Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I thought it might be of interest to many of our readers to see some quotations which have been compiled from various patristic sources which are pertinent to today's feast. (Source: Scripture Catholic)

"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one."
-- Origen, Homily 1 (A.D. 244)

"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother."
-- St. Ephraem the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370)

"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides."
-- St. Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373)

"Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin."
-- St. Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388)

"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour 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."
-- St. Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D. 415)

"The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made."
-- St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449)

"[T]ruly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever."
-- St. Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali (ante A.D. 733)

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew."
-- St. John of Damascus, Homily I (ante A.D. 749)

* * *

In addition to these patristic sources, we have often made mention here of the importance of familiarity with biblical typology. One such consideration which is relevant as a meditation for today's feast is certainly the typology of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant.

The following typological chart was published on Catholic Culture by the Catholic apologist, Steve Ray.

Mary the Ark As Revealed in Mary's Visit to Elizabeth

Inside the Ark

A very blessed feast day to all.

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