|La Purísima Inmaculada Concepción|
by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, where we believe as Catholics that Mary was preserved by a prevenient grace, a preventative gift of God, that she was spared participation in original sin, and therefore of any personal sin at any time.
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We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.
—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854