THERE IS POWER IN DEVOTION TO MARY’S IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

   Miraculous medal.jpg
 (Medal of the Immaculate Conception, a/k/a the “Miraculous Medal”)

We are in need of power in the spiritual life. Here is a devotion full of power because Mary’s Immaculate Conception was a spiritual revolution in human history. It was a revolution because it brought forth a human being no longer contaminated by sin (Mary), who was fit to be the mother of the Savior of the world (Jesus). It is the Saints themselves who understood the marvelous union of Mary and Jesus.

In my previous post I outlined doctrinal and scriptural bases for the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. In this follow-up post, which is essentially a postscript to that note, I touch briefly on the importance and efficacy of increased devotion to the Immaculate Conception.

Mary entered human existence by a remarkable grace that preserved her from original sin, and which set her apart to become the Mother of God and the harbinger of God’s own human existence in the person of Jesus. Mary’s Immaculate Conception thus warrants a special devotion, and wearing the Miraculous Medal (first called the medal of the Immaculate Conception), and saying the prayer each morning, “Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you,”  is one way to effectively practice this devotion. Saints who have been devoted to Mary’s Immaculate Conception include Saint Catherine Laboure (the nun who received the Miraculous Medal devotion from the Virgin Mary), Saint Bernadette, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and Blessed Mother Teresa (whose nuns have given out millions of Miraculous Medals).

Father Faber, who I am essentially relying on, talks about the power of this devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Conception; he indicates that her Immaculate Conception “is the first dawn of the world’s redemption.” He further indicates that devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Conception is calculated to help us greatly in our “present needs…against the torrent of modern impurity” (and Faber was writing around 150 years ago, so how much more do we need this devotion now!). Perhaps you know someone battling impurity: here is a devotion “eminently calculated” to sanctify our unruly passions. Faber recommends immense devotion to Mary and her Immaculate Conception, calling such devotion “a special power with God.” Of the power of Mary’s mediation Saint Pope John Paul II once said:

“In Mary’s case we have a special and exceptional mediation…Jesus Christ prepared her ever more completely to become for all people their ‘mother in the order of grace’ ” (Saint Pope John Paul II, Mother of the Redeemer, 39).

This “preparation” began with the Immaculate Conception. If you are interested in the Miraculous Medal devotion, I recommend you read about the amazing conversion story of a Jewish man, Alphonse Ratisbonne. To do so, click on the post below:

The Miraculous Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Tom Mulcahy, M.A.

Note: A short but powerful prayer invoking the Immaculate Conception is: “Oh Mary, by thy Immaculate Conception make my body pure and my soul holy.”  The tone and content of this note owing to the writings of Father Faber, and in the first two sentences I am copying him.

Photo attribution: The photo above is by Xhienne, May 18, 2007, “Medal of the Immaculate Conception,” at Wikipedia,  available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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