The celebration of the conception of the Blessed Virgin without original sin is the national feast day of the United States.


Bishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States consecrated the United States to the Immaculate Conception in 1792. This might come as a surprise to those who remember that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was not proclaimed officially until Pope Pius IX issued Ineffabilis Deus (Ineffable God) on December 8, 1854.

The dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception refers to the fact that by a special grace of God when Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, whom tradition calls St. Anne, she was conceived without original sin, as would be appropriate for the one chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Although the dogma was not proclaimed officially until 1854, the feast has a long history in the church.

Read more from Bishop Kevin Farrell

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