History of the Dogma
Dr. Mark Miraville, S.T.D

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which was solemnly defined by an infallible pronouncement of Bl. Pius IX in 1854, proclaims that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Mary’s preservation from all stain of sin or its effects was a singular grace and privilege of God the Father in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the universal Redeemer of humanity.

Before examining the full solemn pronouncement of Bl. Pius IX (which was issued through an exercise of the papal charism of infallibility by which the Vicar of Christ is protected from error by the power of the Holy Spirit), let us first examine the revealed seeds of this dogma as they are first contained in Scripture and Tradition.

From Sacred Scripture we have two principal passages that present the implicit seed of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. In Genesis 3:15, after Adam and Eve commit the original sin, God addresses Satan, who is represented by the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel.” Since the “seed” of the woman is Jesus Christ, who is to crush Satan victoriously in the Redemption, then the woman must in fact refer to Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, from whom the seed of victory comes.

The word “enmity,” which is rich in meaning in this passage, signifies a complete and radical opposition. The enmity God established between the “seed” of the woman, which is Jesus, and the “seed” of the serpent, which is sin and all evil angels and humans, is an absolute opposition, because there is absolute enmity between Jesus and all evil.

We see the identical God-given opposition or enmity established by God between the woman, Mary, and the serpent, Satan. Mary is given the same absolute and perpetual opposition to Satan as Jesus possesses in relation to sin. It is for this reason that Mary could not have received a fallen nature as a result of original sin. Any participation in the effects of original sin would place the Mother of Jesus in at least partial participation with Satan and sin, thereby destroying the complete God-given enmity as revealed in Genesis 3:15.

God reveals in this Genesis passage that the woman who will give birth to the seed of victory in the future will be in total separation from Satan and sin. Since original sin and its effects constitute a form of union with Satan and his seed, this passage prophesies the future woman free from sin and “immaculate” (sine macula, without stain).

The New Testament inspired seed for the Immaculate Conception is revealed in the words of the Angel Gabriel, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). In the angelic greeting, Mary’s name is nowhere used. Rather, the title “full of grace” is used as a substitute for Mary’s name by the angelic messenger of God. These words refer to a fullness of grace, a plenitude of grace that is part of Mary’s very nature. So much is Mary’s very being full of grace that this title serves to identify Mary in the place of her own name, which, biblically, always expresses the person.

It is also true that no person with a fallen nature could possess a fullness of grace, a perfection of grace appropriate only for the woman who was to give God the Son an identical, immaculate human nature. Mary was conceived in the plan of God to be the woman who would give her own immaculate nature to God when God became man. Certainly we can see the appropriateness of God receiving a human nature from a human mother, and receiving an immaculate nature from a truly immaculate mother.

The Greek text of Luke 1:28 manifests an additional support for Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The Greek word “kecharitomene,” is a perfect participle, which in Greek denotes an action completed in the past which bears a relevance to the present. We translate Luke 1:28 most accurately, “Hail (or rejoice), you who have been perfected in grace” (or Hail, you who have been fully graced), which refers to an action of profound or perfecting grace, which has taken place in the past, but which remains relevant to the present, i.e., the Immaculate Conception. Note that this part of the angel’s greeting comes before any mention of the invitation to become the Mother of Jesus, and therefore the angelic reference to her perfection of grace is not due directly to her future “yes” to be the Mother of the Savior, but to an action of perfecting grace completed in the past (1).


Patristic Development of the Immaculate Conception

These biblical seeds of the Immaculate Conception blossomed gradually but steadily in the Tradition of the Church. The early Church Fathers refer to Mary under such titles as “all holy,” “all pure,” “most innocent,” “a miracle of grace,” “purer than the angels,” “altogether without sin,” and do so within the first three centuries of the Church (2). As the word “immaculate” signifies “without sin,” these titles used for Mary by the early Fathers, such as “altogether without sin,” contain the essential understanding of her immaculate nature (3).

Moreover, the early Fathers of the Church also compared the Mother of God’s sinless state as being identical to Eve’s spiritual state before her participation in original sin. Mary, the New Eve was acknowledged to be in the same state of original grace and justice that Eve had initially experienced when she was created by God. Since Eve was obviously conceived in grace, without the fallen nature that we receive due to original sin, this parallel made by the Church Fathers illustrates their grasp of Mary’s nature.

For example, St. Ephraem (d.373) writes: “Those two innocent…women, Mary and Eve, had been (created) utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.” St. Ephraem also refers to Mary’s sinlessness in this address to Our Lord: “You and your Mother are the only ones who are immune from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, O Lord, nor any taint in Your Mother” (4).

