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Tota pulchra es, Maria. Et macula originalis non est in Te. Tu gloria Ierusalem. Tu laetitia Israel.

Tu honorificentia populi nostri. Tu advocata peccatorum. O Maria, O Maria. Virgo prudentissima. Mater clementissima. Ora pro nobis. Intercede pro nobis. Ad Dominum Iesum Christum.

The Immaculate Conception


(1492, Carlo Crivelli) This ma be the earliest dated picture of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine, !hich claimed the Virgin !as conceived miraculousl !ithout taint of original sin, !as controversial but en"o ed increasing popularit in the #$th centur , becoming %oman Catholic dogma in #&$'. A standard format and s mbolism developed for such pictures. The s mbols derive from the (ible, including the (oo) of %evelation and The *ong of *ongs. +ere, the Virgin,s purit is s mbolised b a lil in a pure cr stal glass. The painting, signed and dated #'-., comes from the /ranciscan church of *an /rancesco, 0ergola, central Ital .

St Maximilian Kolbe: Meditation on the Immaculate Conception


IMMACULATE C !CE"TI !: T#e$e %or&$ 'ell 'rom t#e li($ o' t#e Imma)*lata #er$el'+ ,en)e, t#em*$t tell *$, in t#e mo$t (re)i$e an& e$$ential manner, %#o $#e reall- i$+ Sin)e #*man %or&$ are in)a(able o' ex(re$$in. /ivine realitie$, it 'ollo%$ t#at t#e$e %or&$, 0Imma)*late0 an& 0Con)e(tion0, m*$t be *n&er$too& in a m*)# more (ro'o*n&, m*)# more bea*ti'*l an& $*blime meanin. t#an *$*al: a meanin. be-on& t#at %#i)# #*man rea$on at it$ mo$t (enetratin. )ommonl- .ive$ to t#em+ 1#o t#en are -o*, Imma)*late Con)e(tion2

