Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Ireland and the Immaculate Conception

From The Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland:
The Irish Franciscan, Blessed John Duns Scotus, known as the Subtil Doctor (Doctor Subtilis), was the first to posit the solution to the great obstacle to the universal acceptance of the doctrine, namely, how could Mary be conceived free from all sin before the Redemption that her Son was to accomplish on Calvary had won the freedom of Mankind from sin.

Fr. Luke Wadding, O.F.M., had learned the pratice of devotion to the Immaculate Conception from his family. He had written a life of Blessed John Duns Scotus, the Vita Scoti. In 1618, King Phillip II of Spain appointed Fr. Wadding as theologian to the embassy that he sent to Rome to promote the definition of the Immaculate Conception as a Dogma of the Catholic Faith. Fr. Wadding was a mere thirty years old at the time.

Writing from Spain in 1625, Count Philip O’Sullivan Beare, nephew of the great O'Sullivan Beare, hero of Dunboy, makes reference to Ireland’s devotion to Mary and in particular to her Immaculate Conception. Likewise, the Irish College in Seville (founded in 1617) was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

Hugh MacCaghwell, O.F.M., Archbishop of Armagh (d. 1626), composed a tract and a litany honouring the Immaculate Conception. Several other Franciscans such as Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, John Ponce or Punch (professor at St. Isadore's in Rome with Wadding), Anthony Hickey (pupil of the great Archbishop MacCaghwell and professor at St. Isadore's) and Bonaventure Baron (also of St. Isadore's) wrote tracts in Our Lady’s honour on the same theme.

The link between St. Isadore's and present-day Ireland is a direct one in that, when the Papal States were invaded in 1870, many precious manuscripts that had been lodged there, having been saved from destruction at the hands of the heretic invaders at home, were returned to Ireland, to the Franciscan Convent at Merchant's Quay, Dublin, where the Church known as 'Adam and Eve's' is more properly called the Church of the Immaculate Conception. (Read more.)


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