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Today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with the virgin birth of Jesus

Roman Catholics around the world observe the annual feast of the Immaculate Conception today — but many of them, and countless non-Catholics, mistakenly believe that the occasion is a celebration of the virgin conception of Jesus.

Rather, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without original sin. (By the way, the Catholic Church holds that Mary’s conception was otherwise achieved in the usual way. Her father was St. Joachim.)

I attended Catholic schools for more than 12 years in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, but I was almost 30 years old before my (ahem) misconception about the Immaculate Conception was corrected. 

I ran across the truth in some book in 1972, wheupon I checked other sources and even called a priest I knew, who verified it. When I asked him why the nuns and priests hadn’t made the situation clear to us as kids,  he didn’t have an answer. He only said his experience as a child in Catholic schools had been the same.

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2 Comments

  1. Don Morey

    The reason for the conveption without original sin was necessary for the virgin Mary to be pure enough for the Holy Spirit cause Mary to conceive Jesus. That is the logic for claiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

  2. It should also be noted that this was not because of Mary’s own virtue. She was preserved from Original Sin because of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Her salvation is from Him, just as ours is. The difference is that God chose to grant her this salvation early in order that she be a fitting mother for the Son of God.

    And for those who wish to dispute her title as “Mother of God”, it is a logical title to bestow on her. If Mary is the mother of Jesus and Jesus is God, then Mary is the mother of God. She was not before God to give birth to Him; He created her and made her His mother by becoming Man.

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