References to Mary’s Immaculate Conception became more and more explicit and developed throughout the first millennium of Christianity. To quote a few examples:

St. Ambrose (d.397) refers to the Blessed Virgin as “free from all stain of sin” (5).

St. Severus, Bishop of Antioch (d.538) states: “She (Mary)…formed part of the human race, and was of the same essence as we, although she was pure from all taint and immaculate” (6).

St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (d.638), refers to Mary’s pre-purification in this address to the Virgin: “You have found the grace which no one has received…. No one has been pre-purified besides you” (7).

St. Andrew of Crete (d.740) tells us that the Redeemer chose “in all nature this pure and entirely Immaculate Virgin” (8).

Theognostes of Constantinople (c.885) makes explicit reference to Mary’s sanctification as taking place at the moment of conception: “It was fitting indeed that she who from the beginning had been conceived by a sanctifying action…should also have a holy death…holy, the beginning…holy, the end, holy her whole existence” (9).

The patristic testimony to the gradually explicit understanding of the Immaculate Conception assists in correcting the misunderstanding that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception began with the infallible declaration of Bl. Pius IX in 1854. The patristic references to the Immaculate Conception within the first millennium of the Church offer historical witness to the maturing understanding of this dogmatic truth present in the Church’s living Tradition.

As the doctrine continued to mature at the beginning of the second millennium, major theological controversies arose concerning the doctrine, particularly in the West, not due to any desire to prevent this honor from being given to the Mother of Jesus, but rather because it appeared to oppose other theories maintained at that time, but later proven to be incorrect.

For example, St. Bernard of Clairvaux thought the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception violated the manner in which original sin was transmitted, in St. Bernard’s view, from the infected body of the parents to the soul of the child. Later theologians, like the Franciscan Bl. John Duns Scotus (d.1308) would clarify that original sin is not transmitted from the infected body of the parents to the soul of the child, but rather from an absence of sanctifying grace in the soul at conception as a result of original sin. Other theologians were concerned about the universality of the Redemption of Jesus Christ, objecting: “if Mary was immaculately conceived, then she did not need to be saved by Jesus Christ” (10). While some of these objections continued for centuries, the Papal Magisterium gradually responded and corrected these misconceptions, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with the assistance of theological clarifications of other great Mariologists, such as Bl. John Duns Scotus.

Papal Definition of the Immaculate Conception

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Magisterium had settled all principal objections, and petitions began flowing into the Vatican from cardinals, bishops, priests, laity, and various heads of state requesting the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception. After consulting with the bishops of the world and establishing a theological commission to study the question, Bl. Pius IX decided to proclaim the doctrine as a solemn dogma on December 8, 1854.

The papal document Ineffabilis Deus in 1854 proclaims as follows:

We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, was preserved immune from all stain of sin, by a singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was revealed by God and must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful.

The charism of papal infallibility is that gift of the Holy Spirit which protects the pope in his office as successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth from error regarding a final pronouncement on faith and morals. When speaking ex cathedra (“from the chair,” or in his official capacity as head of the Church on earth), the Holy Spirit protects the pope from any error in safeguarding the deposit of faith and morals entrusted to the Church (11).

In this concise ex cathedra definition, Bl. Pope Pius IX summarizes several foundational elements regarding the Mother of God’s Immaculate Conception. First, it states that Mary, from the moment her soul was created and infused into her body (which is known as passive conception), was preserved from the effects of original sin and, thereby, entered human existence in the state of sanctifying grace.

Due to the sin of our first human parents, all human beings are conceived in a deprived state without the sanctifying grace in their souls that God had originally intended. Hence, there is the need for sacramental Baptism which restores the life of grace in the soul. Belief in Mary’s Immaculate Conception is most reasonable, if we remember that it was God’s original intention that all mankind be conceived in sanctifying grace and begin their existence in the family of God. It was only as a result of original sin that we are now conceived in a state deprived of sanctifying grace. Mary, rather than being the exception, fulfills in a real sense the original intention of what God wanted for all his human children: to be members of his family from the first moment of their existence.

Bl. Pius IX confirms that this preservation from original sin for the Blessed Virgin Mary was nonetheless “a singular privilege.” The definition testifies that the Immaculate Conception was a unique privilege given by the all-powerful God to Mary alone. This free gift from God prepared Mary to be the stainless Mother of God-made-man. It fittingly allowed Mary to give Jesus an immaculate human nature, identical to her own, which respects the law of motherhood. For we know that God the Son could not be united to a stained fallen nature when he became man. Moreover, Mary would not suffer any of the effects of original sin, and therefore would retain the three major sets of gifts granted by God to Adam and Eve: the natural gift of a human body, soul, intellect, and will; the principal preternatural gifts of a certain infused knowledge regarding the providence of God, a perfect harmony between reason and the emotions (which the scholastics called integrity), and the natural immortality of the body; and the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace in original justice (12).

