Ego sum Immaculata Conceptio

Centocinquantacinque anni fa, era il Venerdì 8 dicembre 1854, fin dalle 6 del mattino furono aperte le porte della Basilica di San Pietro. Alle ore 8 la Basilica era gremita di fedeli, quasi 50.000. Alle 10 dalla Cappella Sistina si muove la lunga processione di 53 Cardinali, 43 Arcivescovi e 99 Vescovi, provenienti da tutto il mondo, diretta verso l’altare papale, ove il papa Pio IX celebrò la solenne santa Messa. Come di rito, al termine del canto del Vangelo in greco e poi in latino, il Cardinale Macchi, decano del Collegio Cardinalizio, si prostrò ai piedi del Pontefice domandando, con voce sorprendentemente energica, per i suoi 85 anni, il decreto sull’Immacolata Concezione della Beata Vergine Maria, “che avrebbe cagionato gioia in Cielo e il massimo entusiasmo sulla terra”.

Dopo il canto allo Spirito Santo del Veni Creator, il Papa, seduto sul trono, lesse con tono grave e voce alta la solenne definizione dogmatica: “A onore della santa e individua Trinità, a gloria e ornamento della Vergine Madre di Dio, per l’esaltazione della fede cattolica, e per l’incremento della religione cristiana, con l’autorità del Signore Nostro Gesù Cristo, dei beati Apostoli Pietro e Paolo, e Nostra, dichiariamo pronunciamo e definiamo che la dottrina, la quale ritiene che la beatissima Vergine Maria, nel primo istante della sua concezione, per singolare grazia e privilegio di Dio onnipotente, ed in vista dei meriti di Gesù Cristo Salvatore del genere umano, sia stata preservata immune da ogni macchia di colpa originale, è dottrina rivelata da Dio e perciò da credersi fermamente e ostantemente da tutti i fedeli”.

Dal momento in cui il Cardinale decano aveva fatto la richiesta della promulgazione del decreto fino al Te Deum cantato dopo la Messa Pontificale, al segno dato dal colpo di cannone esploso da Castel Sant’Angelo, e per lo spazio di una ora, tutte le campane di Roma suonarono a festa per celebrare un giorno così glorioso per la Chiesa e per l’umanità.

Tutti i presenti affermarono che, al momento solenne il papa Pio IX fu investito dall’alto da un fascio di luce che ne illuminò il volto solcato di lacrime. Alcuni studiosi attestano che in nessun periodo dell’anno, tanto meno di dicembre, da nessuna finestra della Basilica Vaticana un raggio di sole può scendere ad illuminare qualunque punto dell’abside, nella quale si trovava Pio IX. Questo induce a pensare che sia stato un segno soprannaturale, con cui il Cielo confermava l’atto dogmatico del Vicario di Cristo in terra.

“My Lady is beautiful, beautiful beyond compare; so beautiful that when one has seen her once, one would wish to die so as to see her again; so beautiful that when one has seen her, one can no longer love anything earthly.”

St. Bernadette

“Still more was it becoming that God should preserve her from Original Sin, for He destined her to crush the head of that infernal serpent, which, by seducing our first parents, entailed death upon all men; and this our Lord foretold: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head.” (Gen. 3: 15) But if Mary was to be that valiant woman brought into the world to conquer Lucifer, certainly it was not becoming that he should first conquer her, and make her his slave; but it was reasonable that she should be preserved from all stain, and even momentary subjection to her opponent. The proud spirit endeavoured to infect the most pure soul of this Virgin with his venom, as he had already infected the whole human race. But praised and ever blessed be God, Who, in His infinite goodness, preendowed her for this purpose with such great grace, that, remaining always free from any guilt of sin, she was ever able to beat down and confound his pride, as Saint Augustine says: ‘Since the devil is the head of Original Sin, this head it was that Mary crushed: for sin never had any entry into the soul of this Blessed Virgin, which was consequently free from all stain.’ And Saint Bonaventure more expressly says, ‘It was becoming that the Blessed Virgin Mary, by whom our shame was to be blotted out, and by whom the devil was to be conquered, should never, even for a moment, have been under his dominion’.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori

18 Responses to “Ego sum Immaculata Conceptio”


  1. 1 Piergiorgio December 7, 2009 at 21:13

    Tutta bella sei, Maria,
    e il peccato originale
    non è in te.
    Tu sei la gloria di Gerusalemme,
    tu letizia d’Israele,
    tu onore del nostro popolo,
    tu avvocata dei peccatori.
    O Maria! O Maria!
    Vergine prudentissima,
    Madre clementissima,
    prega per noi,
    intercedi per noi
    presso il Signore Gesù Cristo.

    Buona festa dell’Immacolata a tutti.

