The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception
One Hundred Fifty Years after the Dogmatic Proclamation
As this year the Catholic
world commemorates the sesquicentenary of the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
Mary by Blessed Pius IX, there is special reason to reflect on this dogma as a mystery of faith and to consider
some of the more recent theological insights that may help us to penetrate more deeply into it.
I. The Mystery
In his brilliant book, Cradle of Redeeming Love, John Saward states that
The human birth of the Son of God is a mystery in the strict theological sense: a divinely
revealed reality that little ones can understand but not even learned ones can comprehend. Theological mysteries
are truth and therefore light for the mind, but the truth is so vast, the light of such intensity, that the mind
is dazzled and amazed. When a man meets a mystery of faith, he finds not a deficiency but an excess of intelligibility:
there is just too much to understand. 
While Saward’s topic was specifically the “Christmas mystery”,
his words are not at all inappropriately applied to the “mystery of the Immaculate”, the creature most intimately
linked to the Redemptive Incarnation.
Indeed, as is well known,
St. Thomas affirmed that “the Blessed Virgin, from the fact that she is the Mother of God, has a kind of infinite
dignity [quandam dignitatem infinitam] from the infinite good
which is God”.  Before him St. Anselm had
already declared that “it was appropriate that this Virgin should shine with a purity than which under God no greater
can be conceived” , a declaration which was
taken up almost verbatim in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus to the effect that Mary possessed
that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything
greater, and which outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully [innocentiæ
et sanctitatis plenitudinem præ se ferret, qua maior sub Deo nullatenus intellegitur, et quam præter
Deus nemo assequi cogitando potest]. 
II. Penetration into the Mystery
Clearly, the Church’s ever-deeper
penetration into the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception in the course of the centuries is an illustration
of the development of doctrine described in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum:
The Tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress in the Church, with the help of the
Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This
comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things
in their hearts (cf. Lk. 2:19 and 51). It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they
experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession
in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth. Thus, as the centuries go by, the Church is always advancing
towards the plenitude of divine truth, until eventually the words of God are fulfilled in her. 
Recently Father Stefano Cecchin has made a valuable contribution to the study of how the Church
arrived at formulating this mystery, particularly in his chronicling the work of theologians. 
To commemorate the fiftieth
anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma St. Pius X published his great Encyclical Letter Ad
Diem illum of 2 February 1904 and on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary the Servant
of God Pope Pius XII declared a Marian Year from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1953 to the same feast
in 1954. He proclaimed that Marian Year with his Encyclical Letter Fulgens Corona of 8 September 1953 which set in motion Marian celebrations, symposia and congresses devoted to the study
of the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception throughout the entire Catholic world. No doubt the most prestigious
of these was the International Mariological-Marian Congress held in Rome in 1954 which produced no less than 18
volumes of scholarly studies on the Immaculate Conception which are still available from the Pontifical International
Marian Academy. Perhaps the most valuable scholarly volume produced in the English-speaking world to commemorate
that centenary was The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception: History and Significance edited by Edward D. O’Connor, C.S.C. 
which contained a bibliography on the subject from the years 1830 to 1957 in the major languages and spanning just
under 100 pages. 
III. The Postconciliar Situation
Since that centenary the theological
world has undergone many vicissitudes. The major ecclesial event since then which has marked the subsequent
life of the Church was obviously the celebration of the Second Vatican Council from 11 October 1962 to 8 December
1965. In the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium, the great
Marian treatise of the council, Our Lady is spoken of in #53 as “redeemed in a more exalted fashion by reason of
the merits of her Son” [intuitu meritorum Filii sui sublimiore modo redempta] and in #56 as “enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique
holiness” [singularis prorsus sanctitatis splendoribus a primo instante suæ conceptionis
ditata]. While it may well be argued, as Pope John Paul II has done, that “the
Council’s entire discussion of Mary remains vigorous and balanced, and the topics themselves, though not fully
defined, received significant attention in the overall treatment,”  it is also true that the battles on Our Lady’s mediatorial role which took place on the council floor
and behind the scenes continue to have their effects. 
Effectively, the interpretation
of the Second Vatican Council’s Marian treatise found most frequently in the English-speaking world and very often
elsewhere is represented by Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.:
The achievements of Vatican II have been called a watershed. The chapter on Mary in the
Constitution on the Church seemed to mark the end of an isolated, maximizing Mariology, and the inclusion of Mary
in the theology of the Church. 
This departs notably from all of the commentaries on the
Mariology of Vatican II offered by Pope John Paul II in the course of his long pontificate and constitutes what
I refer to as “Vatican II triumphalism”.
“Vatican II triumphalism”
is virtually always a partial and one-sided interpretation of the council documents which favors a position espoused
by one party at the time of the council and studiously avoids mention of any conciliar statements which would counterbalance
the “favored” position. In the case of chapter eight of Lumen Gentium on “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the mystery of Christ and of the Church”, the “favored”
position heavily emphasizes Mary’s role as model of the Church. This reflects the rediscovered insights of
ecclesiotypical Mariology (which sees an analogy between Mary and the Church) which were emerging again at the
time of the council while very largely ignoring christotypical Mariology (which sees an analogy between Christ
and Mary) and dismissing it as deductive and “privilege-centered”.  Father Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. consistently presents the ecclesiotypical Mariology as the great triumph
of the council even as he discloses his discomfort at the christotypical elements which remained in the eighth
chapter of Lumen Gentium:
The Council did indeed favor the notion that Mary is model to the Church, even archetype, without
using that word, but its chapter on Our Lady is in fact a complicated compromise that sought to keep a balance
between Mary’s association with her Son’s mediation and the obedient faithful Virgin as ideal of the Church's own
response to the Lord. 
There were obviously many
theological insights which were coming to the fore at the time of the council, largely due to the historical researches
begun in the previous century in the areas of biblical, liturgical, patristic and ecclesiological studies.
Many of these found expression in the council documents and specifically in chapter eight of Lumen
Gentium. All too often, however, an overemphasis on certain of these insights on
the part of the majority of commentators to the exclusion of the other insights has, in fact, led to a “low Mariology”
which focuses on Mary much more as “woman of faith,” “disciple” and “model” than as “spiritual mother” or “mediatrix”
and tends to depreciate the importance of the antecedent papal magisterium. All too often the virtually exclusive
emphasis on ecclesiotypical Mariology is coupled with the whole-hearted embracing of the historical-critical method
of biblical exegesis and “lowest common denominator” ecumenism.  The practitioners of this methodology are almost always notably devoid of that awe before the mystery
of Mary which comes instinctively to “little ones”.
The fact is that the statements
of St. Anselm and Bl. Pius IX which I cited above cannot be understood other than as “maximalist” expressions and
this maximalism is rooted precisely in the eternal plans of God. Those who downplay or minimize the magnitude
of those plans as the Church has gradually come to understand them in the course of the centuries are, consciously
or not, attempting to reverse the development of doctrine. In attempting to justify their minimalism, they
will often say that at the council the Church chose a different direction. Since this very frequently seems
to be the case among contemporary mariologists, we should not be surprised that not many of them have shed great
light on the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
Nonetheless the Holy Spirit
continues to breathe where he wishes (cf. Jn. 3:8) and thus to make the mystery of the Immaculate Conception shine
brightly often when least expected. What I would like to do in the remainder of this modest essay is to indicate
ways in which the mystery of the Immaculate has continued to be illumined in our days. Obviously, I make
no pretension at being exhaustive. I only hope to share some insights which I have discovered in recent years
which have drawn me to marvel at the person and role of the Immaculate in God’s eternal plans. All of them
remain to be further developed.
IV. The Mystery Manifested in Scripture
In a synthetic presentation
of the scriptural bases for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in his Encyclical Letter Fulgens Corona Pius XII explicitly indicated the protoevengelium (Gen. 3:15) and the angel’s salutation to Mary (Lk. 1:28)  This was also the fundamental orientation taken in Bl. Pius IX’s Ineffabilis
Arguments about the best translation
of the text of the protoevangelium as “he [the seed of the woman]
shall crush your head” (ipse conteret caput tuum as in the Neo-Vulgata) or “she [the woman] shall crush your head” (ipsa
conteret caput tuum as in the Vulgata
of St. Jerome) continue to weigh the matter carefully.  I believe that Father Stefano M. Manelli’s treatment of the matter in his Biblical
Mariology provides an excellent overview of this issue  and draws conclusions fully in harmony with the consistent use made of this text in the papal magisterium:
As Pope Pius IX summarizes it, both according to tradition (the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers)
and according to the express declarations of the papal Magisterium, the Protoevangelium “clearly and plainly” foretold
the Redeemer, indicated the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Redeemer, and described the common enmity of Mother
and Son against the devil and their complete triumph over the poisonous serpent. One can, therefore, without
hesitation affirm that the content of the Protoevangelium is “Marian” as well as messianic. Not only this,
but the mariological dimension in reference to the “woman” must be also understood literally to be exclusive to
that “woman”, to Mary, that is, to the Mother of the Redeemer, and not to Eve. 
Pope John Paul II puts it this way:
Since the biblical concept establishes a profound solidarity between the parent and the offspring,
the depiction of the Immaculata crushing the serpent, not by her own power but through the grace of her Son, is
consistent with the original meaning of the passage. 
Already in drafting the Bull Ineffabilis Deus
it was confirmed that, for Catholics, it is always necessary to read the biblical texts in the light of the patristic
interpretation.  This latter point
has been further corroborated and validated in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation
Dei Verbum. 
Without doubt the fundamental
biblical text in which the Church finds the mystery of the Immaculate Conception is the term “full of grace” [kecharitomene] in Lk. 1:28. Pope John Paul II offers us an insightful
preamble on this expression:
The title “made full of grace,” which the angel addressed to Mary at the annunciation, refers
to the exceptional divine favor shown to the young woman of Nazareth in view of the motherhood which was announced.
But it indicates more directly the effect of divine grace in Mary. Mary was inwardly and permanently imbued
with grace and thus sanctified. The title kecharitomene has a very rich meaning
and the Holy Spirit has never ceased deepening the Church’s understanding of it. 
While Father Stefano Manelli
provides us with a very useful resumé on the appellation kecharitomene, consistently translated in the Catholic tradition as “full of grace”,  I believe that the exegetical work of the late Father Ignace de la Potterie, S.J. furnishes us invaluable
background for appreciating the richness and uniqueness of this biblical word as it applies to Mary.  He points out that the verb charitoun is a “causative” verb, indicating an action which effects something in an object, and proposes that the
perfect passive participle kecharitomene should be translated
as “transformed by grace.”  He goes
on to ask:
What precisely has the grace of God properly produced, changed and realized in Mary? Certain
authors like R. Brown and J. Fitzmyer, believe that here it is a question of the grace of the divine maternity
which is announced to her. That appears impossible to us, for the maternity of Mary must yet begin.
Here, as we have pointed out, the perfect passive participle
is used by Luke to indicate that the transformation by grace has already taken place in Mary, well before the moment of the Annunciation. 
Here, I believe, he makes his greatest contribution:
In taking account of the later doctrine of the Church, we can now pose the question: can
we see in the phrase “full of grace” used by the angel in addressing the Virgin, a relationship to the Immaculate
Conception of Mary? In the bull of 1854, Ineffabilis Deus,
in which Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, it is said that in Luke 1:28, “full of grace,”
read in the Tradition, is the biblical text which furnishes the most sure foundation (not the proof) in favor of
the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is a way of looking at the dogma from which many commentators recoil.
Exegesis does not have as its task the definition of dogmas. Yet, if we take account of the explanations
just given, the meaning of the phrase “full of grace” – which in the course of time was looked at more profoundly
by the Church – seems effectively to establish the better foundation of the dogma. ... If it is true that Mary
was entirely transformed by the grace of God, that then means that God has preserved her from sin, “purified” her,
and sanctified her. 
Father Manelli also indicates
the image of the bride in the Song of Songs and, in particular, the tota pulchra text (Song 4:7) as alluding to the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception  and, no doubt, there are other Old Testament images which could be adduced. One of these biblically-inspired
images which, I believe, has been largely overlooked, but which is deeply imbedded in the tradition and could repay
much more study is that of the “virgin earth”. 
As the first Adam was formed from the earth (Gen. 2:7), so was the second Adam formed from the “virgin earth”,
the Virgin Mary.
In his study of the Immaculate
Conception, the first patristic reference which Father Cecchin adduces is Irenaeus’ evocative allusion to Mary
as the “virgin earth” from which Jesus, the “new Adam”, was taken.  Father François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D. indicates that the “virgin earth” theme in Irenaeus
takes precedence over that of the “new Eve” and is even more fundamental.  This fascinating theme has been explored at some length in the pioneering study, Maria Terra Vergine, by Father Emmanuele Testa, O.F.M.  who claims that it is one of the oldest titles for the Virgin Mary
in Catholic tradition, traceable to the first days of the Mother Church of Jerusalem.  While Father Testa traces this theme through the Patristic
era, it would be well worth continuing to pursue it in the course of the entire tradition. It appears, for
instance, with some frequency in the works of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort and would seem to constitute
an important witness to the Church’s implicit belief in Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
V. In the Light of the Theology of the Saints
In treating of the mystery
of Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte of 6 January 2001 Pope John Paul II stated:
Faced with this mystery, we are greatly helped not only by theological investigation but also
by that great heritage which is the “lived theology” of the saints. The saints offer us precious insights
which enable us to understand more easily the intuition of faith, thanks to the special enlightenment which some
of them have received from the Holy Spirit, or even through their personal experience of those terrible states
of trial which the mystical tradition describes as the “dark night”.
While we are concentrating our attention here on the mystery of Mary Immaculate, the Pope’s words
mutatis mutandis retain their value. The saints are theologians
par excellence. As Father Léthel boldly puts it,
“All the saints are theologians and only the saints are theologians.” 
Without wishing to lessen
in any way all that it owed to the immense “cloud of witnesses” (cf. Heb. 12:1) “from every nation and race, people
and tongue (cf. Rev. 7:9) who have testified to the truth of the Immaculate Conception, it seems that among these
the holy sons and daughters of St. Francis of Assisi hold a special place and this was given expression immediately
after the solemn proclamation of the dogma. 
This, it would seem, is far from being mere happenstance and here I would like to cite some works of recent scholarship
that confirm this.
The patient historical work
of Father Johannes Schneider, O.F.M. has brought to light with great clarity the Marian intuitions of the Seraphic
founder  which have served as a “capital
grace” for all of his spiritual sons and daughters throughout the centuries. This he brings out especially
in the second part of his work which is given to the meticulous exegesis of the antiphon Sancta
Maria Virgo. 
This link between St. Francis and the Immaculate Conception was convincingly developed by Father Peter Damian M.
Fehlner, F.I. in a conference given to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate
Surely there can be no doubt
about the role of Bl. John Duns Scotus in articulating this patrimony in a way that proved decisive for the progress
of the truth of the Immaculate Conception. 
Here is the way that our Holy Father described his role in the development of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception:
Following several 12th century theologians, Duns Scotus found the key to overcoming these objections
to the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. He held that Christ, the perfect Mediator, exercised the
highest act of mediation precisely in Mary by preserving her from original sin. Thus, he introduced into
theology the concept of redemption by preservation. According to it, Mary was redeemed in an even more wonderful
way, not by being freed from sin, but by being preserved from sin. 
The importance of Scotus’ intellectual patrimony continues to be demonstrated by modern scholars.
His explanation of the preservative redemption of Mary  is intimately linked in his thought to the joint predestination and absolute primacy of Jesus and Mary
in the eternal plans of God.  This,
in fact, has come to be known as the “Franciscan thesis”,  which Pius IX confirmed in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus by stating that “God, by one and the same decree [uno eodemque decreto], had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom.”
Among the saintly sons of
St. Francis who have consecrated their lives to the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, none can take precedence
over St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe. His entire life and especially his bold theological thought,  always in continuity with the Franciscan school, have done
much to illuminate the mystery of the Immaculate Conception in our times. On the occasion of the Feast of
Our Lady of Lourdes in 1937 he pronounced these stirring words for the 20th anniversary of the Militia Immaculatae
which he had founded:
When will there arise a Library of the Immaculate to chant and to perpetuate the glories of the
Immaculate? How many are willing to undertake this laborious and glorious task? To collect, to organize
and to pass on all which speaks of the Immaculate along the course of the centuries: Sacred Scripture, the
Supreme Pontiffs, the Holy Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, the Theologians and Saints. To create a doctrinal
and historical corpus where all can attain knowledge of the mystery of the Immaculate, can grow in devotion, admiration
and love of the Immaculate – not only the clergy and religious, but also the simple faithful throughout the world:
what a worthy monument to God who willed to give us the Immaculate; what a lighthouse for non-believers; what a
bond of love uniting us ever more to the Immaculate! May all nourish themselves on this truth so as to enter
into the thought of God who willed the Incarnation to give us much more than what we had lost in Adam, and who
in the Incarnation willed the Immaculate to remind us of the innocent man created by God and of the vision of an
innocent world, according to the plan of God. 
