What’s So Special About December 8th?

What’s so special about December 8th?

Of course, the Immaculate Conception! We celebrate an early stage of the Advent of “Good News”. (More about that later.) But there is more to celebrate from some much later stages of the Advent of Good News. Let me draw attention to some other relatively more recent causes to celebrate on December 8.

So what else is “good news?”

In Vincentian Family history we have three other pieces of good news
  • We celebrate the canonical establishment of the Confraternity of Charity– 1617, forerunner of the Ladies of Charity.
  • The Society of St. Vincent DePaul in 1834  choose December 8th as one of their four major feast days.
  • It is the day on which many groups of the Sisters of Charity renew their vows. Our prayers and gratitude are with as they walk in the footers of their founders.

Often overlooked, it also marks the publication in 1975 of the Paul VI’s exhortation to announce the Good News (Evangelii Nuntiandi) “ According to Pope Francis, this is “The greatest pastoral document that has ever been written”. (Surprising perhaps to the critics of Pope Francis.)

Often quoted by Popes Francis and Benedict it is being recognized today as one of the seminal documents of our age. Pope Francis has cited it at least 31 times on at least 11 different occasions, including 13 times in his new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Evangelii Nuntiandi is an important part of the soil from which the teaching of Evangelii Gaudium has sprung; to use another image, they are akin to two plates of a diptych.

Pope Francis’ prayer for the feast of the Immaculate Conception

With so much to celebrate perhaps it is apt to conclude with the prayer composed by Pope Francis for this feast day.
He begins…
O Mary, our Immaculate Mother,
On your feast day I come to you,
And I come not alone:
I bring with me all those with whom your Son entrusted to me,
In this city of Rome and in the entire world,
That you may bless them and preserve them from harm.
He then continues to pray by naming all the groups he brings with him to prayer.
I bring to you, Mother, children,
Especially those who are alone, abandoned,
And for this reason are tricked and exploited.
I bring to you, Mother, families,

Let us pray with Pope Francis!

The prayer of Pope Francis on the feast of the Immaculate Conception

PS The Eastern Province Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Baltimore was the first parish dedicated to her after the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with how we are living up to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul, and how you can help.