Literal Translation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

From Ineffabilis Deus, 1854, Pope Piux IX

Here is my literal translation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:

Declaramus, pronuntiamus et definimus
doctrinam quae tenet beatissimam Virginem Mariam
in primo instanti suae conceptionis fuisse
singulari Omnipotentis Dei gratia et privilegio,
intuitu meritorum Christi Jesu Salvatoris humani generis,
ab omni originalis culpae labe praeservatam immunem,
esse a Deo revelatam,
atque idcirco ab omnibus fidelibus
firmiter constanterque credendam.

We declare, pronounce, and define
the doctrine which holds the most blessed Virgin Mary,
in the first instance of her conception, to have been,
by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God,
in view of the merits of Christ Jesus, Savior of the human race,
preserved immune from all stain of original sin,
has been revealed by God,
and so, for that reason, is to be believed
firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

Interestingly, the usual phrase for original sin, “originalis peccata”, is not used; instead, the phrasing is “originalis culpae”, which might also be translated as “original guilt”.

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5 Responses to Literal Translation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

  1. Jong Ricafort says:

    “preserved immune from all stain of original sin,”
    It would have been clear if the wordings is like this; “sanctified at the first instant of conception”. So, that a reference point were established and St.Thomas Aquinas difficulty would have been answered on where does the merit of Christ had been applied.
    The word “preserved” implied, the starting point were the merit of Christ was applied means it’s goes before the first instant of conception, because the “sanctified state” was just being preserved.
    So, the sanctification begins at St.Joachim seed and this was the teaching of St.John Damascene that is in harmony with St.JP2 teachings that “Mary and Satan enmity was absolute” and will give justice to God’s Holy Decree in Genesis3:15.
    The enmity start from the seed, and it would only fitting that Mary’s human existence be sanctified right at the very seed, and King David had shown this in Psalm139:16, the word “unformed” correspond to the seed.
    “O blessed loins of Joachim, whence the all-pure seed was poured out! O glorious womb of Anna, in which the most holy fetus grew and was formed, silently increasing! O womb in which was conceived the living heaven, wider than the wideness of the heavens.” [Ibid, 2; “Fetus” means offspring in Latin. We mention this because in modern societies the term has lost its Latin and (and true) definition and has come to signify a “non-person” for all practical purposes, a distortion for political manipulation——The Web Master]

    • Ron Conte says:

      No, it is contrary to dogma to say that Mary was sanctified prior to her conception, which is the first moment of her existence. Anna and Joachim were in the fallen state, so she was preserved from the usual inheritance of original sin. This does not signify a sanctification prior to conception.

    • Jong Ricafort says:

      Ron C.
      Pardon me, if I disagree with your reading on the wordings of the Dogma on IC. It clearly does not explicitly implied that the sanctification was applied at the first instant of conception. What the Dogma stated is Mary’s existence was already “sanctified” even before the first instant of conception because of the word “preserved”. The word “preserved” means to not to be contaminated in layman’s term. That’s why it was tied not on original sin per se, but only on the “stain of original sin”. Let’s breakdown the wordings of the Dogma.

      ” in the first instance of her conception, to have been,
      by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God,
      in view of the merits of Christ Jesus, Savior of the human race,
      preserved immune from all stain of original sin,”

      I hope you keenly noticed the precise wordings of the Dogma of IC was focusing on the “stain of original sins” or “concupiscence” and not on original sin per se. There was no mention of original sin in the Dogma, what it specifically defined was “preserved immune from all stain of original sin,”

      So, St.John of Damascene “spotless seed” and St.JP2 teachings on “Mary’s enmity vs. satan was absolute” meaning Her existence was never touch from the very seed of St.Joachim, and Blessed Emmerich vision supported this views plus St.Bridget of Sweden revelation brings more clarity on this mystery. Overall this will all point to Genesis3:15.

      One more question Ron C., if you do not find St.John of Damascene teachings acceptable and in harmony with the Dogma.

      Are you saying that Mary comes from “corrupted seed”? If Yes, this would mean Mary flesh was not worthy to become the Ark of the Covenant or the title House of Gold, because it comes from corrupted seed. And if the “marital act” between St.Joachim and St.Anne was mark by concupiscence or lust, how can the Dogma said the words “preserved”? It must implied “sanctified at the first instant of conception” to cleanse a seed that was corrupted and cleanse further marital act which is subject to concupiscence or stain.

      Are you holding the view that Mary’s existence was touch by the malice of satan? This view is a direct contradiction not only on the Dogma of IC but on all the Church Doctrines on Mariology coming from Apostolic Tradition and Church Fathers teachings..

    • Ron Conte says:

      I’m not going to argue with you about this. It is established dogma. The opinion of Saints writing before the dogma cannot stand against it.

      Original sin is not effected by Satan and is not due to his “malice”, but is a result of the sin of Adam. Mary was preserved from the fallenness of her parents by the intervention of God in the first instant of her conception, not before. That is the very meaning of the dogma, and your position is heretical.

    • Jong Ricafort says:

      Ron C.
      Just to clarify, I am not arguing on the chief cause of original sin(causa efficiens principalis) but only the “instrumental cause” (causa efficiens instrumentalis), as stated in the Council of Trent. What I’m focusing on, is the “stain of original sin”, as this is what explicitly defined in the Dogma of IC.
      Mary and Jesus was created in the order of grace. All traces related to Mary’s existence was sanctified in order to give light on the Ark of the Covenant.
      St.John of Damascene teachings was mentioned in the Dogma of IC.

      If your position is Mary’s nature or humanity comes from the fallen nature of St.Joachim related to his corrupted seed and also a product of concupiscence because you hold that both St.Joachim and St.Anne are in a fallen state and there’s no divine intervention on their marital act, then the Ark of the Covenant collapses because it was made of incorruptible materials. Mary’s humanity or flesh was tainted by concupiscence but later on sanctified at the first instant of conception.

      The teachings of St.John of Damascene was affirmed by St.JP2 teachings on absolute enmity and was supported by the vision of Blessed Emmerich and revelation to St.Bridget of Sweden.
      Mary received a singular privilege not to contract the original sin, do you think the “stain of original sin” which will come from the St.Joachim and St.Anne humanity & action will be deprived of “sanctifying grace” needed so that the “instrumental cause” of transmitting the original sin was cut-off. Meaning all event leading to the first instant of conception was “preserved immune from all stain of original sin”.

      I think what, I provided to you is not heretical because, St.John Damascene is a Doctor of the Church, St.JP2 is a Great Saint and Theologian, Blessed Emmerich vision was approved and St.Bridget of Sweden revelations are accepted by the Church free from doctrinal errors.

      4.“The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics” compiled by Raphael Brown: An Account of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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