Monday, 3 December 2012

What most Catholics are not aware, that it is generally held, Jeremias and and St. John Baptist were both born without sin. They were sanctified in their mother's womb before birth. The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic dogma, the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus without any stain ("macula" in Latin) of original sin. The dogma thus says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin.[1] In the words of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, "she was free from any personal or hereditary sin" [2] Her immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, by normal sexual intercourse, should not be confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of her son Jesus. (though it is generally held that Jeremias and John the Baptist received it before birth, but not at conception); The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant e.g. Italy. In the Philippines, although this is not a public holiday, the predominance of Catholic Schools make it almost a holiday. The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854. The Roman Catholic Church believes the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g. Mary's being greeted by Angel Gabriel as "full of grace" or "highly favoured"), as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of many[who?] of the Church Fathers[citation needed] , as well as sensus fidei and often calls Mary the Blessed Virgin (Luke 1:48). Catholic theology maintains that, since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat. (Ott, Fund., Bk 3, Pt. 3, Ch. 2, §3.1.e). The main objection stated by theologians such as Anselm (d.1109), Bernard (d.1153), Aquinas (d.1274), and Bonaventure (d. 1274) was that it removes Mary from the company of those needing salvation, thus detracting from the universality of Christ's redemptive work... Scriptural sources A series of articles on Roman Catholic Mariology General articles Overview of Mariology • Veneration of the Blessed Virgin • History of Mariology • Mariology of the saints • Mariology of the popes • Encyclicals & Apostolic Letters • Marian Movements & Societies Devotions Rosary • Immaculate Heart • 7 Sorrows • Acts of Reparation Dogmas and Doctrines Doctrines • Mother of God • Perpetual virginity • Immaculate Conception • Assumption • Mother of the Church • Mediatrix • Co-Redemptrix Expressions of devotion Art • Music • Architecture Key Marian apparitions (approved or worthy of belief) Guadalupe • Miraculous Medal • La Salette • Lourdes • Pontmain • Laus • Banneux • Beauraing • F├ítima In his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (8 December 1854), which officially defined the Immaculate Conception as dogma for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX primarily appealed to the text of Genesis 3:15, where the serpent was told by God, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed". According to the Roman Catholic understanding, this was a prophecy that foretold of a "woman" who would always be at enmity with the serpent—that is, a woman who would never be under the power of sin, nor in bondage to the serpent. Some Roman Catholic theologians[who?] have also claimed the angel Gabriel's salutation to Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28) as scriptural evidence for the Immaculate Conception. The verse "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee", "Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est in te" (Vulgate[10]), from the Song of Solomon (4.7) was also regarded as a scriptural confirmation of the doctrine, and as "macula" is Latin for "spot" or "stain", is probably responsible for its name. The early Church Fathers compared Mary to Eve. St. Justin Martyr said that Mary was a kind of New Eve, "in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin". (Dialogue with Trypho, 100) Tertullian argued in a similar manner: "As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced". (On the Flesh of Christ, 17) St. Irenaeus declared that Mary became "the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race", because "what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith". (Against Heresies, Book III, cap. 22, 4) St. Jerome coined the phrase, "Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary", (Letter XXII, To Eustochium, 21). The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907, however, states that these scriptures merely serve as corroborative evidence assuming that the dogma is already well established, and that there is insufficient evidence to prove the dogma to someone basing their beliefs solely on biblical interpretation: No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. ... The Proto-evangelium [Genesis 3:15], therefore, in the original text contains a direct promise of the Redeemer, and...the perfect preservation of His virginal Mother from original sin. The salutation of the angel Gabriel—chaire kecharitomene, Hail, full of grace...finds its explanation only in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. But the term kecharitomene (full of grace) serves only as an illustration, not as a proof of the dogma. ― [2] Other verses sometimes used to defend the Immaculate Conception include: "And you shall make the ark of testimony of incorruptible wood, and you shall gild it with pure gold, you shall gild it within and without; and you shall make for it golden wreaths twisted round about." (Exodus 25:10-11 Brenton LXX) "So I made an ark of boards of incorruptible wood, and I hewed tables of stone like the first, and I went up to the mountain, and the two tables were in my hand." (Deuteronomy 10:3 Brenton LXX) Other translations use the words "setim", "acacia", "indestructible", and "hard" to describe the wood used. In any case, Moses used this wood because it was regarded as very durable and "incorruptible". Mary is regarded by Catholic and Orthodox Christians as being the Ark of the Covenant in the New Testament and therefore claim it is fitting that the New Ark likewise be made "incorruptible" or "immaculate". Their basis for calling the Virgin Mary the Ark of the Covenant is based partly on the parallels of the Ark in Second Samuel 6 with the Nativity narrative of the Gospel of Luke. The early Church Fathers called Christ, the Church, and the Virgin Mary each at one point as being symbolized by the Ark. [11] Wikipedia, Attwater a Catholic Dictionary, Harpercollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism

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