THE SUMMARY OF INEFFABILIS DEUS BY POPE PIUS IX
On December 8, 1854
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
The Summary of the Ineffabilis Deus by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. In summary, the Ineffabilis Deus states that God, by one and the same decree, had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom (Jesus); and that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant. That she would have an exalted dignity as the Mother of God, her spotless innocence and her sanctity unstained by any fault. Her soul, ancient indeed, in the instant of its creation and in the first instant of the soul's infusion into the body, was by a special grace and privilege of God., in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, preserved free from all stain of original sin. This sublime and singular privilege of the Blessed Virgin, together with her most excellent innocence, purity and holiness, and freedom from every stain of sin, as well as, the unspeakable abundance and greatness of all heavenly graces, virtues and privileges. Mary is the seat of all divine graces and is adorned with all gifts of the Holy Spirit. She was never subject to the curse. With such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God - indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the
Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels. And she, united with Him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with Him and through Him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot. So, indeed, it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent. At her conception, nature yielded to grace, so she would not be conceived by Anna before grace would bear its fruits: it was proper that she be conceived as the first-born, by whom 'the first-born of every creature' would be conceived. This vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them not sin. Therefore, it is church wants people to continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin.
- They piety, religious observance, and devotion of veneration to Mary.
- With a still more ardent zeal for piety, religion and love, let them continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin.
- Finally, in their desire to impress this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God upon the hearts of the faithful, and to intensify the people’s piety and enthusiasm for the homage and the veneration of the Virgin conceived without the stain of original sin, they delighted to grant, with the greatest pleasure, permission to proclaim the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin in the Litany of Loreto, and in the Preface of the Mass, so that the rule of prayer might thus serve to illustrate the rule of belief.
- therefore, while directing all their efforts toward an increase of the devotion to the conception, made it their aim not only to emphasize the object with the utmost zeal, but also to enunciate the exact doctrine. Definitely and clearly they taught that the feast was held in honor of the conception of the Virgin.
- a veneration which is in keeping with the piety unchanged in the Roman Church from the day it was instituted. We also desired to protect this piety and devotion of venerating and extolling the most Blessed Virgin preserved from original sin by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
- God established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Jesus, in the same decree.
- God, by one and the same decree, had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom (Jesus).
- Nature yielded in creating Mary, so Mary was created by grace; as the first-born of every creature.
- . . . Of a Super Eminent Sanctity. To these praises they have added very noble words. Speaking of the conception of the Virgin, they testified that nature yielded to grace and, unable to go on, stood trembling. The Virgin Mother of God would not be conceived by Anna before grace would bear its fruits; it was proper that she be conceived as the first-born, by whom “the first-born of every creature” would be conceived. They testified, too, that the flesh of the Virgin, although derived from Adam, did not contract the stains of Adam, and that on this account the most Blessed Virgin was the tabernacle created by God himself and formed by the Holy Spirit, truly a work in royal purple, adorned and woven with gold, which that new Beseleel made. They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows the the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness.
- This doctrine so filled the minds and souls of our ancestors in the faith that a singular and truly marvelous style of speech came into vogue among them. They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate, as immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; more beautiful than beauty, more lovely than loveliness; more holy than holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpassed all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit. God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.
- Mary's ancient soul was united with her body free of original sin, as a privilege of God, given her by Jesus. So Mary was to have been the only human to be born without the blemish of original sin, so she never sinned. This would make Mary separate from all humanity, and would make her a god. They say,
- the renowned Council (The Council of Trent), decreed and defined that all men are born infected by original sin; nevertheless, it solemnly declared that it had no intention of including the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in this decree and in the general extension of its definition.
- Hence the words of one of our predecessors, Alexander VII, who authoritatively and decisively declared the mind of the Church: “Concerning the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, ancient indeed is that devotion of the faithful based on the belief that her soul, in the first instant of its creation and in the first instant of the soul’s infusion into the body, was, by a special grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, her Son and the Redeemer of the human race, preserved free from all stain of original sin. And in this sense have the faithful ever solemnized and celebrated the Feast of the Conception.”
- “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”
- Mary is the exalted throne of God, came forth from the mouth of Most High, entirely perfect.
