Immaculate Conception of St. Mary means that she was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without ‘original sin’ or its stain. Original sin refers to the deprivation of sanctifying grace and the inclination to sin shown by every person as a result of the sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Sacrament of Baptism removes original sin from us; but St. Mary, by an exceptional grace granted by God, was exempted and preserved from all stain of original sin from the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body- that is, from the first moment of her existence, conception or animation. Hippolytus calls her the Tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption. St. Ephraem said she was as innocent as Eve before her fall.
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