'°*7%^ L. I. G. & M. I. CENNAD LLYDEWIG LLANRWST. f |r IJteenget of t|e Catholic Cjnitcji (Cam bro-Bret on Mission), Llanrwst. North Wales. Vol I. 8th December 1910. No. 14. «$> 4* 4p 4* 4? 4? 4? 4? 4? 4? 4? 4«* 4«* 4? 4? 4* 4? 4* 4? 4? 4* 4* 4c 4? 4* 4? 4* 4* 4* 4* 4«* 4? 4? 4? Sinl ess an a i mmacu late ! \ T ^ E celebrate to-day,—Thursday 8th December,—the Feast of the Immaculate Conception VV of the Blessed Virgin Mary ; in other words, we are on this day commemorating the fact of our Lady's conception without the stain of original sin. For this is an article of our holy Faith, taught in the Sacred Scriptures (v.g., St. Luke, i. 28, &c),—always believed by the Faithful from the earliest ages of Christianity,—and solemnly proclaimed by Pope Pius IX., speaking as head and teacher of the Church of God, to be among the doctrines revealed by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His Apostles. The Bull " Ineffabilis Deus " of Pope Pius IX. (8th December, 1854) declares effectively that." the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the very first instant of Her conception,—by a singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind,—was preserved free from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the Faithful." And let it not be said that this is a new teaching, for the feast of the Immaculate Conception had been celebrated since the seventh century, and the Fathers of the first five centuries either imply Mary's absolute sinlessness or set it forth in express terms (Vide, v.g., St. Ephrem's " Carmina Nisibena "). Truly, this dogma was not defined until the year 1854, but definition does not create a dogma but only puts it for evei out of the domain of controversy, as giving a divine, infallible witness to its truth. ... We believe then, as an article of faith, that the Blessed Virgin Maky is the only one of the human race, since the fall of our first parents, who has escaped the penalty of being stained with original sin. Of course, Christ redeemed Her as He redeemed us ; but, whereas He cleansed us from original sin, He prevented Maky from being stained by it ; and both these things He equally did through the merits of His death and passion. But why was Mary preserved from the stain of original sin ? When we consider Her eminent destiny,—to be the Mother of Goo Incarnate,—we cannot be surprised that She should be made the exception of the human race. God having taken entire possession of Her from the moment that He created Her soul and united it to Her body, She was also freed from con¬ cupiscence and ever after exempt from the least faults (Catholic Life, Washbourne). We ought to use all possible care to preserve in our own souls the sanctifying grace, which we received in Baptism or recovered by the Sacrament of Penance, that we may imitate the Blessed Virgin in the esteem She had of divine grace. If Christians could only realize what it is to lose the grace of God, what it is to be His enemy, they would not so easily commit or remain in mortal sin. " Blessed art Thou, 0 Virgin Mary, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel and the honour of our people. All fair art Thou, 0 Mary, and the first stain is not in Thee ! " G. M. Trebaol, O M.I.