Immaculate Mary

Something for the weekend.  There can only be one song on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:  Immaculate Mary.  A Lourdes hymn, it was probably first sung in 1873.  No one really knows who wrote the lyrics of the hymn although it has been attributed to  Abbe Gaignet, a priest of Lucon.  The melody is from a traditional Pyrenean song.  It has long been a favorite hymn of Catholics in America.

The belief that Mary was conceived without the taint of original sin had its champions long before it was proclaimed as dogma of the Church in 1854  and some of the supporters, er, are unexpected!

“It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin

– Martin Luther’s Sermon “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527

There is not one of the sons of Adam, except Mary and her Son, one born but is touched by the Devil at the time of his birth, and the child makes a loud noise from the touch.

A hadith, or saying, attributed to Mohammed, the founder of Islam.



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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. My most poingnant memory of this song was hearing it at St James Church in
    Medjugorje in the summer of 1988, when my wife and I went there. The whole Church resounded when it was sung and I was struck by the difference in the
    emphasis placed on “a VE” as opposed to the “A ve”, we sing in America. I had
    never heard the subtle but striking difference before. I really liked hearing it
    sung with the “different” vocal accenting. I actually prefer the way I heard it
    sung there.

    This was a couple of months before our now 24 year old son was born and just
    a few more months before the meltdown of our marriage. Each time I hear this
    song, which I love, dearly, it floods me with such conflicting memories of enduring joy and agonizing sorrow. It truly is bittersweet.

    God bless.

  2. We are ready to celebrate Christmas once again and everyone who thinks he is “Christian” will for a while be thinking of that wondrous event a couple of thousand years ago.

    There is no need to go into how it has been so commercialized that the real meaning of the most significant event in all human history has been more or less reduced to glamorizing the art of gift giving for adults and a child’s best bedtime story ever with new toys or clothing to boot.

    We should recall the birth of Christ was a really very personal thing for one young woman as well as the amazing singular moment in time which changed the course of history for mankind’s existence.

    This awesome moment came about as a result of the decision that a young woman made nine months earlier when asked if the Spirit of the Most High God could be allowed to come into her very soul and body in order to bring salvation to suffering humanity. Frightened by the very presence of the Spirit of God to which she had dedicated her life there before her, yet certain of her desire to please her Lord she humbly surrendered herself to His personal plan for her and His universal plan for mankind. That decision, that surrender and that act of faith formed the foundation for what we proudly cherish as Christianity today.

    Knowing this we need to view the joy of Christmas not only for God’s great gift of His redeeming Son but also the opportunity to thank Mary for her most gracious and humble offering of total personal submission to the will of God for the benefit of all mankind. The shouts and praise hailed to all the kings of this world for their triumphs over the centuries are whispers compared to Mary’s gentle but earthshaking voice that night when she softly answered “yes” to God and said “be it done unto me according to your Will”.

    So, with this perspective, whether we realize it or not we can and do in fact celebrate Christmas every time we devotedly and faithfully say “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death'”.

    Loving Mary makes you want to follow Christ to serve and praise God…Forever!

  3. Salve Regina!

    ” . . . I fly unto You, O Virgin or virgins, my Mother! To You do I come. Before You I stand, sinful and sorrowful. […]”

    Desire the love of humility. Meditate upon Mary’s humility when the Angel Gabriel greeted her with these words, “Hail, full of grace!”

    And, I remember a six-year-old, yahoo in the courtyard of St. Eugene’s Chapel, the Bronx, singing, “O Mary we crown thee with flowers today! Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May. […]”

  4. “To be as white as wool is a measure of brilliance however to be whiteness itself is all together a class of it’s own.” That is the definition of Immaculate accordingly given by one of her sons St. Maximilian Kolbe.
    When she told St. Bernadette that “I am the Immaculate Conception, she confirmed the Churches dogma proclaimed four years prior.
    In the end of Chapt. 12 book of Revelation Her offspring are those who a) live by the commandments, b) give testimony of Her Son Jesus the Christ.

    Peace to my brothers and sisters of the Handmaid of the Lord. What a gift to be orher Christ bearers with Mary Immaculate as our model.

    I’m away from my books, so if my quotes are not perfect please forgive me.
    Philip, a Knight of the Immaculata.

  5. To sing it at Lourdes and feel her presence in the enclosure was a real blessing I wish everyone could share. Mary has indeed done great things for me. When our B-47 crew was on alert in Saragossa, Spain in 1960, I was on liberty and walking in the city when I received a distinct vocal locution to turn right at the next corner. I did, and it led me to Our Lady of the Pillar Church, the first church in the world dedicated to Mary that was dedicated by St. James in 40 A.D.

    Everyone should be consecrated ti the Immaculate Heart of Mary , and offer everything to God through her hands because God directs everything to us through those same hands.

    You have spoken eloquently Bill Sr.

  6. Our parish here in Tauranga NZ is “St.Mary Immacualte”. This is the second Catholic parish founded in NZ by Bp. Pompalier in 1840, and his whole episcopacy he placed un der the protection of Mary. He came from Lyons in France, where the great early father of the Church, St. Irenaeus of Lyons had his diocese. Irenaeus had been taught by a student ( can’t recall just now) of St. John the Apostle – so our parish has a direct line through the NZ and French bishops back to St. John.
    As a side topic, I was graced this morning at the 8 am Mass to be accepted into Candidacy for ordination to the Diaconate, which should take place in about 6 months, God willing.

  7. “As a side topic, I was graced this morning at the 8 am Mass to be accepted into Candidacy for ordination to the Diaconate, which should take place in about 6 months, God willing.”

    Bravo Don!

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