O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us!

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I got an email from a friend that said:
"last night at mass, the priest pointed out that Mary's Immaculate
Conception is celebrated 21 days before the feast of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, and wouldn't her heart have begun beating on the 21st
day after conception? I figured I'd run that by you and you'd know if
it was accurate and/or blogworthy. "
I certainly think it is blogworthy, so I decided to do some research to see if it is accurate. I found a neat website which details human development from conception to birth, and here is their page for 21 to 23 days after conception.
What do you all think?
In the office yesterday, between seeing patients and running to the hospital to check on my labor patient, I had a brief discussion with one of our translators (Portugese/Spanish) about the meaning of the Immaculate Conception. Like so many others, Cradle Catholic or non-Catholic, she thought that it referred to Mary's Conception of Jesus. SHe was wondering why the feast was so close to Christmas - did that mean Mary was only pregnant for a few weeks? I hope I cleared up things a bit - I pointed out that the feast of Jesus' conception is the Annunciation, March 25, 9 months before the Feast of Christmas. (Actually, based on that date as conception, the EDC would be closer to 12/18 than to 12/25, but it's close enough!).
Why is it so hard to understand that the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary's conception?



That's such a beautiful insight! Thanks so much for sharing it.

choose any protestant at random and ask if they believe in "the immaculate conception" -- unless they are truly lapsed catholics, i'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut that they give you a hearty YES!

I find it comforting to imagine that the Blessed Mother (and St. Anne, too, since there are nine months btw Immaculate Conception and Birth of Mary on Sept. 8) might have gone to 41w since I always go past 40w myself. Didn't you say once that primigravidas usually go to 41w or so? Maybe the Church calendar-makers were careful observers. :-)

Wait a minute! The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary isn't until June... definitely more than 21 days after Dec. 8.............

Well, I was noticing last night that we have the annunciation reading for the Gospel--could this assist in the confusion? I mean, it does have the "full of grace" bit (immaculate conception) but also the "Holy Spirit will overshadow you" bit (Jesus's conception).


When I was still Protestant, if you would have asked me about the Immaculate Conception (though no one ever did -- I hadn't heard the term except as used for names of Catholic parishes), I would have assumed you were speaking about Jesus, because He was Emmanuel, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like most Protestants, I didn't give Mary much thought, so the entire concept of a doctrine or dogma being related to Mary would have been completely foreign to me.

If that makes any sense.

You ask: "Why is it so hard to understand that the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary's conception?"

As other comments have suggested, the Gospel for the day can lend to some confusion. But wouldn't you think that the priest would then give at least a small explanation of the day's Gospel in the homily? That's certainly what I would've thought (and have experienced in the past), but this week we had a priest who is known for some liberal thinking, and he used the time to homilize about feminism (not against). I left Mass a little bewildered....

Anyway, Catholic catechesis (which includes speaking from the pulpit) is so very important, especially now that the generation of parents with young children are those of us who are PVII and suffered the fuzzy catechesis of the 70s and 80s. Who cares if the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception gets drilled into our heads year after year after year? At least it will be solid dogma and not some other drivel.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on December 9, 2004 6:20 AM.

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