Saint Bernadette’s apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary occurred in 1858 in Lourdes, France. Just over three years before Mary spoke these words to Bernadette, Pope Pius IX had put the long-standing belief of the Immaculate Conception into precise language and declared it a dogma of the Church:
“. . . The most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was kept free of every stain of original sin.” (Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854)
Sin had no hold on Mary! This special grace prepared Mary for the moment when God would send His angel asking her to be the mother of Jesus. She opened her heart to Him and her immaculate body, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became the maternal vessel of our divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God came to dwell in her womb! But first He came to dwell in her heart. This precious gift, His spiritual indwelling, is also offered to you. Initially given at Baptism, it deepens with every act of faith, hope, and love that you make – He desires to dwell ever more richly in your heart.
Such a Presence necessitates your preparation, your readiness, your love. As Our Lady was prepared in advance for her distinctive vocation to be the mother of Christ, your heart too must be made ready for the deepening of His indwelling. The season of Advent is set aside each year for you to foster holy desire and active watchfulness. Use it to the utmost by intensifying your prayer and openness to Him!
Come, Lord, Jesus, and do not delay!
When you make a donation to our community in honor of or in memory of a special loved one, you can request a special greeting be sent by mail or email letting them know of the Sisters’ prayers! Beautiful cards and e-cards, produced by our Sisters, are available for a variety of occasions, each containing a message of prayer and uplifting scriptural passages.