In This Issue

The Immaculata, Always and for Eternity

The Immaculata has left this earth, but her life has only grown the richer; and it develops and flourishes more and more in the lives of Christians. If all the souls that have lived on this earth, and all those that still struggle here could make known the all-powerful influence the Immaculata has exercised on them, and her maternal solicitude for these souls redeemed by the precious Blood of her divine Son, what an incalculable number of volumes would be required! All these people would recount only what they had been able to discover as special graces received through Mary. But in fact every grace that comes to a soul comes from her hands, for she is the Mediatrix of all graces; and at every moment new graces penetrate into the souls of men. There are…

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Ineffabilis Deus

Here we present the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, given to the Church on December 8th, 1854, which solemnly defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

God ineffable—whose ways are mercy and truth, whose will is omnipotence itself, and whose wisdom “reaches from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly”—having foreseen from all eternity the lamentable wretchedness of the entire human race which would result from the sin of Adam, decreed, by a plan hidden from the centuries, to complete the first work of his goodness by a mystery yet more wondrously sublime through the Incarnation of the Word. This he decreed in order that man who, contrary to the plan of Divine Mercy had been led into sin by the cunning malice of Satan, should not perish; and in order…

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The Immaculate Conception and the Doctrine of Mary as Coredemptrix in Eastern Orthodoxy

Writing in 1986 Prof. George S. Bebis, professor of patristics at the Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, expressed the basic doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox communion concerning the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Christian economy of salvation:

"There is no doubt that the Orthodox Church holds the Virgin Mary in a position of the highest honor. But this is done always in association with Christology. In other words, the Theotókos cannot exist and cannot be venerated out of context from the doctrine of the Incarnation. Also, it should be added that the Orthodox Church accepts the personal holiness of the Virgin Mary and places her in the highest place after the All-Holy Trinity. The Virgin Mary has an eschatological message for us because she already lives in the eschaton; she enjoys the delightful fruits of the heavenly church of which we should become members…

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The Immaculate Conception: A Biblical Theology


The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a key event in Salvation and the Redemptive process. This event, as is well documented by Catholic scholars, was foretold in key texts in Scripture; Genesis 3:15, the enmity between the serpent and the woman and her offspring, Luke 1:28, wherein Gabriel proclaims Mary as “full of Grace”. These powerful passages indicate the nature of Mary and her Holy Son. Furthermore, the chaste and upright nature of Mary was foretold from the beginning of humanity.

These two passages act as monolithic pillars upon which the Church can rest her teachings on the Immaculate Conception. Yet, in addition to these teachings are other Biblical traditions which form a “Theology of Preparation”.1 God prepared for Mary, as she was vital in the plan of Salvation which was completed by the Cross and through the Resurrection. The concept of “preparation” forms a theology which finds…

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The Immaculate: Mystery & Revelation

The Paradox of God’s Predilection

By Jonathan Fleischmann


Recently, Pope Francis, like so many of his predecessors in the Chair of St. Peter, has emphasized God’s special predilection for sinners. Indeed, not on one occasion only, but on many occasions, our Pontiff has taken great pains to make the fact of God’s particular love for sinners abundantly clear, as for example when he said that “the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done, is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, his forgiveness.” On another occasion, he said, “Only one who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy truly knows the Lord. The privileged place of encounter is the caress of Jesus’ mercy regarding my sin. This is why you may have heard me say, several times,…

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The Immaculate Conception: Basic Foundations of the Dogma

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, solemnly defined in 1854, attests to the indescribable and unfathomable mercy and power of the Triune God, manifested in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Standing firmly on both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Apostolic Constitution of Pius IX urges all believers to ponder more deeply this great mystery. This article was excerpted from Introduction to Mary, The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Queenship, third edition, June 2006. – Assistant Editor

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which was solemnly defined by an infallible pronouncement of Bl. Pius IX in 1854, proclaims that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Mary’s preservation from all stain of sin or its effects was a singular grace and privilege of God the Father in view of the merits…

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Heaven of Heavens

Mary’s pure Heart is truly a heaven of which the sky over our heads is a mere shadow and image. It is a heaven exalted above all others, of which the Holy Spirit speaks when He says that the Savior of the World went out from a heaven surpassing all others in excellence, when He came on earth to redeem mankind: A summo caelo egressio ejus (Ps 18:7). As Our Admirable Mother had formed her Divine Son in her Heart before conceiving Him in her womb, we can truly say that, having remained hidden in her Heart for a little while even as He had been in the Heart of His Heavenly Father from all eternity, Our Blessed Savior emerged from it to manifest Himself to men. But just as He went forth from heaven and His Father’s bosom, without however relinquishing them: Excessit, non recessit,…

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The Immaculate Conception and Mary’s Spiritual Maternity

Early on in my priestly ministry a woman who is a very good friend of mine confided to me about her state of frustration and annoyance when she discovered that she was pregnant with one of the “middle number” of her six children. Being a good Catholic, she never entertained the thought of abortion and surely never deliberately “rejected” this new life in her womb. Her attitude seems to have been characterized by that Stoicism which many of us try to pass off as “abandonment to Divine Providence,” but which, in reality, represents a rejection of God’s will for us together with those people or situations which He has brought into our lives without our permission.

The invitation to say with Mary “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) was not readily accepted. Rather, she “resigned” herself to…

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CDF Notification Regarding the Present Ecclesiastical Status of the Apparitions in Itapiranga, Brazil

CDF Notification Regarding the Present Ecclesiastical Status of the Apparitions of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace in Itapiranga, Brazil

The reported apparitions and subsequent messages from the “Queen of the Rosary and of Peace,” as received by the visionary, Edson Glauber Cloutinho, have, up to the present time, received several forms of official ecclesiastical approval.

In a “Decree of Worship,” dated January 31, 2010, Dom Carillo Gritti, Bishop of Itacoatiara, granted official Church approval for pilgrimages and public worship to be celebrated in the chapel where the apparitions of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace first took place:

After carefully studying the events, I authorize these pilgrimages and the public cult to be celebrated in the chapel or in the area known as “The Cross,” to invoke Our Lady under the title of Queen of the Rosary and of Peace… This Order of Worship (Decreto…

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