  2. 2 Victor S E Moubarak December 7, 2009 at 22:08

    Hi Gabriella,

    The quotation above: Genesis 3:15. Did that refer to “woman” (i.e. Eve) or to the Virgin Mary? I’ve seen statues of the Virgin Mary standing on a snake’s head. When and by whom was the link made between Genesis 3:15 and the Virgin Mary?

    Thanx. God bless.

  3. 3 Gabriella December 7, 2009 at 23:43

    Hi Victor,

    There are many verses in the Old Testament that speak about Our Lady. The first prophecy referring to Mary is found in the very opening chapters of the Book of Genesis (3:15). The second prophecy referring to Mary is found in Isaias (7:1-17). A third prophecy referring to Our Blessed Lady is contained in Micah (5:2-3), and so on.

    Regarding Gen. 3:15 there is a difference between the Hebrew text and the English version and this concerns the agent who is to inflict the mortal wound on the serpent: the English version agrees with the present Vulgate text in reading “she” (ipsa) which refers to the woman, while the Hebrew text reads hu’ (autos, ipse) which refers to the seed of the woman. According to the English version, and the Vulgate reading, the woman herself will win the victory; according to the Hebrew text, she will be victorious through her seed. In this sense does the Papal Bull “Ineffabilis” ascribe the victory to Our Blessed Lady. The reading “she” (ipsa) is neither an intentional corruption of the original text, nor is it an accidental error – it is rather an explanatory version expressing explicitly the fact of Our Lady’s part in the victory over the serpent, which is contained implicitly in the Hebrew original. The strength of the Christian tradition as to Mary’s share in this victory may be inferred from the retention of “she” in St. Jerome’s version in spite of his acquaintance with the original text and with the reading “he” (ipse) in the old Latin version.
    As it has always been quite commonly admitted that the Divine judgment is directed not so much against the serpent as against the originator of sin, the seed of the serpent denotes the followers of the serpent, the “brood of vipers”, the “generation of vipers”, those whose father is the Devil, the children of evil, imitando, non nascendo (Augustine). One may be tempted to understand the seed of the woman in a similar collective sense, embracing all who are born of God. BUT seed not only may denote a particular person, but has such a meaning usually, if the context allows it. St. Paul (Galatians 3:16) gives this explanation of the word “seed” as it occurs in the patriarchal promises: “To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, and to his seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to his seed, which is Christ”.

    Finally, the expression “the woman” in the clause “I will put enmities between thee and the woman” is a literal version of the Hebrew text. The Hebrew Grammar of Gesenius-Kautzsch establishes the rule: Peculiar to the Hebrew is the use of the article in order to indicate a person or thing NOT YET KNOWN and not yet to be more clearly described, either as present or as to be taken into account under the contextual conditions. Since our indefinite article serves this purpose, we may translate: “I will put enmities between you and a woman”. Hence the prophecy promises a woman, Our Blessed Lady, who will be the enemy of the serpent to a marked degree; besides, the same woman will be victorious over the Devil, at least through her offspring. The completeness of the victory is emphasized by the contextual phrase “earth shall thou eat”, which is a common old-oriental expression denoting the deepest humiliation.

    I hope this clarifies things for you – also, we musn’t forget that according to the principle “Lex orandi est lex credenti” we must treat at least with reverence the numberless suggestions contained in the official prayers and liturgies of the Church (some really old). In this sense we must regard many of the titles bestowed on Our Blessed Lady in her litany and in the “Ave maris stella”. The Antiphons and Responses found in the Offices recited on the various feasts of Our Blessed Lady suggest a number of types of Mary that hardly could have been brought so vividly to the notice of the Church’s ministers in any other way.

    May Our Immaculate Mother, full of Grace, bless us all.

  4. 5 Duilio December 8, 2009 at 00:00

    Gabriella, mi pare di aver capito da post passati che sei di Roma🙂
    Se lo sei – mi raccomando, non ti dimenticare il Pontificale domani alla Ss. Trinità:
    http://blog.messainlatino.it/2009/12/l8-dicembre-smessa-gregoriana-celebrata.html
    e la processione!:
    http://blog.messainlatino.it/2009/11/processione-dellimmacolata-nel-centro.html
    Ti cercherò🙂 Andrò in giro a chiedere a tutte le donne “sei Gabriella?”

    Piergiorgio, è bellissima quella preghiera cantata in Latino – Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in Te …

  5. 6 Daily Grace December 8, 2009 at 00:41

    Oh Gabriella, how this touches my heart,“My Lady is beautiful, beautiful beyond compare; so beautiful that when one has seen her once, one would wish to die so as to see her again; so beautiful that when one has seen her, one can no longer love anything earthly.”

