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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Festa Immacolata Concezione - Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Dicembre 8.


The Immaculate Conception by Murillo, 1660, Museo del Prado, Spain.

Today is a Public holiday here in Italy in celebration of this event.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated every year on 8 December in a number of countries including Italy where the date is a Public holiday.

I do not know much about the celebrations as I am not Catholic but assume that the church has special services. There is a widespread misunderstanding of the term ‘immaculate conception’ as many believe it refers to Mary's conception of Jesus, that the date of this celebration occurs only seventeen days before Christmas should make the error obvious! Annunciation of the Lord or the Incarnation of Christ, as it is also known is celebrated on 25 March, exactly nine months before Christmas Day. It was at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honour bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, goes back to the seventh century, when churches in the East began celebrating the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. In other words, this feast celebrates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of Saint Anne; and nine months later, on September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It is sunny and 10C (at 9.30am) so I think we will be working in the garden today, tidying up ready for the winter.


  1. There is no work more satisfying than gardening. Enjoy your (Holi)day.

  2. Hi and thanks so much for all the details of the Feast day. I hope it's a lovely holiday – lucky to have sunshine and be able to get out into the garden! – g

  3. beautiful enjoy your day, I will picture you in the sunny garden, I'm sitting in a blizzard.

  4. Not being a catholic I knew none of this so it was a learning curve for me.
    I need to do some tidying up in the garden but we have had a very wet few days. Also we have been running around with all the papers for the export of our car. There seems to be a lot to do now we are making the move final! Hope all well with you Diane x

  5. I am Catholic and hesitated to try to explain the meaning of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as Catholics believe it but you did a great job. We believe that Mary was conceived without sin as she was to play an important part in the story of the Messiah. Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the church and one of the days Holy Mass is an obligation, just as on a Sunday. Blessings to you and yours.

  6. I was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic school for eight years -- this was a Holy Day (maybe it still is) in the US. Mass was said as if it were Sunday, and unlike our neighbors and friends who were not Catholic, we got the day off from school. I'm sure some of the reason for confusion about what the day celebrates is because back when I was a kid, it was pretty difficult for the nuns to explain the concept of "Immaculate Conception" to a bunch of pre-teen kids ;>)...heck, back then even our parents had trouble with it.

  7. December 8 has always marked the beginning of the Christmas season in Ireland. It is a holy day so all the farmers came to town for Mass and then did their Christmas shopping. Shops decorated for this first Christmas shopping day.

  8. Hi Lindy,
    I love your post, thank you for sharing. You are so fortunate to have sunshine. We have 100mph winds here and it's going to be a rough night!
    Blessings and prayers,

  9. Lol at the error! :)
    Ciao Linda, I wanted to take some pictures in the garden today, but my day has flown past :( ..we're still enjoying Roses, Chrysanthemums and Pansies..surely your temperature makes your job in the garden more pleasant!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    Michela x

  10. Your weather sounds lovely and mild. Very cold, wet and windy here in Galway, Ireland. I got soaked to the skin today - nothing more unpleasant than cold, soggy denims. Where in Lazio are you? Enjoyed the details about the Immaculate Conception. I grew up a Catholic and never gave the meaning of the Feast Day any real thought before!

  11. Hi darling, we're expecting some snow this evening, I'm looking forward to the white stuff to go along with the nip in the air. hugs ~lynne~

  12. This is a special day in many cultures. Yesterday I was visiting my mother at her rehabilitation center and one of the nurses...originally from the Philippine Islands said she would not see me tomorrow because she was leaving work early to go to church because it was "Our Lady's Birthday." I knew what she meant. It was always a challenge to explain that only someone born "immaculate" without original sin could be the "Mother of God." It is a challenge to understand all this dogmas.

  13. It's always nnice to read religious related post, learning something new. 10celcius? Wow...thats cold...very cold to us. We have an average of 30 -35celcius here daily, night maybe 25, so 10 is cold to us ;)

  14. This idiot above my comment has done the same on my blog several times, but it never got published because I don't allow anonymous posts on my blog and all comments older than a week have to have my approval. I think you should do the same with your settings !

    I am not catholic either but my husband of course, but honnestly immaculate conception or not, if it's an official holiday and you don't have to work it's OK for me !

  15. Bella was home sick that day, so we didn't get to attend a service. Although I'm Methodist, I grew up Catholic and enjoy the beautiful masses.

  16. Always a beautiful day..Holy Day for us in the USA..Wonderful explanation and interesting read.
    I always enjoy your blogs..xoxoCarolyn

  17. Yes, it is a Holy Day of Obligation here in Ireland too (though not a national holiday). I braved gale force winds and rain/sleet to go to Mass after college. I hope you enjoyed tidying your garden in that glorious Italian sunshine :)


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