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The Very. Rev. Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, has Mary Immaculate behind him. Our Lady, he says, stands ready to comfort and guide us “as the worries, woes, and stresses of everyday life dim the path along the way.”

Immaculate Implications

Mary's Sinlessness 'Vitally Relevant' for Us Today

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By Dan Valenti (Dec 5, 2010)
On Dec. 8, the Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1854, the Church formally defined the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception, that she was preserved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception. The understanding of Mary's spotlessness, however, had long been a Church tradition prior to that.

"We must remember that the Church Fathers placed great emphasis on the veneration of Mary as the Mother of God," says the Very. Rev. Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, provincial superior of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in America and Argentina. "Implicit in this was the Fathers' belief in Mary's purity."

Father Dan says the Immaculate Conception of Mary remains "vitally relevant" for today's Church because of Mary's role as the definitive way to Jesus.

"There's not too much in this vale of tears [called earth] that can draw and earn our certainty," Fr. Dan says, "but this much is certain: Mary, because she never knew the stain of sin, remains the surest, most reliable way in which we can go to Jesus. If God had created her with Original Sin, like the rest of us, we could not say this. God, of course, did not do that. He loves us too much, and so without doubt, we can recommend this unique aspect of the Blessed Mother — for whom our Congregation takes its name — to all those looking for direction in life."

It's interesting to note that eight years before the Holy Father dogmatically declared Mary's Immaculate Conception, the Sixth Provincial Council of the Church in America passed a decree naming Mary Immaculate as Patroness of the United States. The bishops also selected Dec. 8 as the patronal feast day.

In a letter dated May 5, 1846, the bishops entrusted the United States to Mary, "whose Immaculate Conception is venerated by the piety of the faithful throughout the Catholic Church. By the aid of her prayers, we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry and that [Americans] will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues of which [Mary's] life presents the most perfect example."

In his address delivered at midday after praying the Angelus on Dec. 8, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI said, "Mary is in fact the Mother of the Church, as Pope Paul VI and Vatican II solemnly proclaimed. While, therefore, we render thanks to God for this wonderful sign of His goodness, we entrust to the Immaculate Virgin each one of us, our families and the community, the whole Church, and the entire world."

Our Lady, therefore, as Fr. Dan says, stands ready to comfort and guide us "as the worries, woes, and stresses of everyday life dim the path along the way." She is "the star" that will direct our route to the one that leads to Jesus.

She is Mary. She is our Mother. She is Immaculate.

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Jennay - Nov 13, 2010

Thank you Fr. Dan for this summary on Mary's Immaculate Conception and what it means for us on earth today. I find it full of truth and feel confident in consecrating myself to Mary.

Mary KNH - Nov 15, 2010

Our Lady, Mary Most Holy, is the Creature who is the antithesis of satan-most-defiled. It would not be fitting if there were only a creature who was the arch-enemy of God, with no creature who is the arch-Friend of God. Mary is more: the Perfect Daughter of God, Mother of God, and Spouse of God the Holy Spirt. And, from His Cross, Jesus gave her to us as our Mother. By her "holy and all-powerful prayers," she acts our true mother, and is not a mother in name only.

Julie guile - Dec 5, 2010

Mother Mary with whom my own mother and I sought refuge thru the rosary is now working thru and with my husband and I as we face our trials. She makes life sweeter and brings consolation as to Jesus she links us.

Julie guile - Dec 5, 2010

Mother Mary with whom my own mother and I sought refuge thru the rosary is now working thru and with my husband and I as we face our trials. She makes life sweeter and brings consolation as to Jesus she links us.

Cathy Mack - Dec 5, 2010

Beautiful thoughts on Mary Our Mother. Happy feast day to theMarians of the Immaculate Conception

Fatima - Dec 5, 2010

Mary, Our Queen and Mother, conceived without sin, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Thank you Father for the beautiful explanation on Our Beloved Mother.
God bless you and all the Marians.

Pat - Dec 6, 2010

God bless you for your beautiful description of Our Lady's great help for us in this vale of tears. Congratulations on your grace-filledl feast day of your group. May God reward you for your offering of Mass for us tomorrow and for all your beautiful work.

Kiliki - Dec 7, 2010

Thank you Fr. Dan for all you do as a priest for our Lord and in your love for Blessed Mother. May God bless all priests with His wisdom and knowledge, and with a fearless courage to speak the TRUTH.

TJ - Dec 7, 2010

Thank you so much for giving us the the truth and explaining how much we can have hope in our Mother Mary to help us strive for holiness and a relationship with her Son Jesus on behalf of our Father God. Have a blessed Christmas!

Kathi - Dec 7, 2010

You are always so precise and direct when you share your knowledge and your Faith with us, Father. I am deeply tied to St. Mary's and St. Patrick's and I pray for you. Pray Our Lady bless you and all your fellow priests. Thank you

Mary J. - Dec 8, 2010

I have only lately come to rely on Mary in my needs, and now when I ask her to help me even in little needs and requests, she has always answered my prayers. I feel like I have just now begin to know her as my Mother. I am 80 years old, and have finally come close to Mary.