Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
05 Dec 2022
"Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God."
(Communion Antiphon for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Roman Missal)
We celebrate the high feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary every December 8. We mark the day of the beginning of the life of Mama Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, nine months before her birthday on September 8th. This feast celebrates how God chose and prepared Mary to be the Mother of Jesus even before she was born. She was conceived without the stain of sin by virtue of the sacrifice of the Son she was to carry. It was so that her Son would not inherit original sin, and being sinless, he could offer himself for the sins of all humanity. The feast reminds us that if God can preserve Mary from original sin by the offering of Jesus, then all of us can be cleansed from our sins by the same offering. Therefore, we can also come to the fullness of redemption and the glory of heaven like our Mother. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the patroness of the Philippines. When the Spaniards came to the Philippines in the 16th century, the first missionaries built the first church in Manila under the title of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is now the Manila Cathedral, the mother church of all the churches in the Philippines. When the Jesuits returned in the 19th century, they built their house near the cathedral, took over the administration of a school called the Ateneo, and put it under the patronage of Mary conceived without sin. In the Jesuit records, the Ateneo de Manila University is the College of the Immaculate Conception. This is why our school colors are blue and white and, in our graduation hymn, we sing "Mary for you, for your white and blue, we pray you'll keep us, Mary, constantly true! We pray you'll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!"
Let us celebrate this feast with hearts full of joy in our saving God and with Mary. Let us also rejoice in the Lord who has clothed us with a robe of salvation and wrapped us in a mantle of justice (cf. Isaiah 61:10). We invite everyone to make offerings of prayer and flowers to Mama Mary on December 7, the eve of the high feast. You may pray the rosary for the intentions of those you love. You may also put flowers near the image of Mama Mary nearest your building (Our Lady of Fatima near Singson Hall, Our Lady of the Rosary in the Lanai, the Immaculate Conception in David Hall, and the Immaculate Conception inside the chapel). On December 8, let us join the University community in celebrating the Mass through our AGS-CMO YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/@agscmo or https://bit.ly/agscmolive) and because this is a holy day of obligation, or attend Mass in your local parish.
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Roman Missal)
Write-up and artwork by Jeff Velasco.