December 8th is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church.
The Immaculate Conception is an often misunderstood concept. Many think that it has to do with Jesus’ virgin birth. In reality, it has to do with Mary’s being conceived from the first moment of her being free from original sin. We are all born in a state of lacking sanctifying grace – in a certain estrangement from God. Not so with Mary. From the first moment of her existence, Satan had no dominion over her.