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THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY.

Mary, the Immaculate Conception or Nossa Senhora da Conceição was protected from the stain of original sin first during her conception in her mothers womb. It was a singular privilege and grace of God granted for the merits of Jesus Christ. She was free from original sin and filled with sanctifying grace when her soul was created and infused into her body.

Mother Mary had graces of the first eve before the fall, this privilege was befitting as she was the mother of the Redeemer. The feast celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary, not the virginal conception and the incarnation of Jesus Christ which on the other hand is the feast of Annunciation celebrated in the month of March.

Globally celebrated on the 8th of December nine months before the feast of Nativity of Mary, it originated in the east  where it was first celebrated on the 9th of December. Later the feast was recognized by the western churches and it began to be celebrated on the 8th of December like it is till today.

This feast is a most important celebration, honored all over the world. In Goa the two main cities that is margao (Holy Spirit Church) and Panaji (Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception Church) celebrates this holy day in their churches. The villages of Calangute and Moira also celebrate this feast in great zeal.

The day starts with holy mass and then goes on with delicious traditional food, parades, fetes, processions, fireworks and a lot of other cultural festivities to commemorate the Blessed Mother Mary. A holy day of obligation and a day to spend with family members. Uniting everyone for a banquet and cultural activities that are carried out by the churches in the villages, definitely a beautiful way to celebrate.

 

written by Genevieve Fernandes

 

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