On December 8th many Christian sisters and brothers mark the Immaculate Conception, the day when lore says St. Anne was miraculously “great with child” in the form of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, said to be “born without original sin.”
It’s a relatively recent Feast Day in the festivals of the church, and while there are many traditions who not only don’t honor it, but really wonder why it’s necessary at all, in solidarity with those of different traditions, the theological importance is worth noting despite the biological impossibilities.
I don’t note it as a way to lend credence to its veracity, but more-so to highlight the often overlooked fact that women have played not just an important role in understanding the Divine, but an integral role.
Or, well, perhaps St. Sojourner Truth said it best::
“That man say we can’t have as much rights as a man ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman. Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with it.”
(art by Vik Muniz)
The “Immaculate Conception” means that Mary was conceived without sin. It has nothing to do with a virgin birth.
Thanks for writing and responding.
Yes, you’re absolutely correct, and I see the confusion in my wording. I was attempting to provide an allusion to the Biblical text (drawing that golden line from lore to scripture), but should have been clearer when saying “great with child.”
The doctrine isn’t about intercourse, itself. However, because intercourse was the vehicle (in the ancient/medieval thought process) for original sin, Mary’s exception on this is still miraculous indeed.
My apologies for the confusion, and thanks for writing!