Today's Saint

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Ann conceived Mary, not by the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus was conceived, but by normal means.  However, when she was conceived in her mother’s womb, Mary was without the stain of original sin.  This was a special grace granted by God.  Truly, this was what God had willed for all mankind, as it was with Adam and Eve, who were also without sin.  However, sin entered the world when Adam and Eve fell from grace and because of that, we are born with the stain of their sin.

Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is also the Savior of His mother.  He saved her from sin before she was born, at the moment of her conception in St. Ann’s womb.  In doing so, He also prepared her womb for His Presence.  Jesus, who made all things (Jn 1:2), created His own mother, creating her perfectly pure and sinless. He later, under the power of the Holy Spirit, dwelled in that flawless womb under her Immaculate Heart.  To prepare her for her role as mother of the Savior, “Mary was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role” (Lumen Gentium 56).

From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day

Graceful Living

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“Pure as the snow,” we say. Ah! never flake
Fell through the air
One-tenth as fair
As Mary’s soul was made for Christ’s dear sake.
Virgin Immaculate,
The whitest whiteness of the Alpine snows,
Beside thy stainless spirit, dusky grows.
“Pure as the stars.” Ah! never lovely night
Wore in its diadem
So pure a gem
As that which fills the ages with its light.
Virgin Immaculate,
The peerless splendors of thy soul by far
Outshine the glow of heaven’s serenest star.

— “Mary Immaculate,” Eleanor C. Donnelly

Dear Mother, You were kept free from the stain of original sin so that the Word of God could make His abode in You. Today, on this feast that celebrates Your Immaculate Conception, I ask You to obtain for me the grace I need to resist sin and to live for Christ alone. Be the mother of my soul. Nurture me in Your tender heart. Take my hand and lead me to Your Son. Amen.

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