By Christina Hermoso
“The Immaculate Conception is the fulfillment of God’s promise – to send a Savior to the world.”
Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos said, “the great and grace-filled Marian celebration speaks about fidelity. God is faithful. He is true to His promise to send a Savior. Even if our first parents, Adam and Eve, failed Him, God did not abandon His people. His will is to save us. With the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God fulfills His promise.”
The observance, Santos said is a reminder of the importance of being faithful.
“The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a challenge for us to be true, to be loyal and faithful to our vows and promises. Likewise, we must also strive to be clean from the stains of sins, to be clear and cleanse from any form of corruption. Let us always look up and turn to our Blessed Mother for inspiration and intercession,” the Church leader said.
Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will preside over a high mass at noon today, December 9, at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, in solemn observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Traditionally observed on December 8, the feast was moved in deference to the observance of the Second Sunday of Advent yesterday.
Holy masses will also be held at 7:30 a.m. and at 6 p.m.
The Grand Marian Procession, a prelude to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, was held last Sunday, December 1, in Intramuros, Manila on the First Sunday of Advent.
In Catholic churches and Marian shrines across the country, devotees are expected to attend the special commemorative masses in honor of the principal patroness of the Philippines.
Novenas, special devotions, candle offerings, and the recitation of the holy rosary will also be done.
The observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the Roman Catholic dogma, “Ineffabilis Deus,” as defined by Pope Pius IX on Dec. 8, 1854 which affirmed the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary, “in the first instance of her conception, was, by a unique grace and privilege by the Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
According to Church officials, “The universal redemption of Jesus was anticipated for Mary at the time of her conception by her mother, Saint Anne, in view of her divine motherhood. Mary’s Immaculate Conception enhances Jesus’ redemptive work. While humans are cleansed from original sin through baptism, in Mary, Jesus’ work was so powerful as to prevent original sin at the onset.”
In the year 1858, during the Blessed Mother’s apparition in Lourdes, France, she introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette.