Daily Martyrology for December 8

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. A feast honoring Mary’s conception by St. Anne seems to have been celebrated in Palestine at a fairly early date. Justin Martyr (April 14), Irenaeus (June 28) and John of Damascus (December 4) speak of Mary as the “new Eve” who was free from sin. The feast came to Rome in the ninth century and was celebrated as the “Conception of Our Lady” in England in the first half of the eleventh century. St. Bernard and most early Dominican theologians opposed the feast, but the Franciscans adopted it in 1263. Gradually the feast won universal approval, and the Council of Trent declared that a decree on original sin did not apply to Mary. The Immaculate Conception of Mary was declared a dogma of the church in 1854.

In 1181, at Monte Siepi, in Italy, St. Galgano. He was a nobleman who, after a worldly youth, became a hermit near the monastery of Monte Siepi. The monastery later became a Cistercian community.

In 1869, in Ecuador, Blessed Narcisa de Jesús Morán. She was orphaned and supported herself as a manual laborer. She settled in Lima, where she lived in a hostel of the Lay Brothers of St. Dominic and devoted herself to a life of prayer and asceticism.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.