- In like manner did they use the words of the prophets to describe this wondrous abundance of divine gifts and the original innocence of the Virgin of whom Jesus was born. They celebrated the august Virgin as the spotless dove, as the holy Jerusalem, as the exalted throne of God, as the ark and house of holiness which Eternal Wisdom built, and as that Queen who, abounding in delights and leaning on her Beloved, came forth from the mouth of the Most High, entirely perfect, beautiful, most dear to God and never stained with the least blemish.
- Mary has all the gifts of the Holy Spirit; to such an extent that, she was never subject to the curse, so Her and Her Son, would be the only partakers in the perpetual benediction.
- When the Fathers and writers of the Church meditated on the fact that the most Blessed Virgin was, in the name and by order of God himself, proclaimed full of grace by the Angel Gabriel when he announced her most sublime dignity of Mother of God, they thought that this singular and solemn salutation, never heard before, showed that the Mother of God is the seat of all divine graces and is adorned with all gifts of the Holy Spirit. To them Mary is an almost infinite treasury, an inexhaustible abyss of these gifts, to such an extent that she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction. Hence she was worthy to hear Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaim: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
- Mary is an unspeakable miracle of God, with the abundance of heavenly gifts and the fullness of grace and innocence; the crown of all miracles, and truly the Mother of God. She approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being, she is above all men and angels in glory. She is above Eve, as she never lent an ear to the serpent, but by divinely given power she utterly destroyed the force and dominion of the evil one.
- Mary Compared with Eve. Hence, it is the clear and unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious Virgin, for whom “he who is mighty has done great things,” was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God — indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory. Hence, to demonstrate the original innocence and sanctity of the Mother of God, not only did they frequently compare her to Eve while yet a virgin, while yet innocence, while yet incorrupt, while not yet deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent; but they have also exalted her above Eve with a wonderful variety of expressions. Eve listened to the serpent with lamentable consequences; she fell from original innocence and became his slave. The most Blessed Virgin, on the contrary, ever increased her original gift, and not only never lent an ear to the serpent, but by divinely given power she utterly destroyed the force and dominion of the evil one.
- Mary was created with an exalted dignity: given innocence, purity, holiness; being free of sin, while receiving an abundance of heavenly grace, virtue and privilege.
- the Fathers taught that the exalted dignity of the Mother of God, her spotless innocence and her sanctity unstained by any fault, had been prophesied in a wonderful manner.
- Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.
- This sublime and singular privilege of the Blessed Virgin, together with her most excellent innocence, purity, holiness and freedom from every stain of sin, as well as the unspeakable abundance and greatness of all heavenly graces, virtues and privileges.
- Mary and Jesus are united in an intimate and indissoluble bond so they shared everything, including the eternal hatred of the devil, so she shared completely in the defeat of Satan.
- The Virgin’s supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin, and her renowned victory over the most foul enemy of the human race. These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind — words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, “I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed” — taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.
- for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely.
- They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, “I will put enmities between you and the woman.”-unmistakable evidence that she was crushed the poisonous head of the serpent. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace.
- we repose in the most Blessed Virgin — in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world: in her who is the glory of the prophets and apostles, the honor of the martyrs, the crown and joy of all the saints; in her who is the safest refuge and the most trustworthy helper of all who are in danger; in her who, with her only-begotten Son, is the most powerful Mediatrix and Conciliatrix in the whole world; in her who is the most excellent glory, ornament, and impregnable stronghold of the holy Church; in her who has destroyed all heresies and snatched the faithful people and nations from all kinds of direst calamities; in her do we hope who has delivered us from so many threatening dangers.
- Mary shines with the glory of holiness, free of sin, that she triumphed over the Devil.
- Supreme Reason for the Privilege: The Divine Maternity. And indeed it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent. To her did the Father will to give his only-begotten Son — the Son whom, equal to the Father and begotten by him, the Father loves from his heart — and to give this Son in such a way that he would be the one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was she whom the Son himself chose to make his Mother and it was from her that the Holy Spirit willed and brought it about that he should be conceived and born from whom he himself proceeds.
- The Catholic Church is directed by the Holy Spirit as a pillar and base of truth.
- The Catholic Church, directed by the Holy Spirit of God, is the pillar and base of truth and has ever held as divinely revealed and as contained in the deposit of heavenly revelation this doctrine concerning the original innocence of the august Virgin — a doctrine which is so perfectly in harmony with her wonderful sanctity and preeminent dignity as Mother of God — and thus has never ceased to explain, to teach and to foster this doctrine age after age in many ways and by solemn acts.