Understanding Our Namesake

The Immaculate Conception is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of Catholicism. Many believe the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That event, however, is celebrated on the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, nine months before Christmas. So what, then, is the Immaculate Conception?

The Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Mary in the womb of her own mother, Anna. Mary was conceived free from Original Sin from the very moment of her own conception. We celebrate Mary’s birth on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, nine months after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

Pope Pius IX wrote that “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

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Immaculate Conception Catholic Church    237 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston, RI 02920    Phone: 401.942.1854    Fax: 401.942.2897