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15.03.2023 18:35:51 1491x read.
INSPIRATION
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY History, Theology, and Its Spiritual Reflection in FIC Congregation By Bro. Wensislaus Parut, FIC

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY 

History, Theology, and Its Spiritual Reflection in FIC Congregation

By Bro. Wensislaus Parut, FIC

 

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was promulgated by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, with the bulla innefabilis Deus. One year later, on December 8, 1855, the FIC brothers celebrated the promulgation with great joy in Maastricht. This reflection on the momentum of the brothers' celebration refers to three important points: first, the background to the founding of the Congregation, second, the spirit of the founder's (Congregation's) devotion to the Immaculate Conception and third, the celebration of the promulgation of the Dogma in Maastricht with great joy.

First, the background to the founding of the Congregation: Mgr. Ludovicus Rutten founded the Congregation and could not be separated from the Catholic Church Movement at that time, especially in Maastricht. This movement was pioneered by a group of priests (ultramontanism) supported by the Pope and bishops to restore the Catholic Church. At that time the Catholic Church was facing a major crisis, namely, teachings that misled the faith, including secularism, socialism, rationalism, and naturalism (cf. Gregory XVI, Encyclical “Mirari Vos Arbitramur, August 15, 1832; Joos van Vugt, 1996). This crisis was caused by the French revolution, industrialization, and the Belgian war. Rutten was a priest in his day. He was educated at a seminary that was run by the new spirit of the Catholic Church Movement facing a crisis of faith. So it was only natural that the seminary leader then advised Rutten to catechize the poor and neglected children in his hometown.

Second, the spirit of the founder's (congregation’s) devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: As members of the FIC congregation we are certainly very proud of the life (cf. The Constitutions, 9) and the heritage of our founders (cf. The Constitutions 10). Referring to the historical documents of the congregation we can capture the essence of the spiritual life of our founder which is "trust in Divine Providence through the protection and prayers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. The Founders expressed their faith, which is the emanation of their intimate relationship with Mother Mary when they said:  "If we had known all this beforehand, we would perhaps never have started the thing"It must be said here and everywhere, without the special protection of the Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mother the Congregation would have been smothered at its birth. I am convinced that a human person is nothing by himself. Related to thisRutten also expressed his own faith when he said: All the good things I was able to do were the work of “Providencia Dei” under the protection of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin MaryMy convincing to Mary that helps me in all my works is infinite

Third, the celebration of the promulgation of the dogma in Maastricht on December 8, 1855, with great joy: This moment of celebration is a celebration of the victory of faith over modern arrogance. On December 8, 1854, Pastor Rutten with Mgr. Vrancken is present in St. Peter's square of the Vatican to witness firsthand the promulgation of the dogma by Pope Pius IX. Prior to the promulgation of the dogmas, Rutten also travelled to Rome on more than one occasion. This event shows us Rutten's faith and his devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The promulgation of the dogma shows that the Church firmly states that Only Mary is immuned to original sin, and solely because of the merits of the Saviour. Disobedience to the Church (modern arrogance) is part of the influence of original sin. The bulla ineffabilis Deus at the conclusion states: “We have a firm hope that the Blessed Virgin Mary who crushes the head of the poisonous snake, and who saves nations and peoples from all kinds of calamities,… will acquire the Catholic Church the ability to conquer evil, to break all things-sophistry, … God reigns over the earth, and we will enjoy peace, quiet, and total freedom”.

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is God's grace given to human beings, so that humans are always aware that only God can save them.  God shows man their original calling to “be(come) in the image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26; cf. Rom 8:28-29). Through her "fiat", the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary opened herself to the grace of God, and then the Word of God became human in her "Immaculate womb”. Related to this question, Karl Rahner stated: “Immaculate Conception is God who has never broken his promise and has never regretted creating human beings in His image and likeness and wants them to be able to respond to His gifts. Mary is a Masterpiece in responding to God's offer of salvation and grace”. 

The brothers are the Church, the community of the redeemed, mediators of salvation, professing, living, and proclaiming the faith (bringing the youth towards Christ). By celebrating the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are always aware of living according to the spirit of our Founders particularly:  an intense concern for spiritual and religious needs; a great concern for contemporary and culturally integrated transfer of faith (The Const. 10 & 18), and to have a special concern for the poor and destitute, for the underprivileged and disabled, for socially weak and forgotten groups, for those who experience little love (The constitutions, 17). Mother Mary inspires us, and we wish to follow her example and invoke her aid in our prayers (The Constitutions 12 & 75). 








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