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Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

December 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Mary, Seasonal Meditations, Solemnity

Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

PeterPaulRubensImmaculateConceptionWGA20251 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin MaryThe Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

Mary, crowned with living light,
Temple of the Lord,
Place of peace and holiness,
Shelter of the Word.

Mystery of sinless life
In our fallen race,
Free from shadow, you reflect
Plenitude of grace.

Virgin-Mother of our God,
Lift us when we fall,
Who were named upon the Cross
Mother of us all.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Heaven sings your praise;
Mary magnifies your name
Through eternal days.

Hymn for Evening Prayer One of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Liturgy of the Hours


Art for this post on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: Immaculate Conception, Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1628, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

For those who want to learn more about the Liturgy of the Hours and how to pray this prayer of the Church, see our post here about a special book written by Daria Sockey on doing just that, thoroughly explained in an easy to read and easy to follow text, a combination of prayer aide and catechesis, which makes it very accessible to the everyday Catholic like you and me.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • $1650412

    Thank you for posting this! This morning in my meditation I was struck by the psalm that exhorts us to sing a new song of glory and praise to Our God because He has displayed His salvation throughout the world, to all the nations- and here is what seems like a song from the prayers of the universal Church about the glory of our race, Our Heavenly Queen and example of perfect submission to the will of Our God for our good- on this day of all days, the feast of her Immaculate Conception- may the fulfillment of all desire be made manifest in all of us according to the message of angels!

  • jack g.

    I also wanted to chip in with a special devotion. Today at noon till 1pm, our Lady gave us a special hour of grace for all faithful. You can read about it here and it comes with plenary indulgence by Pope Benedict in 2005. With Jesus and Mary, jack g.

    • Becky Ward

      Hey Jack….this link takes me to the page for the “Mystical Rose at Montichiari” page….another reader has posted that the Church has stated these are not to be trusted or spread…….where is the indulgence by Pope Benedict in 2005?  I don’t see any references newer than the last century………? 

      • jack g.

        I didn’t know how else to answer your question. I didn’t have time to check Daniel’s news yet. If so, let it be, but the indulgence is in connection with the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is never too much prayer and as far as private revelations, many times there are opposing opinions within the same body of The Church, so sometimes it is confusing. To me like Pope Urban said it is better to believe and be wrong than not believe and miss on the truth. So John Paul II in the 80′ left it to the faithful, where there is no need for Imprimatur, as long as the revelation does not teach contrary to the teaching of the Church. I will look into it anyway. There is nothing wrong with an hour of prayers and it is not against the teaching in any way. jack g.
        VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2005 ( Benedict XVI is offering the faithful a plenary indulgence on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8,the 40th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council.
        The indulgence was announced in a decree published in Latin on Tuesday, signed by Cardinal James Stafford and Conventual Franciscan Father John Girotti, penitentiary major and regent, respectively, of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
        The document establishes that when the Pope renders public homage to Mary Immaculate in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna, he “has the heartfelt desire that the entire Church should join him, so that all the faithful, united in the name of the common Mother, become ever stronger in the faith, adhere with greater devotion to Christ, and love their brothers with more fervent charity.”
        “From here — as Vatican Council II very wisely taught — arise works of mercy toward the needy, observance of justice, and the defense of and search for peace,” adds the decree.

        For this reason, the decree continues, the Holy Father “has kindly granted the gift of plenary indulgence which may be obtained under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, on the forthcoming solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by the faithful if they participate in a sacred function in honor of the Virgin, or at least offer open testimony of Marian devotion before an image of Mary Immaculate exposed for public veneration, adding the recitation of the Our Father and of the Creed, and some invocation to the Virgin.”At homeThe document concludes by recalling that faithful who “through illness or other just cause” are unable to participate in a public ceremony or to venerate an image of the Virgin, “may obtain a plenary indulgence in their own homes, or wherever they may be, if, with the soul completely removed from any form of sin, and with the intention of observing the aforesaid conditions as soon as possible, they unite themselves in spirit and in desire to the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions in prayer to Mary Immaculate, and recite the Our Father and the Creed.”On Dec. 8, 1965, Pope Paul VI, in closing Vatican II, dedicated great praise to the Blessed Virgin who, as Mother of Christ, is Mother of God and spiritual Mother of all mankind.

        • Becky Ward

          Well………the link you posted did not lead to the indulgence for the feast of the Immaculate Conception……and it clearly states that the indulgence is in reference to the article you linked to.

          I’m just a fellow traveler on this site……..yet I am a mom…….and as a mom who is in in love with Jesus…… I am fiercely protective of those I consider ‘my own’……and that includes the readers of this site.

          It is all too easy for the devil to interfere and deceive us. That’s why the Church is so cautious about private revelation.

          I totally understand where you are coming from as one in the midst of conversion…..and it’s great to hear your story. However – I believe that we all have an obligation to one another on this site….and to Dan & Fr. John who work so hard to provide  trustworthy information… limit what we choose to share here to that which we know for certain is in compliance with the teachings of the Church.

          Dan mentioned in an article not long ago that he normally does not allow links – because he can’t check them all out or speak to the reliability of them. I’m guilty of posting links that I haven’t checked out – even though I do believe them to be safe. But souls are at stake here…..truly…….and so I’m making a pledge right now that I will not post any links unless I am certain that there is nothing on the site that could be a concern.

          I’m thinking maybe you just posted the wrong link…… accident……..but I believe that all things are providential….and maybe this serves as a reminder to be careful. God will hold us accountable if anyone is led astray through our hasty actions.

          Will you join me in this pledge?

