Also called Immaculate Conception Day, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is marked on December 8.
Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, issued the Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus: "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."
This was to recognize the unique role of Mary as the Mother of God. She is made a model for Her holiness and purity and Her surrender to God’s plan.
According to Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, senior contributor at Crux, “Every person is called to recognize and respond to God’s call, to their own vocation, in order to carry out God’s plan for their life and fulfill the mission prepared for them since before the beginning of time.”
Thus, Mary responded to the Angel Gabriel’s greeting, “Let it be done to me according to Thy Word”.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates God’s gift to humanity in Mary, and recognizes that every person has been created by God to fulfill a mission.
“The word of the Lord came to me thus: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you," says Jeremiah 1:5-8.
This designation of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception makes the feast day equal in dignity to a Sunday and tells the faithful that particular truths and events are important in Christian living.
There is also the obligation to teach the believer the importance of the event or the truth of faith.The believer is expected to participate in the Eucharistic celebration as part of the obligation. This sacred observance is hoped to lead believers to an encounter with God.
In the Philippines, the day is a non-working public holiday in honor of the Virgin Mary as patroness of the country. On December 28, 2017, the government ratified it into constitutional law as a holiday.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.