The above quotation is not
only an example of the Kolbean zeal for the Immaculate, but also indicates that the “Franciscan thesis” was a constituent
element in his mind. We may be grateful that these conferences are now available in English.
Three foundational insights
of St. Maximilian into the mystery of the Immaculate Conception were his characterizing Mary as (1) “Complement
of the Trinity”, as (2) “Spouse of the Holy Spirit” as the (3) “created Immaculate Conception” in contradistinction
to the Holy Spirit described as the “uncreated, eternal Immaculate Conception”. 
These are explained and commented upon with great clarity by Father Peter Damian M. Fehlner,
F.I. in his recent book  in which he also
responds to contemporary criticisms of St. Maximilian’s pneumatology and Mariology.
VI. The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception in the Liturgy
The Church’s public worship
is a privileged place for coming to grasp her deepest belief. This is particularly true in the case of the
Immaculate Conception because it was precisely on account of the observance of the feast in various places by the
faithful that saints, prelates and theologians struggled to understand the theological import of celebrating the
Feast of Mary’s Conception and debated at length about its object.  Pope John Paul summarized this data in the following way:
After Sixtus IV’s approval in 1477 of the Mass of the Conception, this doctrine was increasingly
accepted in the theological schools.
This providential development of liturgy and doctrine prepared for the definition of the Marian privilege
by the supreme magisterium. The latter only occured many centuries later, and was spurred by a fundamental
insight of faith: the Mother of Christ had to be perfectly holy from the very beginning of her life.
Here is how the relationship
between the Church’s liturgy and her faith is put in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When
the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles – whence the ancient saying:
lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem
credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine [5th cent.]).
The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive
element of the holy and living Tradition. 
The Servant of God Pope Paul
VI cited this classic dictum lex orandi, lex credendi in his
Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus with specific reference
to the place of Mary in the Church’s worship.
The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is an intrinsic element of Christian worship.
The honor which the Church has always and everywhere shown to the Mother of the Lord, from the blessing with which
Elizabeth greeted Mary (cf. Lk. 1:42-45) right up to the expressions of praise and petition used today, is a very
strong witness to the Church’s norm of prayer and an invitation to become more deeply conscious of her norm of
faith. And the converse is likewise true. The Church’s norm of faith requires that her norm of prayer
should everywhere blossom forth with regard to the Mother of Christ. 
A notable first example of
how the norm of faith blossomed in prayer after the council is the new Preface of the Mass for the Solemnity of
the Immaculate Conception:
You allowed no stain of Adam’s sin to touch the Virgin Mary. Full of grace, she was to
be a worthy mother of your Son, your sign of favor to the Church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection
as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty. Purest of virgins, she was to bring forth your Son, the innocent
lamb who takes away our sins. You chose her from all women to be our advocate with you and our pattern of
holiness. [Qui beatissimam Virginem Mariam ab omni originalis culpæ labe præservasti,
ut in ea, gratiæ tuæ plenitudine ditata, dignam Filio tuo Genetricem præpares, et Sponsæ
eius Ecclesiæ sine ruga vel macula formosæ signares exordium. Filium enim erat purissima Virgo
datura, qui crimina nostra Agnus innocens aboleret; et ipsa præ omnibus tuo populo disponebas advocata gratiæ
et sanctitatis exemplar.]
This prayer is a beautiful instance of the balancing of christotypical and ecclesiotypical imagery
and of the liberty that has been too often tolerated with vernacular translations. Mary is seen as the prototype
of the Church, the spouse for whom Christ gave himself up. It is unfortunate that the English does not clearly
render the evocative reference to Eph. 5:27 [sine ruga vel macula]
and Mary’s unique role as advocate of grace [advocata gratiæ].
Now it is my intention simply
to indicate some of the evidence of the Church’s belief in Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary  issued according to the Decree Christi mysterium celebrans of the Congregation for Divine Worship of 15 August 1986. The latter volume is described in this
way by Fathers Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. and Anthony Ward, S.M.:
The Collection is not strictly a new liturgical book nor a supplement to the Roman Missal, nor
is it a wholly original composition. The Masses given in the Collection have, for the most part, been drawn
from the Roman Missal or from the Propers of Masses of local Churches or Religious Orders and Institutes.
It is precisely what its name indicates: a gathering under one cover of several Masses in honour of the Virgin
Mary. The material is gathered and sanctioned by authority for use in Marian sanctuaries, in the celebration
of Saturday Masses of Our Lady, and other such occasions provided for by law. 
In some ways it might be said that the Collection
fulfills the function of the various Marian Masses published in editions of the Roman Missal prior to that of Pope
Paul VI in the Proper of the Saints for Certain Places [Proprium Sanctorum pro Aliquibus
Locis], but with the exception of the Masses for the Advent, Lenten and Easter seasons
whose use is restricted to Marian shrines, 
these Masses are available to priests and congregations of the entire Roman Rite. 
While many of the Masses in
the Collection and virtually all of the Prefaces are of relatively
recent composition, they nonetheless conform faithfully to the norm lex orandi, lex credendi in expressing the faith of the Church. Thus Paul VI wrote in his Apostolic Letter Signum Magnum:
Nor is it to be feared that liturgical reform, if put into practice according to the formula
“the law of faith must establish the law of prayer” may be detrimental to the “wholly singular” veneration due
to the Virgin Mary for her prerogatives, first among these being the dignity of the Mother of God. 
