December 8, 2021


Part II – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 8, 2021

(Second in four-part series of reflections on the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of Jesus)

By: The Rev. Victoria S. Esguerra
Retired Priest, Diocese of Greater Manila Area


Three Latin words – “Fiat, Magnificat, Stabat” – describe the life of the Blessed Virgin Mother.  In the eyes of God, the Virgin Mary was unique and indispensably part of His Creation.  Mary’s “FIAT” was her obedience to God, as recorded in the Gospels of Jesus according to Luke and Matthew, when she accepted the Angel Gabriel’s announcement that she would conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In her lowliness, she humbly said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.”  

In her “MAGNIFICAT,” she gave glory to God when she visited her cousin, Elizabeth, who cried out, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”  Mary replied, “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.  Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…” Her exaltation to God was an expression of her feelings of praise, thanksgiving, and acknowledgement of God’s grace to a lowly servant like her.  But she did not reveal to Elizabeth the great secret of God’s plan for her. 

Her “STABAT” made her stand by God with faith though accompanied by pain, anguish and sorrow: when she (and Joseph) carried Baby Jesus to Egypt to escape from Herod’s death threat; when Jesus at 12 years old was lost and later found preaching in the Temple; and when she suffered worst of all at the foot of the cross in Calvary and buried Him in a borrowed grave. (Alice M. Raroque, PDI, September 8, 1997)


Aside from the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel, the betrothal of Mary to Joseph, and the Nativity (birth) of Jesus, not much is mentioned about the Blessed Mother’s relationship to Jesus in the Scriptures except in these five instances: (1) Mary’s (and Joseph’s) finding Jesus at the Temple after He was lost for three days; (2) At the marriage in Cana, Galilee, when she asked Jesus to miraculously turn water into wine and Jesus reluctantly obeyed (John Chapter 2);  (3) At the foot of the cross when Jesus said, “Woman, here is your son”… and to John, “Here is your mother”;  (4) In the upper room with the disciples (Acts 1:14); and (5) Mary referred to as the “woman clothed in the sun” and a symbol of God’s people (Israel and the Church) (Rev. 12).


Sister Lucy of Fatima, 18 years old and a postulant in a convent, was inspired by the Divine Presence of Jesus, who revealed to her the offenses or blasphemies committed against His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary:  (1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception; (2) Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity; (3) Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the mother of men [humanity]; (4) Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;  and (5) Offenses of those who outrage Her directly in her holy images (The Fatima Crusader, Issue 49, Summer 1995).  

FIRST BLASPHEMY: AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – In general the Protestant sects refuse to accept this dogma, defined by Pope Pius IX in his encyclical “Inefabilis Deus” (1854) “that by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, Mary is preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” They continue to maintain that the Blessed Virgin was conceived with the stain of “original sin” (Augustinian concept).  According to the Catholic dogma, the Blessed Mother, by virtue of her cooperation with God and her Son’s redemption, has been exempted from this general rule (applied to humans) and remained free of personal sins in her whole lifetime.  Upon the completion of her earthly life, “she was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

Mary’s Son overcame sin and death. He rose triumphant in His glorified body.  And He conquered death for humanity as well.  Those who believe and are baptized ‘die to sin and rise again to new life;’ they are born again in a supernatural way.  But God does not grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death. Thus their bodies are corrupted after death, and only on the last day, in the resurrection of the dead, will these bodies rise and be joined to their glorious souls.” (Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP, Sambuhay, August 15, 2010)

Oftentimes, the Immaculate Conception is being confused with the Virgin Birth, in which Mary gave birth to Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus’ divinity did not originate from Mary; rather that “Jesus, the Second Person in the Trinity, was born of Mary according to the flesh.  What was born to Mary was the humanity by which the Word is united according to the grand design of the heavenly Father.” (Fr. Paul J. Marquez, SSP, Sambuhay, Jan. 1, 2011)

SECOND BLASPHEMY: AGAINST HER PERPETUAL VIRGINITY The Orthodox Church accepts this. But the Protestants reject the perpetual virginity of Mary “before, during, and after birth” -- by asserting that Mary was betrothed and married to Joseph, she ceased to be a virgin. But the Catholic Church believes that she was a virgin throughout her lifetime as revealed by Mary’s encounters with women-saints. [Please wait for this assertion to be verified in the forthcoming article on Mary’s own account of her life story.]

THIRD BLASPHEMY:  AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY – The non-Catholic Christians theoretically accept the Divine Maternity of Mary as defined at the Council of Ephesus convened by Pope St. Celestine I in 431 AD.  Declared as the Mother of God (“Theotokos”) by the Council, it condemned Nestorius’ (Bishop of Constantinople) preference to “Christotokos” or “Bearer of Christ.” The Council also clarified the two natures of Christ – divine and human.  In the Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church it referred twelve times to Mary as the Mother of God.  As Mother of Humanity, in the Catholic sense, she is considered a Co-Redemptor or Mediatrix of Grace.  

FOURTH BLASPHEMY:  HATRED OF THE IMMACULATE MOTHER – inculcating indifference, scorn, or hatred for the Blessed Virgin Mary.  “But there is something graver, more serious by far than all the offenses of heretics, schismatic, and apostates and ungodly men.  It’s the blasphemy of the Church’s own children against the Immaculate Heart of Mary… The rationalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the modernism of the 20th century, continue to attack the Marian doctrine and devotion, and just as scornfully and perfidiously.” (The Fatima Crusader, 1995)

FIFTH BLASPHEMY: ATTACK OF HER HOLY IMAGES – Starting with the Bolshevik Communism in Russia, the icons of the Blessed Mother had disappeared – destroyed or hidden.  Also, it “attempted in every possible way to destroy the profound veneration for the Mother of God, anchored in the soul of the Russian people” (Fatima Crusader, 1995).  In the True Life in God messages of Jesus, He warned against the destruction of the images or icons of His Mother and the desecration of the churches as part of the signs of the times (near-end of the world). These occurrences are now visible in many parts of the world, in both Catholic and non-Catholic countries.


In Mary’s pilgrimage on earth, she cooperated with God in her obedience, faith, hope and willingness to journey with Jesus in His earthly ministry. Her messages today through her apparitions to devout persons of profound faith [in forthcoming articles] prophesy of the impending disasters that would occur if people don’t repent and return to God.  As the Queen of Peace, she intercedes for us through her Son Jesus and shows us the way to find solace and peace amidst the adversities in this present world, including our sufferings from this covid pandemic and the resulting economic chaos.  In the end, the Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart will triumph with Jesus’s Sacred Heart to grant peace to the world and save humanity from the scourge wrought by the Enemy.  Jesus says that redemption is coming soon as the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Mother recited worldwide will enchain and snare the Enemy. (True Life in God, www.tlig.org)




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