The Immaculate Conception of Mary
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
and my soul shall be joyful in my God:
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation:
and with the robe of justice he hath covered me,
as a bridegroom decked with a crown,
and as a bride adorned with her jewels.
Isaiah 61, 10
And Mary said,
“My soul glorifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
for He who is mighty has done great things to me,
and holy is His name."
I have called you by name, you are mine.
Isaiah 43, 1
Indeed, the original Greek word eulogeo also occurs seven times in the Gospels with reference in the masculine perfect passive participle form only to Jesus. We find it in the second clause of Luke 1:42 (as in the Book of Judith 13 referring to YHWH) and in Mark 11:9: ‘And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna, blessed (eulogemenos or εὐλογημένος) is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ The blessed state of the kingdom of heaven where the Divine rules is in likeness the blessed state of the Lord in his divine humanity: “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14), and in the likeness of his blessed mother who has been most abundantly and supremely graced: ‘And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace (Ave gratia plena) the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’ (Lk 1:28 DRB).
Thus, Elizabeth is pronouncing her kinswoman blessed for the quality of her soul which mirrors the justice and sanctity of her divine Son’s in his humanity. The Mother of our Lord is most blessed for having the Spirit of God dwell within her, whose sanctifying or justifying grace has made her pure as her divine Son is pure in his sacred humanity (1 Jn 3:3). She is revealed to be spiritually and bodily unblemished without any stain of sin in the likeness of her divine Son because of her collaboration with him in the redemption of humankind. God put Mary at enmity with the serpent and, by doing so, exempted her from being implicated in the sin of Adam along with the rest of humanity, as to be worthiest of being the mother of His Only-begotten Son and our Redeemer.
Not unlike her divine Son in his humanity, by the plenitudes of grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit with which she has been endowed in a singular way, Mary is totally detached from all created things that could draw a soul away from God, these vain allurements of the world which the serpent or dragon has the liberty to exploit in its quest to destroy souls by extinguishing the light of God's glory in them (Rom 3:23). But Mary's soul magnifies the glory of the Lord, and her spirit rejoices in God her savior, who has redeemed his blessed mother in the most perfect way.
The kingdom of heaven on earth isn't essentially a place or a terrestrial dominion, but the divine quality of the human soul sanctified by God's grace existing in this world: a lamp set upon a hill to shed its light before others so that they will see her goodness and glorify God in return. Of all human creatures re-created by the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the light of the world par excellence who has this light to give to all those who wish to be kingdoms themselves like her by perfectly emulating her Divine Son in his humanity (Mt 5:14-16). Mary is the prototype of the unblemished Church sanctified by the Holy Spirit by being our perfect model of faith and charity in God's grace. Most blessed is she in union with her Son and Groom.
And so, the Kingdom of God is within Mary, and God alone rules in her soul through the Holy Spirit, her Creator blessed. Her soul resembles an unspoiled wilderness with untilled soil untouched by the human settlement of worldly wisdom and unnatural desires that deviate from the original goodness of creation. Mary is carried aloft on the wings of divine grace over the lower region of sinful humanity. She is beyond the dragon's reach and the raging waters of sin having escaped from landing in its clutches, for she hasn't been born in sinful slavery within its dominion (Rev 12:14). Our Blessed Lady is the free Woman promised by God, whose holy offspring is the free Son of promise.
Jesus and Mary are described by Luke as being blessed in common by being divinely favored with the spiritual ability to accomplish the Divine objective: the redemption of humankind. Both are consecrated to God (set apart to serve Him) and sanctified by His grace (made holy) in their shared humanity as to be fit to meet God’s purpose of satisfying His justice by undoing what the serpent has wrought from the beginning (Gen 3:14).
Early Sacred Tradition
the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for
Himself, like a bridegroom, in the sufferings of the cross, in order that by
uniting His own power with our moral body, and by mixing the
incorruptible with the corruptible, and the strong with the weak, He
might save perishing man.”
St. Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and antiChrist, 4
shrine made pure, and a golden altar of whole burnt offerings. By reason
of her surpassing purity she is the Divine incense of oblation (προθέσεως),
and oil of the holy grace, and a precious vase bearing in itself the true
nard; yea and the priestly diadem revealing the good pleasure
of God, whom she alone approacheth holy in body and soul. She is the
door that looks eastward, and by the comings in and goings forth the
whole earth is illuminated. The fertile olive from which the Holy Spirit
took the fleshly slip (or twig) of the Lord, and saved the suffering race of
men. She is the boast of virgins, and the joy of mothers; the declaration of
archangels, even as it was spoken: “Be thou glad and rejoice, the Lord with
thee”; and again, “from thee”; in order that He may make new once more
the dead through sin. ”
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus
On the Holy Mother of God
there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother.”
St. Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8
is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom
among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than
them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark
the flesh in which divinity resides.”
St. Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216
(ante AD 373)
whom grace has made inviolate,
free of every stain of sin.”
St. Ambrose, Sermon 22:30
so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.”
St. Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1
(ante A.D. 446)
holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns.”
St. Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11
(ante A.D. 446)
to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ,
to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made.”
St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140
she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.”
St. Theoteknos of Livias,
Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6
(ante A.D. 650)
its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendor and
attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par
excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges
and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God…. The
reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a
wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second
St. Andrew of Crete, Sermon I, On the Birth of Mary
but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine
virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever.”
St. Germanus of Constantinople,
Marracci in S. Germani Mariali
(ante A.D. 733)
O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew.”
St. John Damascene, Homily I
(ante A.D. 749)