Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2016

The nature and greatness of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin Mary, is divinely declared by the Angel in these words: Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. For indeed, it was fitting that the Virgin should be endowed with such favors, that She might be full of grace, even She who gave glory to heaven, the Lord to earth, who brought forth peace and faith to the nations, and end to vices, order to life, discipline to our ways. And indeed, She is full of grace, for to others it is given in part; but upon Mary, all the fullness of grace hath poured itself at once. Truly, she is full of grace, for although we believe that grace was upon the holy Fathers and Prophets, yet not in such a degee; but into Mary came the fullness of all the grace which is in Christ, albeit otherwise (than as it is in Him.) Therefore (the Angel) sayeth: Blessed art thou among women, that is, more blessed than all other women. (From the 4th reading of the Office of the Immaculate Conception promulgated by Bl. Pope Pius IX in 1863. The sermon from which this is taken, generally know from its opening words as “Cogitis me” is written in the person of St Jerome, but is actually a work of the 9th century author St Paschasius Radbertus.)

La Inmaculada Concepción, by José Antolinez, 1650
For Our Lady’s feast day, enjoy this magnificent recording of the 8th O Antiphon, set as a motet by Josquin Desprez.

Aña O Virgo virginum, * quomodo fiet istud? quia nec primam similem visa es, nec habere sequentem. Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.

Aña O Virgin of virgins, * how shall this come to pass? for Thou seemest to have none like Thee before, nor any such to follow. Daughters of Jerusalem, why do you regard me in wonder? This which you see is a divine mystery.

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