The Immaculate Conception

The feast of the Immaculate Conception has been observed in the Church since the seventh century, when churches in the East celebrated it as the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. This Feast arrived in the West around the eleventh century but it was not until centuries later that Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception a dogma of the Church, which means that all Catholics are bound to accept it as true.

The Church teaches that the Immaculate Conception was a grace given by God to the Virgin Mary. Mary, like all humanity, was redeemed by Christ’s saving grace but, unlike the rest of humanity, her redemption occurred at the moment she was conceived in her mother’s womb.

In the apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, which proclaimed the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of the Church, Pope Pius IX wrote:

"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

Two parishes in our Diocese are named in honour of the Immaculate Conception: Immaculate Conception Parish in Deer Lake and the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and of the Immaculate Conception in Corner Brook