It will be noted that in this case the Pope was citing the principle lex
orandi, lex credendi from the perspective of the faith of the Church establishing the
law of prayer. In fact Pius XII had proposed two formulations of this maxim in his Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei, the first and most ancient which comes from Prosper of Aquitaine
(+ c. 465) affirming the constitutive nature of the liturgy of the Church for her belief and the second rightly
insisting on the normative value of the Church’s belief in establishing the liturgy.  My primary concern, as already indicated, will be, in line with the ancient formulation of the
maxim lex orandi, lex credendi, simply to indicate the Church’s
belief in the mystery of the Immaculate Conception as this is expressed in the contemporary liturgy of the Roman
Rite. Here I will only provide a few examples indicating the great wealth to be unearthed and commented upon
by other researchers.
We find this beautiful description
of Our Lady in the Prayer over the Gifts for the Advent Mass of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Lord, may our gifts be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, who formed the Blessed Virgin Mary to be
a new creation, and bathed her with the dew of heavenly grace, so that she might bear the fruit of salvation ...
[Munera nostra, quæsumus, Domine, Spiritus ille sanctificet, qui beatam Virginem
Mariam novam plasmavit creaturam, ut ex ipsa, cælesti rore perfusa, fructus oriretur salutis ...] 
The Mass of Holy Mary, the
New Eve [Sancta Maria, Mulier Nova] gives us this characterization
of Mary in the Opening Prayer:
Lord our God, you chose the Blessed Virgin, formed by the Holy Spirit, as the firstfruits of
the new creation; ... [Deus, qui beatam Virginem, a Spiritu Sancto plasmatam, novæ
creationis constituisti primitias, ...] 
and further develops the theme in the Preface:
You gave to Christ, author of the New Covenant, the Blessed Virgin Mary as his mother and companion
and you made her the firstfruits of your new people. Conceived without stain, enriched by gifts of grace,
she is indeed the new woman, the first disciple of the New Law. [Quia beatam Virginem
Mariam Christo, novi fœderis auctori, matrem et sociam dedisti eamque novi populi tui primitias effecisti.
Ipsa enim, concepta sine macula, et gratiæ cumulata muneribus, vere est mulier nova, novæ legis prima
discipula; ...] 
The Preface of the Mass of
Mary, Pillar of Faith [Beata Maria Virgo, Fidei Præsidium]
relates the mystery of the Immaculate Conception to that of the Assumption:
You kept her untouched by the stain of original sin and the corruption of the grave. [Illa enim nec de originali culpa suscepit contagium, nec resolutionem pertulit in sepulcro; ...] 
while the Preface of the Mass of Mary, Mother of Fairest
Love [Beata Maria Virgo, Mater Pulchræ
Dilectionis] presents the mystery in both
negative and positive light:
Beauty was hers at her conception: free from all stain of sin, she is resplendent in the
glory of grace. [Illa pulchra fuit in conceptione, qua, ab omni peccati labe immunis,
decora renidet gratiæ fulgore] 
While I believe that these
magnificent texts can speak for themselves, there is surely much that may be drawn from them as well as from other
texts not cited. They embody some of the best fruit that has been born from the postconciliar liturgical
reform. Speaking of the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cardinal Virgilio Noè stated:
As the publication itself amply explains, a good number of the prayers, chants and chosen readings
from the Sacred Scriptures had in the first place arisen among local Christian communities, but their coordination
and reshaping for the benefit of the wider pastoral needs of the Roman Rite is an event of far from negligible
importance in the development by the magisterium and in the experience of the Christian people of the great riches
that are represented by Mary, the Mother of God. 
So it is that the liturgy of the Feast of the Conception
of Mary, which preceded the dogmatic definition by centuries, continues to develop under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit and to yield insights into the mystery, enriching the magisterium of the Church.
VII. The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception in the Magisterium
It is beyond the scope of
this modest essay to sketch the development of the papal magisterium on the mystery of the Immaculate Conception
in the course of the past fifty years. Even to trace the teaching of Pope John Paul II on this mystery could
well constitute an ample doctoral study. For our sake, it will have to suffice to offer a few evocative texts
of Pope John Paul II’s magisterium to illustrate how the richness of the mystery continues to be drawn out under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us look at a passage from the Encyclical Letter Redemptoris
Mater which situates the mystery in a context which is both christotypical and ecclesiotypical:
If we wish to meditate together with Mary on these words [Lk. 1:28], and especially on the expression
“full of grace,” we can find a significant echo in the very passage from the Letter to
the Ephesians quoted above [Eph. 1:4-7]. And if after the announcement of the messenger
the Virgin of Nazareth is also called “blessed among women” (cf. Lk. 1:42), it is because of the blessing with
which “God the Father” has filled us “in the heavenly places, in Christ.” It is a spiritual
blessing which is meant for all people and which bears in itself fullness and universality
(“every blessing”). It flows from that love which, in the Holy Spirit, unites the consubstantial Son to the
Father. At the same time, it is a blessing poured out through Jesus Christ upon human history until the end:
upon all people. This blessing, however, refers to Mary in a special and exceptional
degree: for she was greeted by Elizabeth as “blessed among women.”
The double greeting is due to the fact that in the soul of this “daughter of Sion” there is manifested,
in a sense, all the “glory of grace,” that grace which “the Father ... has given us in his beloved Son.” ...
When we read that the messenger addresses Mary as “full of grace,” the Gospel context, which
mingles revelations and ancient promises, enables us to understand that among all the “spiritual blessings in Christ”
this is a special “blessing.” In the mystery of Christ she is present even “before the creation of the world,” as the one whom the Father “has chosen” as
Mother of his Son in the Incarnation. And, what is more, together with the Father,
the Son has chosen her, entrusting her eternally to the Spirit of holiness. In an entirely special and exceptional
way Mary is united to Christ and similarly she is eternally loved in the “beloved Son,” this Son who is of one being with the Father, in whom is concentrated all the “glory of grace.” 