Mary’s Preservative Redemption


A critical element of the papal definition states that this unique gift to Mary was granted “in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.” Mary received sanctifying grace at conception through an application of the saving graces that Jesus merited for all humanity on the Cross. Mary was redeemed by Jesus Christ as every human being must be.

Once again, it was the question of the universal Redemption of Jesus Christ that led several noted theologians during the scholastic period of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to have difficulties in understanding and accepting the Immaculate Conception. Many theologians viewed Mary’s gift of sanctifying grace at conception as running contrary to Scripture passages, such as Romans 5, which refer to Christ’s need to redeem all humanity because of original sin and its effects. It was the insightful contribution of Bl. Duns Scotus (d.1308) who solved this theological misunderstanding with the principle of what is called “Preservative Redemption.”

Preservative Redemption explains that Mary’s preservation from original sin was an application by God of the saving graces merited by Jesus Christ on Calvary. Mary was redeemed at the moment of her conception through sanctifying grace by an application of Jesus’ merits on Calvary. God, being out of time, has the power to apply the graces of Redemption to individuals in different times of history and did so to Mary at the first moment of her existence.

That the Blessed Virgin’s soul was preserved from original sin at the moment of conception does not mean that Mary had no need of the Redemption of Jesus; rather, Mary owed more to the Redemption of Jesus than anyone else. In fact, Mary received from her Son a higher form of redemption. All other human beings are redeemed after they have received a fallen nature, through sacramental Baptism. Mary, on the contrary, was redeemed by the grace of Jesus at her conception, the grace which prevented Mary from ever receiving a fallen nature. Hence, the grace of Jesus redeemed Mary at conception before her nature was in any way affected by sin. Thus, we rightly say that Mary owed more to Christ than anyone else. Through the graces of Jesus at Calvary, Mary never received a fallen nature but was sanctified and thereby redeemed from the first instance of her existence.

This theological contribution by Bl. Duns Scotus helped many a theologian to see the profound complementarity between the universal Redemption of Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Conception of his Mother. In short, Mary needed to be saved, and was saved in an exalted way by her Son (13).

The splendor of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is echoed in these words of the Second Vatican Council:

It is no wonder then that it was customary for the Fathers to refer to the Mother of God as all holy and free from every stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature. Enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness, the virgin of Nazareth is hailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as “full of grace” (cf. Lk 1:28) (Lumen Gentium, No. 56).

This article was excerpted from Introduction to Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Queenship, Third Edition, June 2006, and is available from Queenship Publishing at 1-800-647-9882, www.queenship.org., or P.O. Box 220, Goleta, California, 93116, U.S.A.

Notes

(1) Cf. Carol, Fundamentals, p. 90.

(2) Cf. Bl. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus.

(3) Ibid.

(4) St. Ephraem, Sermones exegetici, opera omnia syriace et latine, 2, Rome, 1740, 327.

(5) St. Ambrose, Exposito in Psalm 118, Sermon 22, No. 30, PL 15, 1599.

(6) St. Severus, Hom., cathedralis, 67, PO, 8, 350.

(7) St. Sophronius, Oral in Deiparae Annunt., 25, PG 87, 3246-3247.

(8) St. Andrew, Hom. 1 in Nativ. Deiparae, PG 97, 913-914.

(9) Theognostes, Hom. in Dorm. Deiparae, PO, Graffin-Nau, 16, 467.

(10) The other principal objection to the Immaculate Conception in the scholastic age was based on the misunderstood notion of how original sin was transmitted. Since they erroneously held that original sin was transmitted from an infected body to the soul once the soul was created and infused, then Mary would have contracted original sin from the fallen nature of St. Anne, her mother. It was Bl. Duns Scotus who correctly clarified that original sin consisted rather in the absence of sanctifying grace in the soul at conception, a deprivation caused by the sin of Adam and Eve. Hence, Mary, by the merits of Jesus Christ, was granted that gift of sanctifying grace in her soul at conception.

(11) Cf. Mt 16:18; Jn 21:15-17; Lk 22:32; cf. also Lumen Gentium, No. 25, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 891.

(12) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, Q. 94-101.

