Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Blessed Lady Immaculate is one of the Patrons of our Diocese

History of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

St Mary's cathedralOn 8 December 1854, after having consulted the bishops of the world, Pope Pius IX, with the Apostolic Constitution ‘Ineffabilis Deus’, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which affirms,

We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

On 25 March 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to the young peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes and announced, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Mary first appeared to Bernadette on 11th February of that year.


Image above, Mary of the Immaculate Conception – a photograph of the stained glass window located in St. Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne.