In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.' - Luke 1:26-28  

It's a holy day of obligation in the Roman Catholic Church today. It's the Immaculate Conception. Join many around the world in celebrating Mary!

When I was growing up in another land of many Catholics - in Boston - I remember being very confused by the  Immaculate Conception . I recall (maybe after the puberty filmstrip in 4th  grade?) thinking that Mary's story was a double miracle - not only was she the Mother of Jesus without a father but she was only pregnant from December 8th t o December 24th
 - 16 days!?

Please see the real story behind the holy day below... even though I learned it many many moons ago, I still think very highly of Mary because of what she did and what she said!

The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but God acted upon her soul (keeping her "immaculate") at the time of her conception.
The Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary herself, not that of her son.
Although the belief that Mary was sinless and conceived immaculate has been widely held since Late Antiquity, the doctrine was not dogmatically defined until 1854, by Pope Pius IX in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8; in many Catholic countries, it is a holy day of obligation or patronal feast, and in some a national public holiday.

God has brought down the powerful from t heir thrones, and lifted up the lowly; God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. - Mary


Holy One, encourage me to be more like Mary - available and willing when you call! Amen.

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