FREE FROM SIN
PRAYING TO MARY
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF THE VIRGIN MARY
TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY/ BOOK: by SAINT LOUIS DE MONTFORT
DEVOTION TO THE SEVEN SORROWS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
SORROWS OF THE VIRGIN MARY
LITANY OF LORETO
THE AWESOME INTERCESSORY POWER OF THE VIRGIN MARY
THE BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN MARY TO SAINT ANNE HER MOTHER
THE VIRGIN MARY'S DEATH AND ASSUMPTION
THE GLORIES OF MARY by SAINT ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI
CATENA LEGIONIS (Powerful prayer to the Virgin Mary)
BROWN SCAPULAR(external link)
MIRACULOUS MEDAL(external link)
HOW TO SAY THE ROSARY(external link)
THE POWER AND THE BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM PRAYING THE ROSARY
THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY(by Saint Louis De Montfort)(external link)
OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY PRAYER(external link)
OUR LADY OF SORROWS
PRAYERS TO OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP
PRAYER NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL
The Following Questions and Answers are from the book: The Question Box, by Rev. Bertand L. Conway, C.S.P., Published by The Paulist Press, 1929.
Permissu Superiorum: John B. Harney, C.S.P. , Superior General
Nihil obstat: Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.T., Censor Librorum.
Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop, New York.
New York, October 4, 1929.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Can you prove from the Scriptures that the Virgin Mary was miraculously conceived? Does not your doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin contradict the Scriptures, which teach that all men died in Adam (ICor. xv. 22; Cf. Rom. v. 12)?
Is this not a new teaching of your Church, first proclaimed in 1854?
We do not believe that the Virgin Mary was miraculously conceived. Her Son was born miraculously of a virgin Mother, but she herself had a real father and a real mother, St. Joachim and St. Anne. The doctrine means that at the very first instant when her soul was infused into her body, the Virgin Mary was sanctified by God=s grace, so that Aher soul was never deprived of the sanctification, which all other creatures had forfeited by the sin of Adam. Her soul was never displeasing to God, because it had never been stained with original sin.
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX defined that Athe doctrine which declares that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God, and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful" (Ineffabilis Deus).
Rationalists and Broadchurchmen deny this dogma because they deny the existence of Original Sin, while orthodox Protestants deny it, because of their erroneous notion of Original Sin. Cardinal Newman writes: "Our doctrine of Original Sin is not the same as the Protestant doctrine. Original Sin with us cannot be called sin, in the mere ordinary sense of the word; it is a term denoting Adam=s sin as transferred to us, or the state to which, Adam=s sin reduces his children; but by Protestants it seems to be understood as sin, in much the same sense as actual sin."
We, with the Fathers, think of it as something negative, Protestants as something positive. Protestants hold that it is a disease, a radical change of nature, an active poison actively corrupting the soul, infecting its primary elements, and disorganizing it; and they fancy we ascribe a different nature from ours to the Blessed Virgin, different from that of her parents, and from that of fallen Adam.
We hold nothing of the kind; we consider that in Adam she died as others; that she was included, together with the whole race, in Adam's sentence; that she incurred the debt as we do; but that for the sake of Him who was to redeem her and us upon the Cross, to her the debt was remitted by anticipation; on her the sentence was not carried out, except indeed as regards her natural death, for she died when her time came, as others.
All this we teach, but we deny that she had Original Sin; for by Original Sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, namely, this only, the deprivation of that supernatural, unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formationCdeprivation and the consequences of deprivation. All this we teach, but we deny that she had Original Sin; for by Original Sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, namely, this only, the deprivation of that supernatural, unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formationCdeprivation and the consequences of deprivation.
Mary could not merit, any more than they, the restoration of that grace; but it was restored to her by God's free bounty from and at the very first moment of her existence, and thereby, in fact, she never came under the original curse, which consisted in the loss of it@ (Difficulties of Anglicans, ii., 48, 49).
The Scriptures nowhere expressly teach this doctrine, but Pius IX cites two passages, from which it may be inferred, if they are considered in the light of Catholic tradition. They are: AI will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel@ (Gen. iii. 15). AHail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women@ (Luke i. 28). Christ and His Mother are both spoken of as enemies of Satan and of sin; He, absolutely sinless as the Son of God, and she sinless, or full of grace, by God=s special prerogative and gift.
The Blessed Virgin holds a unique position of dignity and preeminence in the writings of the early Fathers, many of whose statements would be exaggerated or untrue, had she been conceived in Original Sin. They imply her freedom from all sin by their insistence upon her perfect purity, and her position as the second Eve.
St. Irenaeus (140-205) writes: "As Eve, becoming disobedient, became the cause of death both to herself and the whole human race, so also Mary, bearing the predestined Man, and being yet a virgin, being obedient, became both to herself and to the whole human race the cause of salvation@ (Adv. Hcer., iii., 22). The same idea is set forth by St. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ephrem of Syria, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome and others, cited by Cardinal Newman in his letter to Dr. Pusey (Cf. Harper, The Immaculate Conception, 43-59). Of all the, testimonies that might be given, St. Ephrem=s (306- 373) words of praise can only mean that Mary was immaculately conceived. He says that Ashe was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a Virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Ghost, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate@ (Carmine Nisibena, first discovered and published in 1866).
Bibliography: Harper, The Immaculate Conception; Kellner, The Christian Festivals; Livius, The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers; Newman, Letter to Dr. Pusey; Pohle, Mariology; Rickaby, The Lord My Light, 223-231; Storf, The Immaculate Conception; Ullathorne, The Immaculate Conception; Vacandard, Etudes de Critique, iii., 215. C. E. vii. 674-681.CD. Oct., 1893.CD. T. vi. 846-1218.CI. T. Oct., 1918.C.R. A. vi. 766-844.CR. C. i. 173; viii. 276.
THE SINLESSNESS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
Why do Catholics claim that the Virgin Mary never committed sin, when the Bible says: "If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us@ (1 John i. 8)?
Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin was free from all actual sin because of divine tradition confirmed by the Council of Trent. St. Augustine writes: "Except, therefore, the Holy Virgin Mary, about whom, on account of the honor of our Lord, I will not allow the question to be entertained, when sins are under discussionCfor how do we know what increase of grace was bestowed on her, to enable her to overcome sin in every way@ (De Nature et Gratis, 36).
The Council of Trent defines: "If anyone says that man once justified can during his whole life avoid all sins, even venial ones, as the Church holds that the Blessed Virgin did by special privilege of God, let him be anathema" (Sess. vi., can. 23).