    Tomorrow, I will make my Total Consecration to Jesus, through Mary. I don’t feel worthy…at all. Yet, I feel such joy too!

    Thank you for this beautiful post, I knew it was going to be wonderful.

  6. 8 Miranda December 8, 2009 at 00:55

    AVE! AVE! MARIA IMMACULATA

  7. 9 Orsobruno December 8, 2009 at 07:49

    Felice Solennità dell’Immacolata Concezione a Gabriella e a voi tutti!!!
    Orsobruno/Aurelio

  8. 10 Gemma Gennari December 8, 2009 at 10:51

    Grazie per gli auguri e ricambio di cuore.

    Siamo nel cammino penitenziale dell’Avvento e questa Solennità ci invita a purificarci dalle impurità della vita. Guardiamoci dentro e con la preghiera, nella quale ci scopriamo amati da Dio, purifichiamo i nostri sguardi da visioni cattive. Purifichiamo la nostra bocca da giudizi cattivi. Purifichiamo il nostro udito dal sentire cose cattive. Purifichiamo le nostre mani dal desiderio sfrenato di possedere. Infine, purifichiamo il nostro cuore dall’egoismo e da ogni tipo di cattiveria. Rendiamo pura tutta la nostra vita e nella grazia di Dio ci sentiremo veramente liberi e realizzati.

  9. 11 Feliks Wallenty, Denmark December 8, 2009 at 11:22

    God could have chosen any way for his Son to come into the world. And yet, He chose a woman…He chose Mary to be the instrument of Salvation. He chose her to be the perfect vessel through whom Christ would come to us. On this feast, we see God’s Wisdom because He began her perfection from the very beginning. Mary had to be perfect, her womb had to be the perfectly pure vessel for Christ. How blessed is she to be the Ark of the Covenant! Scripture confirms this by saying that Mary “is most blessed among women”.

    Let’s all ask Mary to intercede for us with Her Son particularly on this, Her very special day.

    It’s not a public holiday here in Denmark but I went to early Mass this morning before going to work. Must say it was rather disappointing…a slap-dash fast Mass with no sense of the sacred…

  10. 12 Andrea December 8, 2009 at 12:43

    Maria ci invita a testimoniare con più vigore il vangelo. A rigettare il germe della tiepidezza che sta conquistando l’animo di tutti i cristiani e della Chiesa Cattolica. Ci invita ad affilare le lame della “spada della Parola di Dio” che disperde i nemici,ci invita a diventare punte di diamante di fronte alle sfide del secolo e a non vergognarci mai di Gesù Cristo Nostro Signore.

    Buona Festa a Tutti

  11. 13 Judy December 8, 2009 at 17:01

    Oh but to have BEEN THERE to see this sign upon Pius IX!
    How wondrous and AWESOME it must have been!
    “revealed by God and therefore FIRMLY BELIEVE in spite of all faithful”…THIS IS ALSO AWESOME.
    Thank you for your beautiful post on this HOLY DAY Gabriella!
    May Our Lady wrap you always in her heavenly mantle!

  12. 14 Armando December 8, 2009 at 21:34

    Ciao Gabriella che bella sorpresa scoprire questo Blog (tramite l’ Oste) dopo la processione dell’ Immacolata.
    Armando

  13. 15 Mary Nicewarner December 8, 2009 at 23:49

    Hi Gabriella! Thank you for your post and the answer to Victor’s question. Both were great:) You should use it as a post. I hope I can get my printer to work, there is a lot of useful information in that comment! Though, I knew that this passage spoke about Mary, I didn’t have the knowledge that I do now:)

  14. 16 Cinzia December 9, 2009 at 01:08

    What a great post!

    I would have loved to have witnessed such a day at St Peter’s Basilica. Wow!! That amazing basilica is awesome on any given day … just imagine on that Friday 8 December 1854 – and with all the church bells ringing throughout the Eternal City, and cannons firing.

    What a day! I don’t think there has been anything like that since.

    I did not know that this dogma of the Immaculate Conception was decreed so recently … only some 150 years ago.

    Wonderful post … and goodness knows where you find the perfect pictures every time!

  15. 17 Pablo H. December 9, 2009 at 05:27

    Happy Feast Day of the Holy Mother to all.

    The first soul ever created was that of our Mother, even before the creation of the world; God allowed her to accompany Him when he set the limits of the oceans, that they not overcome the land, and so on.

    The feast day of Saint Juan Diego is december 9th. Happy feast day again!

    Ave Maria, Purissima!

    *

  16. 18 Cinzia December 9, 2009 at 22:48

    Duilio – sono curiosa – sei riuscito a trovare la Gabriella quella giusta durante la processione? 🙂


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