“We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honor to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly
had no sin.”
– Saint Augustine of Hippo (415 A.D.)
“Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.”
– Saint Ambrose of Milan (387 A.D.)
“You alone, Lord, and your holy Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?”
We have a very extensive collection of holy cards available at our online store, with over 1000 cards to choose from, including cards that can be personalized on the back. To browse our many holy card options, go here.
DVD of the Week
Our DVD recommendation this week comes from the Footprints of God series:
Learn all about The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her life before, during, and after her Son walked on the earth. Shot on location in Israel, Turkey, and Greece, with guide Stephen Ray.
To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace.” In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son.” The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.”
The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia) and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.” By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
Mary was conceived and born without original sin, which we celebrate on September 8. She identified herself as the Immaculate Conception during one of her apparitions at Lourdes, France in 1858, four years after the dogma of her Immaculate Conception had been promulgated. Aquinas and More has set up a specialty store with all of our Lourdes items to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.
Visit our specialty store dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes here and browse our lovely collection, including statues, rosaries, books, DVDs, and more.
Let Us Pray
O almighty and merciful God, Who, through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the Immaculate Infant Mary that she might be the worthy Mother of Thy Son, and didst preserve her from all stain, grant that we who venerate with all our hearts her most holy childhood, may be freed, through her merits and intercession, from all uncleanness of mind and body, and be able to imitate her perfect humility, obedience and charity. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.