(13) Cf. Burghart, S.J., “Mary in Eastern Patristic Thought,” Mariology, II; Aidan Carr, O.F.M.Conv., “Mary’s Immaculate Conception,” Mariology, Vol. I; Michael O’Carroll C.S.Sp., “Immaculate Conception,” Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Delaware, Michael Glazier, Inc., 1983; Carol, Fundamentals, p. 90-115

Used with permission from http://www.markmiravalle.com/uncategorized/12/introduction-to-the-immaculate-conception/


Links Regarding the History of the Dogma
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryc3a.htm
http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/kimmac.html

Papal Documents

Ineffabilis Deus
- Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius IX
Ad Diem Illum - Encyclical Letter by Pope Pius X


Prayer of Bl. John Paul II
December 8, 2002

1. "Hail Mary, full of grace!"
Immaculate Virgin, here I am at your feet once again,
full of devotion and gratitude.
I return to this historic Piazza di Spagna
on the solemn day of your feast
to pray for the beloved city of Rome,
for the Church, for the whole world.
In you, "humble and highest of creatures",
divine grace had the full victory over evil.
You are for us, pilgrims on the paths of the world,
the bright model of evangelical fidelity
and the ever-living pledge of sure hope.

2. Virgin Mother, "Salvation of the Roman People!"
Watch over, I pray you, the beloved Diocese of Rome:
over pastors and faithful, parishes and religious communities.
Watch over families especially:
may love sealed by the Sacrament ever reign between spouses,
may children walk on the paths of goodness and true freedom,
may the elderly feel surrounded by attention and affection.
Inspire, Mary, in so many young hearts,
generous replies to the "call for the mission",
a subject on which the diocese has
been reflecting over the years.
Thanks to an intense pastoral program for vocations,
may Rome be enriched by new young forces,
dedicated with enthusiasm to proclaiming the Gospel
in the city and in the world.

3. Blessed Virgin, Queen of Apostles!
Assist those who through study
and prayer are preparing to labor
on the many frontiers of the new evangelization.
Today I entrust to you, in a special way,
the community of the Pontifical Urban College,
whose historic headquarters are located in front of this pillar.
May this wonderful institution founded 375 years ago
by Pope Urban VIII for the formation of missionaries,
be able to continue effectively its ecclesial service.
May those it gathers, seminarians and priests,
men and women religious and laity,
be ready to put their energies at the disposition
of Christ in service of the Gospel to the far corners of the globe.

4. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!"
Pray, O Mother, for all of us.
Pray for humanity for those who suffers poverty and injustice,
violence and hatred, terror and war.
Help us to contemplate with the rosary
the mysteries of Him who "is our peace",
so that we will all feel involved
in a persevering dedication of service to peace.
Look with special attention
upon the land in which you gave birth to Jesus,
a land that you loved together with Him,
and that is still so sorely tried today.
Pray for us, Mother of hope!
"Give us days of peace, watch over our way.
Let us see your Son as we rejoice in heaven". Amen!

Prayer of Benedict XVI
December 8, 2006

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin,

Again this year, with filial love, we meet at the foot of your image to renew to you the homage of the Christian community and of the city of Rome. Let us pause in prayer here, following the tradition inaugurated by previous Popes, on the solemn day in which the liturgy celebrates your Immaculate Conception, a mystery that is a source of joy and hope for all the redeemed.

We greet you and call upon you with the Angel's words: "full of grace" (Lk 1: 28), the most beautiful name that God himself has called you from eternity.

"Full of grace" are you, Mary, full of divine love from the very first moment of your existence, providentially predestined to be Mother of the Redeemer and intimately connected to him in the mystery of salvation.

In your Immaculate Conception shines forth the vocation of Christ's disciples, called to become, with his grace, saints and immaculate through love (cf. Eph 1: 4). In you shines the dignity of every human being who is always precious in the Creator's eyes.

Those who look to you, All Holy Mother, never lose their serenity, no matter what the hardships of life.

Although the experience of sin is a sad one since it disfigures the dignity of God's children, anyone who turns to you discovers the beauty of truth and love and finds the path that leads to the Father's house.

"Full of grace", are you, Mary, which, welcoming with your "yes" to the Creator's plan, opened to us the path of salvation. Teach us also at your school to say our "yes" to the Lord's will. Let it be a "yes" that joins with your own "yes", without reservations or shadows, a "yes" that the Heavenly Father willed to have need of in order to beget the new Man, Christ, the one Saviour of the world and of history.

