What most Catholics are not aware, that it is generally held, Jeremias and St. John Baptist were both born without sin. They were sanctified in their mother’s womb before birth. The protestant Bibles substitute the word sanctified for favored one or chosen one.
Sicily was one of the first countries to celebrate the feast day to a double of the first class with a vigil. 1739.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8
Benedict Baur, O.S.B.
“Blessed art thou, O Mary!”
1. “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything, from the beginning” (Epistle). Mary is likewise contained in the eternal Wisdom, who is to become man in time, who adorns her with His person, His purity, and His glory, and is most intimately united with her in His work on earth. God ordained the creation of Mary with the same act by which He willed the incarnation of His Son. “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways.” God chose Mary from all eternity as the one from whom His Son, the eternal Wisdom…was to take His sacred humanity. By virtue of this intimate union with divine Wisdom and divine purity, she is herself possessed of unlimited purity, wisdom, and holiness.
In the liturgy she is presented to our wondering eyes clothed with divine wisdom, as the Seat of Wisdom. “Now, therefore, ye children, hear me…. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord” (Epistle).
2. In today’s liturgy Mary is the woman of fortitude who will crush the head of the serpent and will overcome singlehanded the ancient enemy of the Church and of the kingdom of God. Mary is the Judith of the new chosen people. She it is who rescues beleaguered souls from the hand of Holofernes. With hearts filled with joy and gratitude, we greet her on the day of her triumph over Satan and original sin. “Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, above all women upon the earth. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel” (Gradual). Today thou shalt crush the head of the vile serpent who rages against thy Son and His people. We fly to thy patronage, O immaculate and victorious Virgin.
The liturgy presents Mary to us as full of grace. “At that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Gospel) “Full of grace.” “He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as the bride adorned with her jewels” (Introit). From the first moment of her conception she is enriched with more grace than the most highly favored angel or archangel in heaven. Richer in grace and more resplendent with supernatural beauty than the holiest of the saints of the Church, is this immaculate mother of ours. “Thou art all fair, O Mary.”
3. “The stream of the river [the fullness of grace] maketh the city of God [Mary] joyful; the Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle. God is in the midst thereof, it shall not be moved; God will help it in the early morning [at her conception]. . . . Come and behold ye the works of the Lord, what wonders He hath done upon the earth [in Mary] making wars to cease even to the end of the earth. He shall destroy the bow and break the weapons [Satan and original sin], and the shield He shall burn in the fire. Be still and see that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of armies is with us [in Mary]; the God of Jacob is our protector” (Ps. 45:5 ff.).
Purity is union with God. Purity is the strength that brings victory. Purity is the most precious of graces. “Blessed are the clean of heart” (Matt. 5:8). “Draw us, O immaculate Virgin.”
“In her will I make a horn for David.” Psalms 131:17
“He that shall find me, shall find life and shall have salvation from the Lord.” Proverbs. 8:35
“All generations shall call me blessed.” Luke 1:48
“Queen of Heaven” Apocalypse 12.
“And the Spirit and the Bride say Come. Apocalypse 22:17
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, didst make ready a worthy dwelling place for Thy Son: grant, we beseech Thee, that, as through the foreseen death of the same Son, Thou didst preserve His mother from all stain of sin, so may we likewise be pure in heart through her intercession and may come to Thee. Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.