Friday, December 7, First Week in Advent
In Columbia, South America, Dia de las Velitas (the Day of the Candles) is celebrated today, on the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The festivities date back to the mid-1850s when Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception to be a dogma of the Catholic Church.
To show their support, the people lit candles and paper lanterns and placed them in their windows. balconies and public squares, etc.
The day also officially begins Columbias Christmas season.
In Columbia, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday.
Saturday, December 8, First Week in Advent
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, often mistakenly thought to refer of the way Mary conceived Jesus in her womb. But immaculate conception means that what a person receives at Baptism, Mary had from her conception. From the moment of her conception, she was free from sin immaculate.
Thirteenth century Franciscan theologian and philosopher Blessed John Duns (usually known as John Duns Scotus because he was born in Scotland) is sometimes referred to as a Marian Doctor. Thats because he is credited with establishing the theological foundation for the then controversial doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated in England as early as the 12th century and in the 18th century was made a feast of the whole Church. In 1846, the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore made this the patronal Feast of the Church in the United States. In 1854, after consultation with the bishops of the world and with theologians, Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception to be a dogma of the Church.