King Felipe IV, who reigned from 1621 to 1640, urged Pope Gregory XV to proclaim the dogma, though without success.
In 1761, King Carlos III established the “universal patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in all the Kingdoms of Spain and the Indies.”
The Order of Carlos III has been the highest civil decoration awarded in Spain since 1771. Its emblem is an image of the Immaculate Virgin.
The statue located in the Spanish Plaza in Rome was placed there in view of the defense of this Marian dogma by the Spanish through the centuries.
The privilege granted to Spanish priests
In the 19th century, a special privilege was granted to the priests of the Church in Spain to wear a chasuble of the purest shade of blue on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
This is a notable exception, since the General Instruction of the Roman Missal establishes that the liturgical colors are white, green, red, violet, black and rose.
The use in Spain of the blue chasuble, however, has been on record since the 17th century, long before the proclamation of the dogma. Pope Pius VII first recognized it in 1817 for the Seville Cathedral for the feast of the Immaculate Conception and its octave.
This privilege was extended to the entire Seville archdiocese in 1879. Four years later, it was extended to all the dioceses of Spain.
In 1962 it was established that the liturgical vestments of this color were to be used in Spain only on the day of the solemnity and in the votive Masses of the Immaculate Conception.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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