The Vision of St. Anne (God the Father Sends the Virgin Mary to Her Parents Joachim and Anne), by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1757-1759
“The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
Pope Pius IX
Prayer to the Immaculate Conception
of the Virgin Mary
Father, you prepared the Virgin Mary
to be the worthy mother of Your Son.
You let her share beforehand in the
salvation Christ would bring by His death,
and kept her sinless
from the first moment of her conception.
Help us by her prayers
to live in Your presence without sin.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.
St. Ambrose, by Matthias Stom, first half of 17th century
“Mercy is a good thing, for it makes men perfect, in that it imitates the perfect Father.
Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy.”
St. Nicholas, by Titian, 1563
Prayer to Saint Nicholas
O good St. Nicholas, you who are the joy
of the children, put in my heart the spirit of childhood,
which the gospel speaks, and teach me to seed happiness around me.
You, whose feast prepares us for Christmas,
open my faith to the mystery of God made man.
You, good bishop and shepherd, help me to find my place in the Church
and inspire the Church to be faithful to the gospel.
O good St. Nicholas, patron of children, sailors and the helpless,
watch over those who pray to Jesus, your Lord and theirs,
as well as over those who humble themselves before you.
Bring us all in reverence to the Holy Child of Bethlehem,
when true joy and peace are found.