This is a somewhat unique year. The traditional holy day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, falls on a Sunday. It will be celebrated on December 9, but not be a holy day of obligation.
December 8, 1879: A Holy Card Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was formally proclaimed on December 8, 1854, by Pope Pius IX. This holy card is a remembrance of the proclamation at the 25th anniversary in 1879 not long after Pius IX’s death.
The front of the card depicts the Pope kneeling in prayer, and including a small prayer offered for the Holy Father. A second class relic, a small piece of his clothing, is near the bottom of the card.
The reverse side of the card gives details about the anniversary and suggests an offering of 50 cents towards flowers to be purchased for the anniversary celebration. These cards were probably distributed to those who contributed to the purchase of the flowers.
Pope Sixtus IV in 1476 approved the feast with its proper Mass and office, and in 1708 Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church and made it a holy day of obligation.
The Sistine Chapel, named was built at this time. Sixtus IV was a great patron of the arts and employed Botticelli and many other renowned artists of the period in its beautification. The Chapel was dedicated to Mary and he created the feast of the Immaculate Conception with an appropriate liturgy for the dedication.
Artifacts belonging to or associated with Blessed Pius IX are featured on Papal Artifacts/Pius IX. His biography, coat of arms and burial site in St. Peter’s Basilica are also featured.
Blessed Pius IX, pray for us!