Speaking to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holiday in Italy and in other Catholic countries, Pope John Paul II said the dogma of the Immaculate Conception can only be comprehended by the light of faith.
“If Christ is the day on which the sun never sets, Mary is the morning resplendent with beauty,” said the Pontiff, adding that “Mary, pre-chosen to be the Mother of the Word incarnate, is at the same time the first fruits of his redemptive work.”
Regarding the mystery of Mary, the Pope said “the human mind cannot pretend to understand such a great marvel and mystery. It is faith that reveals to us that the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin is the rock of salvation for all humanity which journeys on the earth. And it is faith also that reminds us that, because of her most unique condition, Mary is our infallible support in the difficult struggle against sin and its consequences.”
Later, as John Paul II traveled by pope mobile to the monument to the Immaculate Conception located near the Spanish Steps, he said, “We will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of that solemn act of the Church’s Magisterium.”