Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary stands before us as a sign of comfort, encouragement and hope. She turns to us, saying: “Have the courage to dare with God! Try it! Do not be afraid of Him! Have the courage to risk with faith! Have the courage to risk with goodness! Have the courage to risk with a pure heart! Commit yourselves to God, then you will see that it is precisely by doing so that your life will become broad and light, not boring but filled with infinite surprises, for God’s infinite goodness is never depleted!”

On this feast day, let us thank the Lord for the great sign of his goodness which he has given us in Mary, his Mother and the Mother of the Church. Let us pray to him to put Mary on our path like a light that also helps us to become a light and to carry this light into the nights of history. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI from his homily on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 December 2005


Gen 3:9-15, 20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all those who live.

Eph 1:3-6, 11-12 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.

Luke 1:26-38 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God."

Let us Pray 

In this time of preparation for Christ’s birth, let us place in the loving protection of Mary, all the many worries and preoccupations that weigh upon us.


Oil painting. Virgin and child, 1663 by Elisabetta Sirani (Bologna, 1638-1665)

Sirani styled the Virgin’s headdress after head coverings popular in her artist’s hometown of Bologna. She portrays the baby Jesus crowning his mother with a garland of roses, which Mary lowers her head to receive. The rose is a common symbol of the Virgin, the floral coronet alludes to Mary’s later role as Queen of Heaven.


Mosaic pictured on the main slider St Anne teaching her daughter Mary to read. Featured in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, USA.