Mary’s soul was kept immaculate

The Portuguese Settlement of Our Lady of the ImmaculateConception marked its feast day with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Fr Damien Charles, the assistant parish priest of both the churches of St Francis Xavier and St Peter.

Dec 18, 2014

By Percy D’Cruz
The Portuguese Settlement of Our Lady of the ImmaculateConception marked its feast day with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Fr Damien Charles, the assistant parish priest of both the churches of St Francis Xavier and St Peter.

In his himily, Fr Damien explained, “According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin. Hence she is called the Immaculate Conception.”

While the whole Church hold firm the belief that Mary was sinless at conception, the doctrine was not dogmatically defined until 1854 by Pope Pius IX in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus.

The papal definition of the dogma declares with absolute certainty and authority that Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first instance of her existence. For the Roman Catholic Church, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception gained additional significance from the repeated apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858.

At Lourdes, a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette, claimed that a beautiful woman appeared to her and said “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

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