Filipinos are bound to embrace another special non-working holiday on December 8. This is the annual Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a famous celebration among Christian communities around the world.
Proclamation No. 42 affirms the celebration as a special non-working holiday, whereby the principle of “no work, no pay” applies and on such other special days, as may be proclaimed by the President or by Congress.
What is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and why is it significant for the Catholics?
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception asserts that the Virgin Mary was granted a unique privilege and grace from God. This grace preserved her from original sin right from the moment of her conception, in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ. For those who are part of the Catholic faith, the Immaculate Conception is not just important; it holds a central place. Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her willingness to say ‘yes’ to God’s plan are pivotal to humanity’s salvation, as they pave the way for the promise of eternal life through the merits of her Son, Jesus.
Why do we commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
The earliest days of the Church have held the Blessed Virgin Mary in the highest regard as the most blessed and holy disciple. Many people often regard the Immaculate Conception as the inception of our salvation. Subsequently, it has evolved into a fundamental doctrine of our faith. Consequently, we observe the Feast Day to emphasize the crucial role Mary plays in the history of our salvation. This Feast is of such importance that the Church has designated it as a Holy Day of Obligation.
How does the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception hold significance in the lives of Catholics today?
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception presents the Virgin Mary as an exemplary figure to the faithful. It showcases what God can accomplish and what we can achieve if we, like Mary, surrender ourselves to God’s will and service. It encourages us to strive to remain free from sin as much as humanly possible. The Immaculate Conception serves as a reminder that, through cooperation with God’s grace, much like the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can lead a life as free from sin as humanly attainable.
The special holiday on December 8 gives the Christians a chance to give honor and reflect on the exemplary actions of Mary. It is important that we respect and continuously celebrate this festive holiday to uphold humanity’s faith.
See the list of the remaining official regular and special non-working holidays in the Philippines in 2023 below:
- Bonifacio Day – November 27, 2023 (Monday nearest November 30)
- Christmas Day – December 25, 2023 (Monday)
- Rizal Day – December 30, 2023 (Saturday)
Special non-working day:
- Last Day of the Year – December 31, 2023 (Sunday)