Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

8 December is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady.

The Immaculate Conception is often confused with the Virgin Birth. Sadly this confusion extends to poorly formed Catholics, as well as to non-Catholics.

For clarity, the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception without the stain of original sin of our Lady, Mary the Mother of God. In other words, it is Mary herself that had no original sin, unlike all other humans who have original sin.

The Virgin Birth on the other hand refers, of course, to our Lord, Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary. To paraphrase the Creed - He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The feast day is an important one for our family as it is the patronal feast day of the schools our children attend (FCJ, and Beaulieu Convent) and, more, Our Lady is the Joint-Principal Patron of our Diocese (Portsmouth).