God is outside of time and space, and thus applying grace before the fact is perfectly acceptable when you are God.

This doctrine basically points back to Christ. Mary was sinless to bear Christ. Mary was made sinless by Christ. While some non-Catholics criticize the doctrine for elevating Mary to the level of Christ, the truth is that Mary’s Immaculate Conception shows the power of Christ.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett's writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.


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