December 8, 2017

This stained-glass window at St. Mary Church in Manhasset, N.Y., depicts Mary appearing to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France, as the Immaculate Conception in 1858. Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854 that Mary was conceived free of original sin. The solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the United States, is celebrated Dec. 8. (CNS / Gregory A. Shemitz)

"The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty."

- Luke 1:49-53, part of the Magnificat of Mary