Did you know that in the Catholic Church, each of the 12 months of the year has a devotional theme? For Catholics, December is the month of the Immaculate Conception, and it’s an ideal time to strengthen our connection to Our Lady.
The Church taught of the Immaculate Conception for ages, but it was in 1854 that Pope Pius IX officially proclaimed that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”
This teaching refers to the conception of Mary in the womb of St. Anne, her mother. Redemption was applied to our Blessed Mother from conception, by the merits of Jesus Christ, her son — a truly awe-inspiring reality. Preserved from original sin, Mary has been called “our tainted nature’s solitary boast,” in the words of the great poet William Wordsworth.
Mary remained free of sin for her entire life. Honoring her purity is an antidote to the sometimes garish bustle of December, and a complementary devotion to our usual Advent activities culminating in the festive splendor of Christmas.
Finishing the monthly series on ways to showcase each month’s Catholic theme in your life, click here for 10 ways you can honor the Immaculate Conception this December.