In his book, Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant, Ignace de la Potterie, S.J. called attention
to the fact that the verb charitoun is only found twice in the
New Testament: in Lk. 1:28 and Eph. 1:6 and he relates the two texts in order to arrive at his translation
of kecharitomene as “transformed by grace”.  The original Flemish edition of his work appeared
in 1985  and it seems entirely possible
that the Pope could have benefited from Father de la Potterie’s exegetical work, even if developing the theme in
his own unique way. The Pope has further linked these New Testament texts in two of his Marian catecheses.
Without presuming to exhaust
the depth of this remarkable excerpt, I would like to make the following points. The Pope is very clear that
the unique blessing given to Mary which justifies her being called “full of grace” is a gift that flows from the
heart of the Trinitarian life. It is a gift “which is meant for all people” even while “it refers to Mary
in a special and exceptional degree”. This follows from the fundamental principle that when God confers a
special privilege on one it is always for the benefit of all. In the case of Mary’s Immaculate Conception,
this unique privilege was bestowed precisely in view of her role in the Incarnation and Redemption. This
leads the Pope to make a statement of extraordinary depth which seems to have been missed by many commentators:
in the soul of this “daughter of Sion” there is manifested, in a sense, all the “glory of grace,”
that grace which “the Father ... has given us in his beloved Son.” [in anima huius «Filiæ
Sion» patefacta est quodammodo tota «gloria gratiæ», illius videlicet qua «Pater
... gratificavit nos in Dilecto».] 
This is an assertion of capital importance for understanding the mystery of the Immaculate Conception:
in a real sense every grace with which the Father has blessed us in Christ (cf. Eph. 1:3) is revealed in Mary’s
soul. This has profound implications in terms of Mary’s mediation of all graces which have yet to be grasped
There is another factor to
be underscored: the Pope in his own original way has corroborated the “Franciscan thesis” by stating about
In the mystery of Christ she is present even
“before the creation of the world,” as the one whom the Father “has chosen” as Mother of his Son in the Incarnation. And, what is more, together with the Father, the Son has chosen
her, entrusting her eternally to the Spirit of holiness. [In mysterio Christi ea
est præsens iam «ante mundi constitutionem», utpote quam Pater «elegerit» Matrem
Filii sui in incarnatione et cum Patre elegerit Filius, eam Spiritui sanctitatis ex æternitate permittens.] 
In both of the above citations the Pope emphasizes the
Trinitarian dimension of the mystery of the Immaculate Conception which St. Maximilian refers to as complementum Trinitatis.
I can only allude here to
the Pope’s penetrating treatment of the mystery in #7-11 of Redemptoris Mater (which remains to be analyzed from many different perspectives), to the more popular weekly Marian catecheses
which he gave on the Immaculate Conception from 8 May to 19 June 1996  from which I have been quoting in the course of this essay, and from his numerous references to the Immaculate
Conception in homilies, Angelus addresses and various other documents.
VIII. The Immaculate Coredemptrix
We have already noted the
importance of Gen. 3:15 for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. This is a text which has attracted
preachers and scholars from the first days of Christianity. Pope John Paul II rightly demonstrates that its
Marian connotation points in two directions:
In the light of the New Testament and the Church’s tradition, we know that the new woman announced
by the protoevangelium is Mary, and in “her seed” we recognize
her son Jesus who triumphed over Satan’s power in the Paschal Mystery.
We also observe that in Mary the enmity God put between the serpent and the
woman is fulfilled in two ways. God’s perfect ally and the devil’s enemy, she was completely removed from
Satan’s domination in the Immaculate Conception, when she was fashioned in grace by the Holy Spirit and preserved
from every stain of sin. In addition, associated with her Son’s saving work, Mary was fully involved in the
fight against the spirit of evil.
Thus the titles “Immaculate Conception” and “Cooperator of the Redeemer” show the lasting antagonism
between the serpent and the New Eve. The Church’s faith attributes these titles to Mary in order to proclaim
her spiritual beauty and her intimate participation in the wonderful work of redemption. 
In other words the enmity
between the Woman and the serpent point both to the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, a totally gratuitous
gift from God, and to the mystery of Mary’s active collaboration in the work of the redemption. The gratuitous
gift was necessary in order for Mary to play the role which God intended for her in our redemption. Here
is the way the Pope draws this truth out for our benefit:
The same biblical text [Gen. 3:15] also proclaims the enmity between the woman and her offspring
on the one hand and the serpent and his offspring on the other. This is a hostility
expressly established by God, which has a unique importance, if we consider the problem of the Virgin’s personal
holiness. In order to be the irreconcilable enemy of the serpent and his offspring Mary had to be free from
all power of sin, and to be so from the first moment of her existence.
In this regard, the Encyclical Fulgens Corona, published
by Pope Pius XII in 1953 to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception,
reasons thus: “If at a given moment the Blessed Virgin Mary had been left without divine grace, because she
was defiled at her conception by the hereditary stain of sin, between her and the serpent there would no longer
have been – at least during this period of time, however brief – that eternal enmity spoken of in the earliest
tradition up to the definition of the Immaculate Conception, but rather a certain enslavement” (AAS 45  579) 
Hence it is clear according
to the papal magisterium, that Mary was conceived without original sin and filled with grace precisely so that
she could fulfill her role as Mother of God and Coredemptrix. The enmity between the Woman and the serpent,
according to God’s plan, must have begun at the first moment of her existence so that she would have no “Achille’s
heel” whereby she could be attacked and so that she could be “God’s perfect ally” in the supreme battle fought
on Calvary. In fact the use of Gen. 3:15 in the modern papal magisterium almost always comprises these two
points of reference: Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her role as Coredemptrix.  This is readily verifiable in Ineffabilis
Deus,  as it is
in the entire tradition. 
There are many other areas
that time and allotted space have not allowed me to touch upon, such as how the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception
relates to her earthly knowledge,  to her
spiritual maternity of the faithful,  to
spiritual warfare,  to our spiritual life.
 The mystery of the Immaculate Conception
opens us to the infinity of God Himself. If God was a “maximalist” in the creation of Mary, how can we be
“minimalists”? St. Maximilian’s inspiration about a Library and Academy of the Immaculate is not foolish
romanticism; it is the wisdom of the saints. De Immaculata numquam satis!
Arthur Burton Calkins
John Saward, Cradle of Redeeming Love: The Theology
of the Christmas Mystery (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002) 47-48.
ST I, q. 25, a. 6 ad 4.
De conceptu virginali 18 [PL 158:451; F. S. Schmitt, S.
Anselmi Opera Omnia II:159. Cf. the illuminating comments of Luigi Gambero, S.M.
in his Maria nel pensiero dei teologi latini medievali (Cinisello
Balsamo: Edizioni S. Paolo, 2000) 128, n. 4 on the analogy with St. Anselm's Proslogion and with the prayer in which the saint expresses that Nihil est æquale
Mariæ; nihil, nisi Deus, maius Maria.
Amleto Tondini (ed.), Le Encicliche Mariane (Rome: Angelo Belardetti Editore, second edition, 1954) 30 [Our Lady:
Papal Teachings, trans. Daughters of St. Paul (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961)
= OL #31].
#8 [Austin Flannery, O.P., ed., Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1988) 754].
Stefano M. Cecchin, O.F.M., L'Immacolata Concezione.
Breve storia del dogma (Vatican City: Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis
"Studi Mariologici," No. 5, 2003).
University of Notre Dame Press, 1958.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana) = Inseg XVIII/2 (1995) 1369 [Pope John Paul II, Theotókos - Woman, Mother, Disciple:
A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God with a Foreword by Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, S.T.D.
(Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000) = MCat 51].
Michael O'Carroll, C.S.Sp. Theotokos: A Theological
Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Inc.; Dublin:
Dominican Publications, 1982) 242-245; 3551-356; Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D., The Rhine Flows
into the Tiber: A History of Vatican II (Rockford, IL: Tan Books & Publishers,
1985) 90-95; 153-159.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., “Mary Since Vatican II: Decline and Recovery,”
Marian Studies LIII (2002) 12.
Cf. the comments by Fathers George F. Kirwin, O.M.I. and Thomas Thompson, S.M. in
Donald W. Buggert, O.Carm., Louis P. Rogge, O.Carm., Michael J. Wastag, O.Carm. (eds.), Mother,
Behold Your Son: Essays in Honor of Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. (Washington, DC:
The Carmelite Institute, 2001) 17 & 202.
Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, “Revolution in Mariology 1949-1989,” in The Land of Carmel: Essays in Honor of Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (Rome:
Institutum Carmelitanum, 1991) 457-458. On the former page one also finds his evaluation of Fathers Cyril
Vollert, S.J., Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M. and Charles Balic, O.F.M., all of whom represent the christotypical approach
Cf. Carroll, “Revolution in Mariology” 455.
Tondini 732 [OL #590-591].
Cf. Tondini 44-46 [OL #49-52].
Cf. H.-L. Barth, Ipsa conteret. Maria die Schlangenzertreterin.
Philologische und theologische Überlegungen zum Protoevangelium (Gen 3, 15) (Kirchliche
Umschau 2000). This work was reviewed by Brunero Gherardini in Divinitas XLV:2 (2002) 224-225. Cf. also Thomas Mary Sennott, The Woman of Genesis (Cambridge, MA: The Ravengate Press, 1984) 37-60; Ibid., "Mary Coredemptrix," in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 49-63.
Stefano M. Manelli, F.I., All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed:
Biblical Mariology trans. Peter Damian Fehlner (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the
Immaculate, 1995) 21-33.
Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1389 [MCat 93].
Cf. Dei Verbum, especially #8, 10, 23.
(1996) 1252 [MCat 90]. Emphasis my own.
Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., “Kecharitomene en Lc 1,28: Étude philologique,” Biblica
68 (1987) 357-382; “Kecharitomene en Lc 1,28: Étude
exégétique et théologique,” Biblica 68
(1987) 480-508; Il mistero del cuore trafitto. Fondamenti biblici della spiritualità
del Cuore di Gesù (Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1988) 147-153. A further
corroboration of de la Potterie's exegesis may be found in Ernesto della Corte, “Kecharitomene (Lc 1,28) Crux interpretum,” Marianum LII (1990) 101-148.
Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant trans. Bertrand Buby, S.M. (New York: Alba House, 1992) = MMC 17-18.
Cf. Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I., “Virgo Ecclesia Facta: The Immaculate Conception,
St. Francis of Assisi and the Renewal of the Church,” in Donald H. Calloway, M.I.C., (ed.), The
Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church (Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press,
François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D., Connaître
l'amour du Christ qui surpasse toute connaissance: La théologie des saints
(Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1989), p. 78.
Emmanuele Testa, O.F.M., Maria Terra Vergine Vol. I: I Rapporti della Madre di Dio con la SS. Trinità (Sec.
I-IX); Vol. II: Il Culto mariano palestinese (Sec. I-IV) (Jerusalem: Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, 1984). Cf. review by Peter Damian Fehlner, O.F.M.
Conv. in Miles Immaculatae XXII:3-4 (1986) 402-407.
Cf. especially Testa I:330-332; 416-432.
Inseg XXIV/1 (2001) 58 [L'Osservatore
Romano (English edition) #1675:V].
Johannes Schneider, O.F.M., Virgo Ecclesia Facta: The
Presence of Mary in the Crucifix of San Damiano and in the Office of the Passion of St. Francis of Assisi (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2004; German original: Eos Verlag Erzabtei St. Ottilien,
1998; Italian translation: Edizioni Porziuncula, 2003).
