Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, - full of grace - through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Cathecism of the Catholic Church, Liguori, Mo: Liguori Publications, 1994, pp. 123,124.)
Demands for a definition of the Immaculate Conception had been received at Rome long before Pius IX, but with his accession to the papacy these demands were renewed with vigor because of the Pope's known veneration for the Mother of God.
Among the less-well-known facts of his life is the cure from epilepsy that John Mary Mastai-Ferretti, the future Pius IX, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. He vowed to do everything in his power to advance her cause and make her better known and loved by the people. (John A. Hardon, The Catholic Cathecism, Garden City, NJ: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975, p. 156.)
Exemption from original sin carries with it two corollary consequences: From the time of her conception, Mary was also free from all motions of concupiscence, and also (on attaining the use of reason) free from every personal sin during her whole life. (Ibid., p. 158.)
Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing,That mother of Jesus song is not biblically accurate in the slightest way! The information circulated about Mary continues to go further and further from the Scriptures, as shown in this song. It not only mentions her being immaculate, but also states that she is co-reigning in heaven (as Queen of heaven) with Jesus where the ones there proclaim her glory! How different the mythical Catholic heaven is from the real, as shown by the truth of God's word:
you now reign in splendor with Jesus, our king.
Ave, ave, ave Maria. Ave, ave Maria.
In heaven the blessed your glory proclaim,
on earth, we your children invoke your fair name.
Ave, ave, ave Maria. Ave, ave Maria!
Your name is our power, your virtues our light,
Your love is our comfort, your pleading our might.
Ave, ave, ave Maria. Ave, ave Maria!
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev 5:13,14)
In his [Pope Pius IX] judgment the Virgin Mary herself wished to confirm by some special sign the definition that the Vicar of her divine Son had pronounced amid the applause of the whole Church. "Four years had not elapsed when, in the French town at the foot of the Pyrenees, the Virgin Mother showed herself to a simple and innocent girl at the grotto of Messabielle and to this same girl, earnestly inquiring the name of her with whose vision she was favored, with eyes raised to heaven and sweetly saying, she replied ‘I am the Immaculate Conception.'"It becomes very clear from Lourdes, as well as other Catholic visions, that Catholic doctrine is taught or reinforced by such Marian visions, especially when accompanied by miracles. The problem with this proof is twofold:
Following the other visions, thousands of people from every country in the world have made pilgrimages to Lourdes, where "miraculous favors were granted them, which excited the admiration of all and confirmed the Catholic religion as the only one given approval by God." (Ibid., pp. 162, 163.)
We must be very careful with visions, since the devil can disguise himself in a venomous attempt to deceive people who believe in God, as shown in Scripture:
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:14)For the devil to masquerade as an angel of light means that he can appear as a messenger of God. (The word angel means messenger in the Greek.) Hence, this Scripture shows that it is possible that the devil could appear as the Virgin Mary to deceive. The only way we can know with absolute certainty the truth about any vision, from any religion, is to examine the doctrinal message communicated in it with the Bible.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)Regarding the teaching of the immaculate conception of Mary, all it takes to show the fallacy of it is to ponder and receive the following Scriptures:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom. 3:23).Therefore, Mary has sinned, just like you and I have. Also, the second part of that verse reveals a unique feature of God's glory, namely He has never sinned at any time, since He is God. So Romans 3:23 is a double blow to the immaculate conception of Mary belief, which has absolutely no support from the Bible. (Catholicism must go to other sources outside the Holy Scriptures for its teaching.)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. (Heb 4:15)According to these verses of Scripture (or the teaching of the earliest Christian church), Jesus never sinned, but everyone else has. All others have been guilty of sin at sometime in their life, which is also shown elsewhere in Scripture:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)
But with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Pet 1:19)
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. (1 Pet 2:22)
Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. (Heb 7:26)
For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. (Rom 11:32)Certainly, Mary is included in these last two verses, which indicts her like the rest of us as people who have sinned. Hence, we all need a Savior. Certainly, Mary knew her own need of this as shown in the following Scripture:
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:10)
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:47)
You disowned the Holy and Righteous One (Jesus) and asked that a murderer be released to you. (Acts 3:14)
Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One (Jesus). And now you have betrayed and murdered him-- (Acts 7:52).
"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One (Jesus) and to hear words from his mouth. (Acts 22:14)Jesus is clearly shown to be the Righteous One, which means Mary is not sinless too. If Mary were sinless too, which she clearly is not, then there could be no Righteous One, because there would be two. Scripture would say Jesus is one of the two righteous ones, which is not true. Mary is not an equal in sinlessness nor is she any type of rival of Jesus in anything. Without question, Mary is not sinless.
The doctrinal error that Mary is sinless is not only a departure from God's word and error, it is also idolatry and a stealing away of the unique glory that belongs solely to the Lord Jesus as being in a special class of his own. Idolatry alone will send one to the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). Catholics must repent of all idolatry and turn to Jesus for salvation. It's a matter of Paradise with God OR the lake of fire.
Regarding Mary's immaculate conception or any doctrine, one is surely making the gravest of all mistakes by rejecting God's eternal truth given to mankind in the Bible for anything else, even if it comes through a vision accompanied by miracles. Dear reader, may this not be the case with you. Remember, nothing can be wrong with going solely by what the Bible declares, which is foundational to the Christian life as well as salvation itself. This is the only safe, sure way to know God's truth about Catholicism's Immaculate Mary.