Glorious Things Are Said of Thee

L’innocence, by Bouguereau

A happy and most glorious feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady! We would normally say that today is a Holy Day of Obligation so be sure to go to Mass, but since it’s Sunday anyway we needn’t remind you of the obligation. What is noteworthy is that this feast, being of the first class, supersedes the Sunday, and so, in one of those occasional twists of the liturgical calendar, we do not offer the Mass of the 2nd Sunday of Advent but rather commemorate it within the Mass of Our Lady (we are reminded of 2017 when the Vigil of Christmas superseded the 4th Sunday of Advent…).

Today we celebrate the unique privilege bestowed upon Our Lady of being preserved immaculate from all sin from the first moment of her conception. Save Our Lord, she alone among all human beings was free from the stain of sin throughout her life; she alone pleased God and obeyed His Will most perfectly at every moment; she alone was full of grace and adorned with every virtue to the greatest degree. She was indeed the most perfect dwelling place which God prepared for the Son He sent among us.

Our Lady, under her title of the Immaculate Conception, is the patroness of the United States of America, as unanimously decided by the Bishops of the United States in the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1846:

We take this occasion, brethren, to communicate to you the determination, unanimously adopted by us, to place ourselves, and all entrusted to our charge throughout these United States, under the special patronage of the holy Mother of God, whose Immaculate Conception is venerated by the piety of the faithful throughout the Catholic Church. By the aid of her prayers, we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry, and that you will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues, of which her life presents the most perfect example (Pastoral Letter of the 6th Provincial Council of Baltimore, 1846).

Today, then, is a most fitting day to pray for our country and for the flourishing of the Church in America. It is also fitting that so many of our American apostolates are under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, and we wish a happy patronal feast to them all: Colorado Springs, COEl Paso, TXOmaha, NE and Rapid City, SD! +

Gloriósa dicta sunt de te, María: quia fecit tibi magna qui potens est.

Glorious things are said of thee, O Mary, for He Who is mighty hath done great things for thee.

– the Communion for today

December 8, 2019