Monday, December 08, 2008

"I am the Immaculate Conception"


Bernadette Soubirous, 1858.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. It was not until the nineteenth century, however, that the Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854. It was four years later at Lourdes, France, that a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, witness the apparition of a beautiful lady who, when asked who she was, responded: "I am the Immaculate Conception."

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