EUROPE/POLAND - 150th anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception - “Looking at Mary, we see what God’s love can achieve when man makes no resistance”: from the shrine of Jasna Gura in Czestochowa

Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Czestochowa (Fides Service) - “The Jubilee year of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception reminds us of its unchanging importance. To understand the Immaculate Conception properly we must consider the plan of the Creator who wishes us to be ‘holy and spotless before him’. Human sin destroyed this plan. In Mary the plan was fulfilled, she is created without sin. Contemplating her holiness we should turn to the One “who did great things in her”. Mary, the Creator’s masterpiece, the most beautiful of creatures, calls us to praise Almighty God. Looking at Mary, we see what God’s love can achieve when man makes no resistance. Mary is all holy. She is the Immaculate Conception because she is the Mother of God. God’s grace triumphs in Mary and she leads us to Jesus, the only source of all grace.
The Immaculate Conception is not only the fact that Mary is without original sin, but that the Holy Spirit lives in her. When we invoke Mary, we invoke the Holy Spirit who lives in her and makes us holy like Mary. When we turn to Mary we are turning to the Spirit and his power to transform all things.
To imitate Mary is to live in a state of sanctifying grace. We should love her and invite her into our life to help us overcome our passions, our sins and the bad influence which the world has on our life. Through her intercession we receive special graces. With her we can draw ever closer to Jesus. She helps us to bear patiently the sufferings and contradictions of our life and to praise the Lord even in times of trouble.
Although Mary was preserved from all stain of sin she is close to us in our suffering and our struggle against evil.
Maria is inseparable from Jesus and she wishes us to be united with Him in the same way. She leads us to the Eucharist, the sacrament which unites us perfectly with him. The Eucharist helps us discover the depth of God mercy who comes to save us. Mary helps us to pray like the apostles in the Upper Room.
In Poland the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated most solemnly at Niepokalanow Shrine built in honour of Immaculate Mary by Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe. In October the Shrine hosted a Mariological Symposium on the “ Mystery of the Immaculate Conception and Christian life”. The jubilee is also important for the Immaculate Legion founded by Saint Kolbe. The whole year has been one of theological reflection and prayer at Czestochowa, and various other places in Poland.” Sr Anna Siudak, FMM (Agenzia Fides 7/12/2004 - righe 35; parole 477)