December 8: Immaculate Conception of Mary
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, every baby is born into the world with original sin. We are all children of our first parents. Therefore, we all inherit their sin. This sin in us is called original sin.
But the Blessed Virgin Mary was given a marvelous privilege. She was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without this original sin. Our Lady was to be the mother of Jesus, God's only Son. The evil one, the devil, should have no power over Mary. There was never the slightest sin in our all-beautiful mother. That is why one of the Church's favorite hymns to Mary is: "You are all-beautiful, O Mary, and there is no sin in you."
This great privilege of Our Lady is called her Immaculate Conception. In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed to the whole world that there was no doubt at all that Mary was conceived without sin. Four years later, she appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes. When St. Bernadette asked the lovely lady who she was, Mary joined her hands and raised her eyes toward heaven. She said, "I am the Immaculate Conception."
"You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by his death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception." -Pope Sixtus IV