The members of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X make their engagements on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The following lines taken from The Mystery of Mary by Fr. Bernard, OP, show Mary’s central role in the history of salvation.
If Mary deserved to be so well prepared for her mystery, it was through the grace of the Immaculate Conception that sanctified her from the earliest age.
She received this first grace without having done anything, obviously, to deserve it. She received it through an absolutely free act of Divine benevolence and by the anticipated effect of the future merits, then so close, of the One who would be her Divine Son. And if this first grace was granted to this little being who would be Mary, with such amplitude and wealth, was it not solely to prepare also the divine maternity to which the little girl was predestined.
In all truth, the Immaculate Conception is our hope and our salvation. And, make no mistake, our salvation in Christ. We are bound to Mary and participate in what happened to her because she is a daughter of Adam and Eve like us.
But even more so because she is the daughter of Christ, the new Eve by the side of the new Adam. For if she was called into existence according to the destiny of our nature, she was sanctified from the very first instant according to the strength of the same grace that saves us. The Immaculate Conception is the triumph of our redemption.
But the triumph of the Virgin is also our own, for it is clear that if such exceptions were made for Mary, it was so that she could be more profoundly involved in the work or our salvation; it was so that she could merit more fully for her children a salvation that was already so magnificently accomplished in her person.