Give us the courage to say "no" to the deceptions of power, money, pleasure; to dishonest earnings, corruption and hypocrisy, to selfishness and violence; "no" to the Evil One, the deceitful prince of this world; to say "yes" to Christ, who destroys the power of evil with the omnipotence of love. We know that only hearts converted to Love, which is God, can build a better future for all.

"Full of grace", are you, Mary! For all generations your name is a pledge of sure hope. Yes! Because as the great poet, Dante, wrote, for us mortals you are "a source of living hope" (Paradise, XXXIII, 12). Let us come once again as trusting pilgrims to draw faith and comfort, joy and love, safety and peace from this source, the wellspring of your Immaculate Heart.

Virgin "full of grace", show yourself to be a tender and caring Mother to those who live in this city of yours, so that the true Gospel spirit may enliven and guide their conduct; show yourself as Mother and watchful keeper of Italy and Europe, so that people may draw from their ancient Christian roots fresh vigour to build their present and their future; show yourself as a provident and merciful Mother to the whole world so that, by respecting human dignity and rejecting every form of violence and exploitation, sound foundations may be laid for the civilization of love.

Show yourself as Mother, especially to those most in need: the defenceless, the marginalized and outcasts, to the victims of a society that all too often sacrifices the human person for other ends and interests.

Show yourself, O Mary, as Mother of all, and give us Christ, the Hope of the world! "Monstra Te esse Matrem", O Virgin Immaculate, full of grace! Amen!

NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Begins November 30th to end on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8)

First, recite the Prayer to the Immaculate Conception.
Then, recite the appropriate prayer of each of the nine days.


Prayer to the Immaculate Conception

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.

Amen.

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Day One

O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession. O most Holy Mother, who by your blessed Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of your conception did crush the head of the enemy, receive our prayers as we implore you to present at the throne of God the favor we now request...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.
Amen.

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Day Two

O Mary, ever blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Queen of angels and of saints, we salute you with the most profound veneration and filial devotion as we contemplate your holy Immaculate Conception, We thank you for your maternal protection and for the many blessings that we have received through your wondrous mercy and most powerful intercession. In all our necessities we have recourse to you with unbounded confidence. O Mother of Mercy, we beseech you now to hear our prayer and to obtain for us of your Divine Son the favor that we so earnestly request in this novena...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.
Amen.

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Day Three

O Blessed Virgin Mary, glory of the Christian people, joy of the universal Church and Mother of Our Lord, speak for us to the Heart of Jesus, who is your Son and our brother. O Mary, who by your holy Immaculate Conception did enter the world free from stain, in your mercy obtain for us from Jesus the special favor which we now so earnestly seek...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.
Amen.

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Day Four

O Mary, Mother of God, endowed in your glorious Immaculate Conception with the fullness of grace; unique among women in that you are both mother and virgin; Mother of Christ and Virgin of Christ, we ask you to look down with a tender heart from your throne and listen to our prayers as we earnestly ask that you obtain for us the favor for which we now plead...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

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Day Five

O Lord, who, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, did prepare a fitting dwelling for your Son, we beseech you that as by the foreseen death of your Son, you did preserve her from all stain of sin, grant that through her intercession, we may be favored with the granting of the grace that we seek for at this time...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

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Day Six

Glorious and immortal Queen of Heaven, we profess our firm belief in your Immaculate Conception preordained for you in the merits of your Divine Son. We rejoice with you in your Immaculate Conception. To the one ever-reigning God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in Person, one in nature, we offer thanks for your blessed Immaculate Conception. O Mother of the Word made Flesh, listen to our petition as we ask this special grace during this novena...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

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Day Seven

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, and my mother, from the sublime heights of your dignity turn your merciful eyes upon me while I, full of confidence in your bounty and keeping in mind your Immaculate conception and fully conscious of your power, beg of you to come to our aid and ask your Divine Son to grant the favor we earnestly seek in this novena... if it be beneficial for our immortal souls and the souls for whom we pray.
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

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Day Eight

O Most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, intercede with him for us that we be granted the favor which we petition for so earnestly in this novena...O Mother of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. O Glorious Mother of God, in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception, hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

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Day Nine

O Mother of the King of the Universe, most perfect member of the human race, "our tainted nature’s solitary boast," we turn to you as mother, advocate, and mediatrix. O Holy Mary, assist us in our present necessity. By your Immaculate Conception, O Mary conceived without sin, we humbly beseech you from the bottom of our heart to intercede for us with your Divine Son and ask that we be granted the favor for which we now plead...
(State your intention here...)
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God,
that we, Thy servants, may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body: and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness.
Through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.



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