Here is part of the Pope's reflection on this feastday:
"Today, wherever a Catholic community exists, Our Lady is venerated in it with this stupendous and marvellous name: the Immaculate Conception....On today's feast, so dear to Christian people, this expression rises from hearts and is pronounced by lips as our heavenly Mother's name. Just as a child raises his eyes to his mother's face and on seeing her smile forgets every fear and every pain, so do we, turning our eyes to Mary, recognize in her "God's smile", the immaculate reflection of divine light; in her we find new hope even in the midst of the problems and tragedies of the world."
Last evening a small group of students gathered to celebrate the Eucharist together in the Emmanuel Chapel followed by dinner.
The theme for the evening was Mary's "Yes." What is keeping me from me saying "Yes" to my vocation?
O Mary help us to believe with greater trust.
O immaculate Virgin give us the same courage to be alert to the call of Christ.
Encourage us to be alert, not to give into the temptation.
O Loving Mother may we have the courage to be "watchmen of the dawn", and give this virtue to all Christians so that we may be the heart of the world in this difficult period of history.
Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us!