Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The movie, Mary of Nazareth (2013), directed by Giacomo Campiotti chronicles the life of the Virgin Mary from just before the time of her Presentation in the Temple until the Resurrection.  The movie contains scenes that are not in Scripture, but nothing that contradicts scripture. The movie begins with a scene reminiscent of the massacre of the innocent children shortly after the birth of the baby Jesus.  In this depiction, however, soldiers ravage houses and streets in search of little girls so as to find Mary.  Apparently, the ruling elite know that Mary will be the Mother of the long-expected messiah, so the soldiers were sent to kill Jesus’ mother before he is born.  Miraculously, little Mary escapes.  Having witnessed this miracle, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, conclude, “Mary is a mystery; a mystery too great for us.”  Here, Joachim and Anne hint at Mary’s privileged origin (sinlessness) and divine election, her Immaculate Conception.

The following scene shows Anne and Joachim presenting their three-year-old daughter in the temple where Mary dances on the third step of the altar and “all the house of Israel loved her.” Here we see that even in her childhood, Mary was completely dedicated to God and separated from all worldly influence. Not even the tears of her mother can stop her from running to the High Priest standing at the entrance of the temple.

Overall, the character of Mary in this movie is a mixture of sweetness, goodness, gentle strength, intelligence, courage, and a complete trust in God.  As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us reflect on Mary as our hero.  How does Mary fascinate and captivate me amidst all the trials and troubles of my life?

December 8th, 2015