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  1. The Eastern Christian Church first celebrated a "Feast of the Conception of the Most Holy and All Pure Mother of God" on December 9, perhaps as early as the 5th century in Syria. The original title of the feast was more specifically on Saint Anne, terming it "Eullepsis tes hagias kai theoprometoros Annas" ("The Conception of Saint Anne, the ancestress of God"). By the 7th century, the feast was already widely known in the East. However, when the Eastern Church called Mary achrantos ("spotless" or "immaculate"), it did not define exactly what this meant. Today the majority of Orthodox Christians would not accept the Scholastic definition of Mary's preservation from original sin before her birth that subsequently evolved in the Western Church after the Great Schism of 1054.[5] After the feast was translated to the Western Church in the 8th century, it began to be celebrated on December 8. It spread from the Byzantine area of Southern Italy to Normandy during the period of Norman dominance over southern Italy. From there it spread to England, France, Germany, and eventually Rome.[6]
  2. According to the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus, dated 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI mandated the feast as a day of Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation which is to be celebrated in future years by the faithful.[7] Furthermore, the pontiff requested that the papal bull be notarized in the Vatican to be further copied and reproduced for dissemination.
  3. Prior to Pope Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception as a Roman Catholic dogma in 1854, most missals referred to it as the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The festal texts of this period focused more on the action of her conception than on the theological question of her preservation from original sin. A missal published in England in 1806 indicates the same collect for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used for this feast as well.[8]
  4. Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
  5. A series of articles on
  6. Roman Catholic
  7. Mariology
  8. LaPurisimaInmaculadaConcepciondeRibera.jpg
  9. General articles
  10. Mariology
  11. Encyclicals
  12. History
  13. Popes
  14. Saints
  15. Societies
  16. Veneration of the Blessed Virgin
  17. Devotions
  18. Acts of Reparation
  19. Consecration to Mary
  20. First Saturdays
  21. Hearts of Jesus and Mary
  22. Immaculate Heart
  23. Rosary
  24. Scapular
  25. Seven Joys
  26. Seven Sorrows
  27. Dogmas and doctrines
  28. Assumption
  29. Co-Redemptrix
  30. Immaculate Conception
  31. Mediatrix
  32. Mother of God
  33. Mother of the Church
  34. Perpetual virginity
  35. Queen of Heaven
  36. Expressions of devotion
  37. Art
  38. Churches
  39. Hymns
  40. Music
  41. Key Marian apparitions
  42. (approved or worthy of belief)
  43. Banneux
  44. Beauraing
  45. Fátima
  46. Guadalupe
  47. La Salette
  48. Laus
  49. Lourdes
  50. Miraculous Medal
  51. Pontmain
  52. v
  53. t
  54. e
  55. The first move towards describing Mary's conception as "immaculate" came in the 11th century. In the 15th century Pope Sixtus IV, while promoting the festival, explicitly tolerated those who promoted it as the Immaculate Conception and those who challenged such a description, a position later endorsed by the Council of Trent.
  56. The proper for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Medieval Sarum Missal, perhaps the most famous in England, merely addresses the action of her conception.
  57. The collect for the feast reads:
  58. O God, mercifully hear the supplication of thy servants who are assembled together on the Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, may at her intercession be delivered by Thee from dangers which beset us.[9]
  59. In 1854, Pius IX made the infallible statement Ineffabilis Deus: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin."[10]

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