Feast of the Immaculate conception
Various Christian societies throughout the world annually celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. This day is a dedicated day of responsibility in which many Christians, especially of the Catholic faith, serve special church services for this occasion. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary is one of the most obvious Marian feasts in the Catholic Church and a tricky one when it comes to relationships with other Churches.
Traditions of Immaculate conception
The other cultures that adore the Mother of Jesus are reluctant to refer to her conception as “immaculate.” However, there is a long history of this teaching within western Catholicism. The origins of this teaching, and the grand feast affiliated with it, are complicated. Many traditions have varying reviews about Our Lady and her attachment to sin. Still, they all participate in the view that the woman chosen to be the Mother of Jesus was particularly clear and holy.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX published the teaching about Our Lady’s immaculate conception to be a conviction, giving it the most distinguished level of authority by executing its infallible teaching. This appears rather late in the subject of Church history, but the Assumption of Our Lady wouldn’t enhance dogma until 1950, nearly a century later.
Important religious instructions are sometimes present in the Church for a long time before they become official doctrine. The idea that the Sacred Virgin Mary was invented without sin has survived for centuries, but it was not significantly present from the earliest days of Christianity. It increased over time concerning other doctrinal teachings, in particular, the teaching of original sin.
Celebrations of The Feast
A feast day celebrating the Mother of Jesus’s realization is thought to have begun in the East from around the 7th or 8th centuries. It was not defined at this point that Our Lady’s conception was “immaculate,” meaning that she was without first sin from the moment she was considered in her mother’s womb. St. Augustine of Hippo and his recognition of original sin are not nearly as famous in Eastern Christianity as in the West, so it wasn’t until the festival day made its way into the Western Church that the notion of the Immaculate Conception began to expand.
According to the 1962 St. Joseph Daily Missal, the Feast of the Conception of Our Lady started the Western Church about the 11th century, when it first developed in England. From there, it expanded to France, Germany, and throughout Europe.
By the 14th century, it remained on the calendar of the Universal Church. I don’t know accurately when Our Lady’s conception started to be thought of as “immaculate” in the West. Still, it’s safe to assume it developed out of the spell of St. Augustine and the sense that the Mother was excluded from the ancestral sin originating from Adam’s disobedience.
Since the Eastern Church doesn’t share the same view of primary sin as being a spot on the soul that is biologically conveyed, they don’t assign to the Virgin Mary’s conception as “immaculate.” As Bishop Kallistos (Timothy) Ware describes in his book, The Orthodox Church, the Mother is called All-Holy, Immaculate, and Spotless in Eastern Orthodoxy, which appears to come close to Catholic Marian dogma. The Orthodox Church denies the official Catholic teaching on the Immaculate Conception only because it looks to separate the Virgin Mary from the rest of humankind and the other good men and women from the scriptures in the way God saved her from sin. In the Eastern view, identifying Our Lady’s conception as “immaculate” isn’t skeptical, just unnecessary.
One of the most important events that declared the Immaculate Conception teaching in the Catholic Church was the spirit of Our Lady of Lourdes to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. In one of her characters, Our Lady declared, “I am the Immaculate Conception,” a statement Bernadette did not actually understand. Still, it looked to confirm her foresight’s validity, considering she was thought to be a simple-minded girl without much awareness of Church teaching. Since the Immaculate Conception had become approved positive teaching only a few years before the Lourdes apparitions, it is probable that Bernadette had had some awareness of it and subconsciously internalized it somehow. Or perhaps, as most Catholics think, Our Lady really did talk to St. Bernadette.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Spiritual Virgin Mary defeats with the penitential simplicity of the Advent period to allow us to celebrate the Mother, through whom the incarnation of the Word of God was made possible.
It celebrates her nature as a perfect and sinless woman from the time of her conception, and Our Lady grants us a model of a life without sin in conformity with God’s will. As she is such an essential figure in the Advent and Christmas seasons, the feast of her conception supports us to honor her as we arrange for her son’s coming.