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The image below shows Giotto’s representation of the meeting between Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate. In the Constitution ‘Ineffabilis Deus’ of 8 December 1854, Pope Pius IX defined the doctrine that the Blessed Virgin Mary ‘in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin’.

We rejoice in this day, praying that Our Lady will be ever closer to us, and may her Son be specially near this day.