The new Eve

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Beloved in Christ, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is today that we remember, the Blessed Virgin herself was conceived, from day one, without Original sin.
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Recently we spoke of the importance of ‘types,’ of symbols of the Old Testament pointing ahead to the Redemption. One important ‘type’ is that of the first woman, Eve. The story of the fall, told in Genesis – the first Sin – it was initiated by the woman, Eve. Original sin was complete, when Adam, the head of the human race, confirmed the sin.
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But these signs anticipate the Good News that would come. A new Woman, Mary, will set salvation into motion, and this will be crowned by her Son, the true Head of the human race.
So we notice the parallels between Eve and Mary. Eve listened to the wicked angel, Satan;
Mary listened to the good angel, Gabriel.
Eve was disobedient to God, Mary was obedient to God’s will.
Eve gave the poison fruit of sin to the world, Mary gave us the saving Fruit of her womb.
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The parallels are purposeful. But another should occur to us as well: Eve was originally made without sin, she and Adam had grace. Well, what about Mary? Mary too was made without sin, but she remained sinless and faithful, and so became the true Mother of all the Living.
Mary was conceived without Original Sin, and that means that from the beginning, she was Full of Grace.
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St. Irenaus, 1800 years ago would say that although the human race found death through Eve, it is saved through Mary; and Blessed Raymond Jordano says, ‘every good, every help, every grace, that men have received and will receive from God until the end of time, will come to them by the intercession of Mary.’[i]
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We here, all know the wonders worked by our great Patron, St. John Vianney, the conversion of his whole parish. But we must also know of an important weapon St. John had to help him accomplish this: it was the Blessed Virgin.
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We may know that he had loved Mary from his childhood; we may also know that she appeared to him and he conversed with her; but we may not know, that he blessed a statue of Mary for each home in his village – they say it was a remarkable sight to see the statues of Mary that adorned the front of every single house in town.
St. John also gave each family a color picture of Mary for the inside of their home, blessed and signed by himself.
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In 1814 he erected a large statue of Mary Immaculate at his Church, and put around her neck a heart of white ribbon, with all the names of his parishioners written on it; and he consecrated his parish to – ‘Mary Conceived without Sin.’[ii]
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As she did then, so now – this Immaculate Mother can make our hearts burn with the love of Jesus – if we let her.

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[i] Glories of Mary, 112

[ii] The Secret of the Cure D’Ars, Henri Gheon, p. 228. Also, http://www.olrl.org

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