!ot 3o&, o' )o*r$e, be)a*$e ,e #a$ no be.innin.+ !ot an an.el, )reate& &ire)tl- o*t o' not#in.+ !ot A&am, 'orme& o*t o' t#e &*$t o' t#e eart#+ !ot Eve, mol&e& 'rom A&am4$ rib+ !ot t#e In)arnate 1or&, 1#o exi$t$ be'ore all a.e$, an& o' 1#om %e $#o*l& *$e t#e %or& 0)on)eive&0 rat#er t#an 0)on)e(tion+0 ,*man$ &o not exi$t be'ore t#eir )on)e(tion, $o %e mi.#t )all t#em )reate& 0)on)e(tion$+0 5*t -o*, Mar-, are &i''erent 'rom all ot#er )#il&ren o' Eve+ T#e- are )on)e(tion$ $taine& b- ri.inal Sin6 %#erea$ -o* are t#e *ni7*e, Imma)*late, Con)e(tion+ Ever-t#in. %#i)# exi$t$, o*t$i&e o' 3o& ,im$el', $in)e it i$ 'rom 3o& an& &e(en&$ on ,im in ever- %a-, bear$ %it#in it$el' $ome $emblan)e to it$ Creator6 t#ere i$ not#in. in an- )reat*re %#i)# &oe$ not betrat#i$ re$emblan)e, be)a*$e ever- )reate& t#in. i$ an e''e)t o' t#e "rimal Ca*$e+ (8) 1#o i$ t#e 9at#er2 1#at i$ ,i$ (er$onal li'e li:e2 It )on$i$t$ in be.ettin., eternall-, be)a*$e ,e be.et$ ,i$ Son 'rom t#e be.innin. an& 'orever+ 1#o i$ t#e Son2 ,e i$ t#e 5e.otten; ne, be)a*$e 'rom t#e be.innin., an& 'or all eternit-, ,e i$ be.otten b- t#e 9at#er+ An& 1#o i$ t#e ,ol- S(irit2 T#e 'lo%erin. o' t#e love o' t#e 9at#er an& t#e Son+ I' t#e 'r*it o' )reate& i$ a )reate& )on)e(tion, t#en t#e 'r*it o' /ivine love, t#at (rotot-(e o' all )reate& love, i$ ne)e$$aril- a /ivine 0)on)e(tion+0 T#e ,ol- S(irit i$, t#ere'ore, t#e 0*n)reate&, eternal )on)e(tion,0 t#e (rotot-(e o' all t#e )on)e(tion$ t#at m*lti(l- li'e t#ro*.#o*t t#e %#ole *niver$e+ T#e 9at#er be.et$6 t#e Son i$ be.otten6 t#e S(irit i$ t#e 0)on)e(tion0 t#at $(rin.$ 'rom t#eir love6 t#ere %e #ave t#e intimate li'e o' t#e T#ree "er$on$ b- %#i)# T#e- )an be &i$tin.*i$#e& 'rom one anot#er+ 5*t T#e- are *nite& in t#e nene$$ o' T#eir !at*re, o' T#eir /ivine exi$ten)e+ T#e S(irit i$, t#en, t#i$ t#ri)e #ol- 0)on)e(tion,0 t#i$ in'initel- #ol- Imma)*late Con)e(tion+ (8) T#e )reat*re mo$t )om(letel- 'ille& %it# t#i$ love, 'ille& %it# 3o& ,im$el', %a$ t#e Imma)*lata, %#o never )onta)te& t#e $li.#te$t $tain o' $in, %#o never &e(arte& in t#e lea$t 'rom 3o&4$ %ill+ Unite& to t#e ,ol- S(irit a$ ,i$ $(o*$e, $#e i$ one %it# 3o& in an in)om(arabl- more (er'e)t %a- t#an )an be (re&i)ate& o' an- ot#er )reat*re+ 1#at $ort o' Union i$ t#i$2 It i$ above all an interior *nion, a *nion o' #er e$$en)e %it# t#e 0e$$en)e0 o' t#e ,ol- S(irit+ T#e ,ol- S(irit &%ell$ in #er6 live$ in #er+ T#i$ %a$ tr*e 'rom t#e 'ir$t in$tan)e o' #er exi$ten)e+ It %a$ al%a-$ tr*e an& it %ill al%a-$ be tr*e+ An& in %#at &oe$ t#i$ li'e o' t#e S(irit in Mar- )on$i$t2 ,e ,im$el' i$ *n)reate& Love in #er6 t#e Love o' t#e 9at#er an& o' t#e Son, t#e Love b- %#i)# 3o& love$ ,im$el', t#e ver- love o' t#e Mo$t ,ol- Trinit-+ S#e i$ a 'r*it'*l Love, a 0Con)e(tion+0 Amon. )reat*re$ ma&e in 3o&4$ ima.e, t#e *nion bro*.#t abo*t bmarrie& love i$ t#e mo$t intimate o' all+ In a m*)# more (re)i$e, more interior, more e$$ential manner, t#e ,ol- S(irit live$ in t#e $o*l o' t#e Imma)*lata, in t#e &e(t#$ o' #er ver- bein.+ ,e ma:e$ #er 'r*it'*l, 'rom t#e ver- 'ir$t in$tan)e o' #er exi$ten)e, all &*rin. #er li'e, an& 'or all eternit-+ T#i$ eternal 0Imma)*late Con)e(tion0 <t#e ,ol- S(irit= (ro&*)e$ in an imma)*late manner /ivine li'e it$el' in t#e %omb or &e(t#$ o' Mar-4$ $o*l, ma:in. #er t#e Imma)*late Con)e(tion, t#e #*man Imma)*late Con)e(tion+ An& t#e vir.inal %omb o' Mar-4$ bo&- i$ :e(t $a)re& 'or ,im6 t#ere ,e )on)eive$ in time t#e #*man li'e o' t#e Man;3o&+

(+++) S#e, t#e Imma)*lata, .ra'te& into t#e Love o' t#e 5le$$e& Trinit-, be)ome$, 'rom t#e 'ir$t moment o' #er exi$ten)e an& 'orever a'ter%ar&$, t#e 0)om(lement o' t#e 5le$$e& Trinit-+0 In t#e ,ol- S(irit4$ *nion %it# Mar- %e ob$erve more t#an t#e love o' t%o bein.$++++ So it i$ t#at, in t#i$ *nion, ,eaven an& Eart# are >oine&6 all o' ,eaven %it# t#e Eart#, t#e totalit- o' eternal love %it# t#e totalit- o' )reate& love+ It i$ tr*l- t#e $*mmit o' love+