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Today is December 8th, and in Catholic countries, the holiday of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated.  This day represents a true Catholic dogma, sanctioning Mary’s immunity to original sin: in fact, for the Catholic church each human being was born with the original sin and only Christ’s Mother was exempt; in sight of the coming of the Messiah and his mission on Earth.  God, therefore, pleased that the Virgin’s womb should be the abode without sin, the divine Son became man.

In the Catholic devotion, the Immaculate Conception is also connected to the Lourdes apparition (1858) and ichnographically with the previous one at Rue du Bac in Paris (1830).

The festivity of the Immaculate Conception is extremely important in Italy, especially in the South of the Peninsula, because the Immaculate was the Patron Saint of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies.  The holiday is celebrated with ecclesiastical rituals, often solemn, during which believers pray and honor Madonna’s simulacrum.

 A day that has roots in religion and devotion, but doesn’t skimp the right accompaniment of the usual culinary tradition; in fact the Immaculate Eve requests that we abstain from meat, consuming seafood instead.  The celebration is felt the on the 8th itself, with large and rich meals to honor a recurrence that is one of a kind.

Gerardo Soglia