December – the Month of the Immaculate Conception
In keeping the Blessed Virgin free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception, God presents us with a glorious example of what mankind was meant to be.
Mary is truly the second Eve, because, like Eve, she entered the world without sin.
Unlike Eve, she remained sinless throughout her life—a life that she dedicated fully to the will of God.
The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it.
Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her at the moment of her conception the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.
It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.
Let us Pray, this theologically rich prayer written by Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) in 1954 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart, appeasement of our ardent desires and a safe harbour from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.
O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!
O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.
In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognise that they are brothers and that the nations are members of one family, upon which, may there shine forth, the sun of a universal and sincere peace.
Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications and, above all, obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars – You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honour of our people! Amen.
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