The Immaculate Conception
By Joseph Toone
December 8 marks one of the most widely misunderstood concepts of Catholicism. It is even misunderstood by many practicing Catholics.
The Immaculate Conception is when St. Anne became pregnant with the Blessed Mother, Mary. It is not when Mary became pregnant with Jesus. The easy way to remember this is that nine months following the Immaculate Conception the birth of Mary is celebrated on September 8.
The Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning Catholics must attend mass. Most in San Miguel prefer to attend services at the Temple of the Immaculate Conception on Canal Street affectionately called Las Monjas (the nuns). In fact, the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception still maintain a small cloister of active nuns that began in 1754.
All day there will be food, music and fun to celebrate this holy day dedicated to Mary’s conception.
The image of the Mary’s Immaculate Conception in art depicts Mary as young woman standing in clouds surrounded by stars, the moon and cherubs representing the Queen of the Heavens. Pictured are local nuns getting this image ready for her daylong celebrations.