Year of Youth 2018

Why Divine Grace is Central to the Year of Mercy

Last edited 9th December 2015

Why Divine Grace is Central to the Year of Mercy

December 8th was a double special occasion: the start of the Year of Mercy, and the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The two surely are connected more than coincidentally.

You may remember that in the Ave Regina Caelorum, Our Blessed Lady is saluted as the “door” to our salvation; a good thought to keep in mind during this year when so many will be going through Holy Doors in Rome and elsewhere.

Ave, Regina Caelorum,
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta
Ex qua mundo lux est orta.

The Immaculate Conception, one of the most important feasts of the year, underlines two things for us, both of which ought to be central for the Holy Year of Mercy.

The first is the centrality of grace. It was the grace of God that preserved Mary from original sin and actual sin: The grace that was won on the Cross was anticipated at the Conception of the Virgin. Just as Mary was saved through the grace of Jesus Christ, so we too hope to be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. There is indeed no other way to be saved.

The second thing is this: The humanity of the Virgin reminds us that grace presupposes nature and brings it to perfection. God chose her and endowed her with His grace, and later took up the flesh from her. This shows us that God does not “shudder from the Virgin’s womb” (non horruísti Vírginis úterum) as the Te Deum has it. Visit this article to read more.


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