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"I am the Immaculate Conception"
Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette Sourbirous at Lourdes
Just as the hand of our Lord formed the first parents, Adam and Eve, in such a way as to befit original justice and the state of innocence (...) so his Omnipotence, in a more excellent and superior manner, operated in the formation of the virginal body of the most holy Mary.
And this He did with so much the greater solicitude and abundance of grace, as this Creature was to exceed in perfection not only the first parents, who were to later sin, but all the other creatures, corporal and spiritual.
According to our way of understanding, God exerted more care in only composing this little body of his Mother, than in creating all the celestial orbs and the beings in them.
In accordance with this rule one is to begin measuring the gifts and privileges of this City of God from its first beginnings and foundations from which its greatness was erected, until attaining its being immediate to and the most like the infinity of the Most High.
Mary prayed at the moment of her Conception for her natural parents, Joachim and Anne, whom She knew in God before She had seen them in the body.
Immediately She exercised in them the virtues of love, reverence and gratitude as a daughter, acknowledging them by the secondary cause of their natural being. She also made many other petitions in general and for particular different causes.
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With the science infused in Her, She then composed songs of praise in her mind and heart for having found the door, the life of the precious drachma, which we all have lost in our first beginning (Luke 15, 9). She found the grace, which issued forth to meet Her (Eccli. 15, 2), She found the Divinity that waited her in the umbrals of nature (Sap. 6, 15).
Her faculties of body and soul found, at the instant of her creation, the most noble Object, which attracted and entranced them; for they were created solely for It, and, as they were to be Hers entirely, it was proper also that the first fruits of their activity, which were the knowledge and love of God, should be devoted to that Object.
Her powers peaked at the instant of her being towards the most noblest Object that moved them into being, because they were cradled for Him and, as these powers were to be hers in everything and for everything, they owed to Him the newness of their operations, which were divine knowledge and love, without having this Lady know God, nor knowledge of love, nor love without merit.
Nor was there anything small in this endeavor, nor a measure with common laws and general rules. Grandiose was everything and grand was the result of the hand of the Most High to walk, grow and arrive to be so great that only God is greater.
Oh how beautiful were those steps of thine (Cant. 7, 1), Daughter of the prince, since with the first one Thou didst reach divinity! Twice beautiful Thou art (Cant. 4, 1), because you, grace and beauty are above all beauty and grace!
Divine are thine eyes (Cant. 7, 5), and thy thoughts are like the kingly carmine, since Thou hast carried His heart and his Wound (Cant. 4, 9); from these locks of hair you wrapped him and you brought him captive of your love to the home of your virginal womb and heart!
Excerpts from The Mystical City of God, Vol. I, manifested to Mary of Jesus of Agreda; tr. Rev. George J. Blatte, revisions by J.P. von Wendt; https://themostholyrosary.com
Isaiah 61: 10
Prayer to the
Immaculate Conception
Most Holy Virgin,
   I believe and confess your
   Saintly and Immaculate Conception,
   pure and without stain.
O most Pure Virgin!
By your virginal purity,
Your glorious quality of Mother of God,
   bring me from your beloved Son
   humility, charity,
   a great purity of heart,
   of body and spirit,
   a saintly perseverence in goodness,
   the gift of prayer,
   a good life and a holy death. Amen
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo; 1680; The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg; https://www.wga.hu
The Immaculate Conception by Francisco de Goya; 1783-1784 https://elmiradorespagnol.free.fr
Immaculate Conception at Lourdes, Frances - The rock cave at Massabielle, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous https://en.wikipedia.org
December 8 - The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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