On March 25, nine months before Christmas, we celebrate one of the Church’s most important feast days, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Like all solemnities, this feast is one of formal celebration and great joy. The Annunciation is particularly special to many Catholics because it brings together three Catholic beliefs that are intrinsic to our faith.
August 15 marks the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This solemnity celebrates the end of Mary’s earthly life and the beginning of her heavenly life, in keeping with the Catholic dogma that Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Though belief in the Assumption dates back to the early days of the Church, it was not declared dogma until 1950.
Advent is a time when we prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus. Although we observe this holy season every year, the question remains baffling: How can we adequately prepare for our Messiah, for the Word made Flesh who came into the world to save us? It’s a tall order, and we know that even the best preparation is only a pittance compared to what Jesus has done and continues to do for us.
Today we celebrate Mary's great YES to God at the Annunciation - bringing about the Incarnation of our Lord.
Question: Was Mary born with original sin?
Catholics hold the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born without original sin. This belief is referred to as the Immaculate Conception. The concept of the Immaculate Conception goes back to the early Church Fathers, but it was not officially defined by the Church until 1854.
You may be able to rattle off the basic story of Jesus’ conception and birth, but have you ever wondered how much of that story is from Scripture, and how much was added in after?