|His Holiness Ven. Pope Pius IX|
King of Rome(1846 – 1878)
POPE PIUS IX PROCLAIMS THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
On December 8, 1854, having spent all of his holy life – his boyhood, his priesthood, as bishop, cardinal and Pope – at the feet of the Mother of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and having deeply considered also, in his exile at Gaeta, the earnest petitions of Catholics all over the world in its behalf, Pope Pius IX defined ex cathedra, in the glorious Basilica of Saint Peter's before one hundred and seventy bishops and innumerable pilgrims come literally from the ends of the earth, the divine dogma of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception. The voice of the Sovereign Pontiff broke and tears filled his eyes as he paused before uttering the infallible words:
"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful...."
As the Holy Father finished speaking, the cannon of the Castle of Sant' Angelo boomed and the bells of the basilicas and churches of Rome long rang out the glorious news, which ushered in the Age of Mary – the last age of the world. The Catholic faithful rejoiced, and grace flooded their souls as they prayed the prayer Our Lady herself had given twenty years before to Catherine Laboure, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
Consecration to the Immaculate Conception
In the presence of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and with heaven and earth as our witness, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet, O Mary, Our Lady.
We acknowledge Thee as our Mother, as the Immaculate Conception, living tabernacle of the Divinity, as Queen of angels and of men, as Mother of the Church and of the Catholic priesthood, and as refuge of the afflicted. That is why, small and weak that we are, we wish to consecrate to Thee our Institute, our families, our persons, our works, our future, all that pertains to us and is in us, and which God, in His immeasurable goodness, has entrusted to us for our good use.
We also consecrate to Thee the value of our good actions, past, present, and future, leaving to Thee the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us. Mary, be our Mother; sanctify us, purify us, correct us, guide us, pray for us and protect us.
Help us to perfectly fulfill the duties of our state of life. Extinguish in us all self-love, which prevents Thy Divine Son, King and Sovereign Priest, from reigning in and around us.
Cover abundantly with thy maternal protection all the parishes, chapels, schools, works and missions entrusted to the Institute, and mayest Thou forever impede the devil from reigning, in any manner, in this Institute which desires to be entirely Thine for the greater glory of God, the exaltation of our Mother the Holy Catholic Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.
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