          • Becky – I appreciate your charitable approach to this. The best way I know of to check links out is through Catholic Culture’s site review function. The folks over there are rock solid. Here’s the link for site reviews: Another approach is to go to and use their search function. They also have a solid theological team that provides insights into these questions.

          • LizEst

            Thanks for that site link. That’s very useful.

          • jack g.

            It is funny how we run out of room in the reply column. I have no problem with the pledge, but did you think that maybe it was good to have this happen so just maybe it can help discern. Let’s say I did not have this info, then Daniel would not, too and so on. It is a healthy discussion and nothing wrong with that. I will look into it and then I may have more to say. For now I am going to use Dan’s advice and go from there. Yet again I have to state that in the link I gave, there is nothing wrong, just the report of alleged apparitions. 
            Also Pope Paul VI’s directive on Octover 14, 1966, states that with the abolition of Canons 1399 and 2318 of the former Canonical Code: “Publications about new appearances, revelations, prophecies, miracles, etc., have been allowed to be distributed and read by the faithful without the express permission of the Church and no longer require a ‘Nihil Obstat’ or ‘Imprimatur,’ providing they contain nothing which contravenes faith and morals.”
            Finally, we also abide by what Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) stated:
            “In cases which concern private revelations, it is better to believe, for if you believe and it was proven true, you will be happy that you have believed because our Holy Mother Church asked it. If you believe and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if proven true, because you believed it to be true. ‘Blessed are they who believed and yet have not seen’ (John 20:29).” 

          • Becky Ward

            I noted, and understood your comment about Pope Urban VIII in your first reply.
            My concern is that too few Catholics know what constitutes something against their faith – we don’t know our faith!!
            We also underestimate the influence of the evil one……who will tell us 99 truths in order to get in one lie, or as another writer put it, he’ll give us a handful of sapphires to prevent us from finding the diamond (Christ).

            There are apparitions of demonic nature…..believeing in and following them can be disastrous. 

            Just sayin’………

          • Becky Ward

            Yes…..I had considered that it was good that this happened……that’s what I meant by, “all things are providential.”


  • Danielm

    Certainly pray much, but the news isn’t hopeful for
    those who support the apparitions…/rosamyst.htmlResources
    for alleged apparitions at Fontanelle di Montichiari (“Rosa Mystica”)Bruno
    Foresti – Archbishop of BresciaProtocol No.
    109/97DECLARATIONHaving seen the declaration of 30th June 1968,
    with which my predecessor of beloved memory, Bishop Luigi Morstabilini, strongly
    deplored that in the locality of Fontanelle di Montichiari, a devotion had been
    fostered and he went so far as to exhort all the faithful not to support
    either with publications or with pilgrimages the spreading of these devotions.
    They are founded on an interpretation of events which has not been objectively
    checked nor responsibly evaluated, therefore they are not
    approved.Having taken note of all that I stated in the declaration
    of the 15th October 1984 in which I made public that the so called apparitions
    of the Madonna “Mystical Rose” at Montichiari “do not present reasons for
    credibility,” therefore the associated devotion “is not approved and may not be
    practised nor fostered” and that “whoever fosters it, by spreading publications
    or organising pilgrimages …. upsets the believers’ faith causing them to act
    against the guidelines of the Church.”On account of the many requests
    which continuously come from both Italy and abroadI
    reiterateWhat has been affirmed by me and by my
    predecessorBrescia, 19th February 1997+ Bruno
    ForestiDIOCESAN CHANCELLERYsec. Luigi Pezzotti

    • Becky Ward

      Thank you for this!

    • jack g.

      Hi Daniel, I have checked with Thank you Dan. They confirmed your info correct, so I am sorry for the unnecessary fuss, although my previous statements are also correct, for I was using advice of the Popes. All said, next time I will make sure that info is up to date on my part. I also apologize to anyone offended by misinformation. Thanks for the input from All.
      As for private revelations, if we took away many fruits of their existence we would be in trouble. I think that God keeps on revealing Himself through private revelations and we need to be as sane for approving them, as dismissing them. 
      Private revelations are a big part of Catholic spirituality and make it so much richer, so plain dismissal of them is wrong, too. Imagine Catholic spirituality without Saints. Obviously all devotions should take us to Jesus and to the Greatest Miracle in the Mass, He is the one approving many revelations, therefore we need to be respectful of our Lords decisions. 
      Having said that we need to include this in spiritual direction, not sweep it under the carpet. As long as we can keep the discussion in a charitable spirit. jack g.

      • Thanks Jack – love your energy

      • Becky Ward

        Jack…… (gently) not sweeping them under the rug at all, but rather, following the example of Our Lady who pondered these things in her heart.

        I’ve done a lot reading about Our Lady’s apparitions – as I would imagine most readers on this site have – and the ones that are of God always tell us the same things, pray…fast…….follow and listen to her Son.

        I’m with Dan…I love your energy…and the way you sign your comments….In the love of Jesus.

  • Sharon

    I think that your posts are very sensible becky. I don’t think that this forum should be used by those promoting private revelations whether or not they have been approved by the Magisterium.

    • jack g.

      With all due respect I wonder what would St. Faustina think of that or Jesus for that matter. Private revelations are part of our spirituality more than any other private information exchanged here.  A healthy disscussion might be just that, it does not to go anywhere else. I am going to go pray for wisdom and leave that to Dan and Fr. John. 

  • martha

    The purpose of all revalation whether public or private is knowledge of God. let us not get derailed and spend our energy arguing but live the spirit of the revelation. WHICH IS Love of God and neighbour. ‘If you love me , keep my commandments’

  • Terry

    Beautiful. So honored to have her as our mother. Thank you Lord.

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