Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

St Mary's cathedral

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

On December 8, 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 March 25, 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 February 11 of that year.


Mary of the Immaculate Conception:Detail from stained glass window, St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne