The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Queen Conceived Without Sin

The great and glorious Queen of Angels, of of patriarchs, of prophets, of Apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins, of all saints was by a special predilection of the Creator, conceived without sin, immaculate. The illustrious Pontiff Pope Pius IX declared this teaching a dogma of the church on the sixth day of December, 1854.

No words could be more appropriate, none more beautiful concerning our most pure, most chaste Mother Mary, our Queen Immaculate, than those of the apostolic letter of our most holy Father, Pope Pius IX. of holy memory, who proclaimed the doctrine of Mary’s immaculate conception an article of faith.

From the apostolic brief we learn that God, who is ineffable, whose ways are those of mercy and truth, whose will is omnipotence itself, whose wisdom reaches irresistibly from one eternity to another and disposes of all things kindly, seeing in His prescience from all eternity the lamentable ruin of the entire human race, the consequence of Adam’s transgression and having in the hidden mystery from the beginning of the ages decreed that, by the sacrament still more mysterious, of the incarnation of the Word, He would accomplish the primitive work of His goodness, in order that man urged to wrong doing by the perfidy of the evil spirit, should not perish, contrary to the design of His mercy, and that which should come upon the first Adam was put aside in the second by a blessing greater than that misfortune, chose and prepared from the beginning and before the ages, a mother for His only Son, that taking from her His flesh and blood, He should be born in the blessed fullness of time; and He loved her among all creatures with such a love, that He placed in her alone, by a sovereign predilection, all His complaisances.

Elevating her incomparably above all the angels and saints, He favored her with the abundance of celestial gifts, taken from the divine treasury, in such a marvelous manner, that always and entirely free from all stain of sin, all beautiful and all perfect, she possessed the plenitude of innocence and of the greatest sanctity that can be conceived outside of God, and in such a way that no other, save God, can comprehend it.

And, indeed, it was in every way proper that she should always shine forth with the splendors of sanctity, the most perfect, and that entirely exempt from the taint even of original sin, she would obtain the most complete victory over the ancient serpent, that Mother, so venerable, to whom God the Father was pleased to give His only begotten Son, conceived in her heart, equal to Him, and whom He loves as Himself, and to give Him in such a way that He is naturally one and the same common Son of God the Father, and the Virgin; she whom the Son Himself chose to be substantially His Mother, she, of whom the Holy Ghost wished that, by His operation, He should be conceived and born, out of whom He Himself proceeds.

This unique and glorious triumph of the Virgin, her most excellent innocence, her purity, her sanctity, her integrity possessed free from all stain of sin, her ineffable riches, of all the heavenly graces, of all the virtues, of all the privileges, her greatness, the Fathers of the Church have recognized the image of them in the Ark of Noe, which, after being made by God’s command, escaped entirely from the general deluge of the whole world: again, in the ladder of Jacob “that reached from earth to Heaven, on the rungs of which the angels of God ascended and descended, while God Himself rested on the summit of it by which, her untarnished innocence, and her sanctity, free from any spot, were admirably prefigured.

To describe all that has been said, or, so to say, all those divine gifts and the original integrity of the Virgin, of whom was born Jesus, the Fathers, using the words of the prophets, have likened the venerable Virgin herself to the pure dove, the holy Jerusalem, the sublime throne of God, the ark of sanctification, and the house that eternal wisdom built for Himself; to the queen, who, filled with delights and resting upon her beloved, came forth from the mouth of the Most High, all perfect, all beautiful, all lovable in the sight of God.

And revolving in their heart and mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary was in the name and by the command of God, called “full of grace” by the Angel Gabriel, when he announced to her her incomparable dignity of the Mother of God; the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers have taught that, by the singular and solemn salvation, of which there is no other instance, it is declared that the Mother of God is the seat of all graces, that she is adorned with all the gifts of the Holy Ghost; still more, that she is as the infinite treasure and unsoundable depths of these gifts; in such manner that she was at no time tainted with the malediction, and that participating, in union with her Son, in the eternal benediction, she merited to hear from the lips of Elizabeth, inspired of the Holy Ghost: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

It is also their belief, no less clearly expressed and unanimous, that the glorious Virgin, in whom He that is all powerful hath done great things, shone with such brilliancy in all the heavenly gifts, of the plentitude of grace, and of such innocence, that she was as an ineffable miracle of God, or rather the accumulation of all miracles, in a word, worthy to be the Mother of God: and approaching God as closely as it is possible for a created being to do, and more than all created beings, she is raised to such greatness that the praises of men and angels cannot do justice to her.

In order to bring out more clearly that state of innocence and justice, in which the Mother of God was created, they have often not only compared her to Eve, virgin, innocent and pure, before she fell into the snares of the astute serpent, but more still they place her above Eve, finding a thousand admirable means to express this superiority.

Eve, indeed, in following the suggestion of the serpent, lost her original innocence and became his slave; but the blessed Virgin, increasing constantly her original gifts, far from ever giving ear to the serpent, overcame entirely, by the divine virtue which she had received, his strength and his power.

Let all, therefore, with even more ardor and piety continue to honor, invoke and beseech the ever blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin, and let all have recourse with entire confidence to that sweet Mother of grace and of mercy in all their dangers, their sorrows, their necessities and their fears.

There is nothing to dread; there is no reason to lose hope when we walk under the care, auspices, patronage and protection of her who, having for us the heart of a mother, and taking upon herself the affair of our salvation, is solicitous for all men and nations.

Made by our Lord Queen of Heaven and earth, exalted above all the choirs of angels and all the orders of saints, seated at the right hand of her only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; what she wishes she obtains; she cannot ask in vain.