The Immaculate Conception

Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the United States

The Doctrine

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX pronounced and defined: 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 Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.

The Blessed Virgin Mary … — Mary at the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body was immune from original sin.

◊ … in the first instance of her conception … — Mary is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into her body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her existence, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.

◊ … was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin …— Thus Original sin was not removed from Mary’s soul, as it is removed from other human beings by baptism; it was excluded, it was never in her soul. At the same time with the exclusion of sin, the state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all lower emotions, passions, and weaknesses, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded. [However, Mary was not exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam: sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death.]

◊ … by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.— Mary was given this immunity from original sin by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other human beings are washed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the Redeemer to obtain this exemption and be delivered from original sin.

The Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception is celebrated on the eighth of December.