Cf. Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I., "Virgo Ecclesia Facta: The Immaculate
Conception, St. Francis of Assisi and the Renewal of the Church," in Donald H. Calloway, M.I.C., (ed.), The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church (Stockbridge, MA:
Marian Press, 2004) 82-96.
Inseg XIX (1996) 1454-1455 [MCat 98-99].
Cf. Ruggero Rosini, O.F.M., Mariologia del beato Giovanni
Duns Scoto (Castelpetroso: Editrice Mariana «La Corredentrice», 1994)
74-100; Alessandro M. Apollonio, F.I., Mariologia Francescana da san Francesco d'Assisi
ai Francescani dell'Immacolata (Rome: Dissertationes ad Lauream in Pontificia Facultate
Theologica «Marianum», 1997) 75-82.
Cf. Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., Why Jesus Christ?: Thomistic,
Scotistic and Conciliatory Perspectives (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications,
1986) 121-149. The entire work is a lucid exposition on the primacy and the crowning opus
magnum of this faithful son of St. Francis. Cf. Also Rosini 17-31; Apollonio 73-75.
Cf. Peter Damian Fehlner, O.F.M. Conv., “Fr. Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.: His Mariology
and Scholarly Achievement,” Marian Studies XLIII (1992) 22-23,
Tondini 32 [OL #34]. This
concept has been consistently and solemnly reaffirmed in the papal magisterium since first being enunciated by
Bl. Pius IX; cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, Totus Tuus: John Paul II's Program of Marian
Consecration and Entrustment (Libertyville, IL: Academy of the Immaculate “Studies
and Texts, No. 1,” 1992) 201.
Cf. H.-M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P., Immaculate Conception and
the Holy Spirit: The Marian Teachings of Father Kolbe (Kenosha, WI: Franciscan
Marytown Press, 1977); Apollonio 109-196.
Roman Conferences of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe trans. with introduction and notes by Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I. (New Bedford: Academy of the
Immaculate, 2004) 47-48.
This third title comes from a sketch for a book which St. Maximilian wrote on 17 February
1941 a few hours before his second and final arrest. Text in Manteau-Bonamy 2-5.
Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I., St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, Martyr
of Charity, Pneumatologist: His Theology of the Holy Spirit (New Bedford:
Academy of the Immaculate, 2004) 92-115.
Cf. Cecchin 5-37, 102, 106.
Inseg XIX (1996) 1455 [MCat 99].
Acta Apostolicæ Sedis = AAS 66 (1974) 162 [St. Paul Editions,
#56, p. 46].
For a detailed study of the sources and precedents of this composition, cf. Anthony
Ward, S.M. & Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B., The Prefaces of the Roman Missal: A Source
Compendium with Concordance and Indices (Rome: Congregation for Divine Worship,
Collectio Missarum de Beata Maria Virgine 2 vols. (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1987) = Col. English translation: Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin
Mary 2 vols. (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1992).
Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. and Anthony Ward, S.M., Præcelsa
Filia Sion: Approaching the Euchological Vocabulary of the Collection Missarum de Beata Maria Virgine. Notitiæ 278-279 (Vol. 25  No. 9-10)
= PFS 633.
Cf. General Introduction of Col #29-33.
Cf. General Introduction of Col #34-37.
AAS 59 (1967) 467 [St. Paul Edition 3].
Redemptoris Mater #8; Inseg X/1 (1987) 686-687.
Cf. Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1192 [MCat 88]; Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1254 [MCat 92].
Inseg X/1 (1987) 686.
Inseg X/1 (1987) 687.
(1996) 116-117 [MCat 63]. Emphasis in second paragraph
(1996) 1389-1390 [MCat 93-94]. Emphasis my own.
With regard to the papal magisterium on Marian Coredemption, cf. Arthur Burton Calkins,
“Il Mistero di Maria Corredentrice nel Magistero Pontificio” in Autori Vari, Maria Corredentrice:
Storia e Teologia I (Frigento [AV]: Casa Mariana Editrice «Bibliotheca Corredemptionis
B. V. Mariae» Studi e Richerche 1, 1998) 141-220; “The Mystery of Mary the Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium,”
in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D. (ed.), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) 25-92; “Pope John Paul II's Teaching on Marian
Coredemption” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate,
Theological Foundations II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical (Santa Barbara,
CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997) 113-147; “Pope John Paul II's Ordinary Magisterium on Marian Coredemption:
Consistent Teaching and More Recent Perspectives,” Divinitas
XLV «Nova Series» (2002) 153-185.
Cf. my soon to be published study, “The Immaculate Coredemptrix in the Life and Teaching
of Blessed Pius IX” in Volume V of Mary at the Foot of the Cross
(New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate).
Many other studies in Volume V of Mary at
the Foot of the Cross will also treat of
the relationship between Mary's Immaculate Conception and her role as Coredemptrix as does the recently published
article by Mons. Brunero Gherardini, "L'Immacolata Corredentrice," Immaculata Mediatrix IX:2 (2004)
Cf. Alessandro M. Apollonio, F.I., Maria, modello di Fede? (Castelpetroso: Casa Mariana Editrice, 1995).
Cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Immaculate Conception and Mary’s Spiritual Maternity,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review
XCIII, No. 1 (October 1992) 22-26.
Cf. Livio Fanzaga, The Deceiver: Our Daily Struggle
with Satan (Fort Collins, CO: Roman Catholic Books, 2000) 67-73, 223-224.
Cf. Paul Hinnebusch, O.P., Mother of Jesus Present with Us (Libertyville, IL: Prow Books, 1980) 150-161.
Copyright ©; Msgr Arthur Calkins 2005
Version 27th January 2006