Wednesday, December 8, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a holy day of obligation. It marks that Mary was conceived free from original sin because God chose her as mother of the Savior. The dogma was declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854 but during the Renaissance many paintings were made of Mary as the Immaculate Conception, including the one above.
About the painter: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter best known for his religious works. He painted Esquilache Immaculate Conception about 1650, when he was about 33 years old. He was influenced by Flemish and Italian masters as well as by Spanish painters Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera and Alonzo Cano.
Vigil Mass – Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Wednesday, 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.