The U.S. Patronal Feast

The Immaculate Conception by Murillo

Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the United States. Our school teams up with the elementary school to help out with the Mass downtown at 8:30 AM. Since it is a holy day of obligation, there is always a good crowd.  Since the Immaculate Conception was probably the last Catholic Teaching I accepted before becoming Catholic, today is a special feast day for me, in that, among many other things, it symbolizes my submission to Christ and the Church. Below is the traditional collect for the day:

O God
Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin
didst make her a worthy habitation for Thy Son
and didst by his foreseen death
preserve her from all stain of sin,
grant, we beseech Thee,
that through her intercession
we may be cleansed from sin
and come with pure hearts to Thee.