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Praise God the Father

that preserved her from all stain

in her Conception.



Pope Pius IX, former student of the Pious Schools of Volterra, in his papal Bull Ineffabilis Deus, in 1854, declared the Immaculate Conception of Mary a dogma of faith. In this same bull, the Pope recalled, on such a solemn occasion, that from his childhood he had professed special devotion to Mary in her Immaculate Conception.

Undoubtedly, the Pope participated in many prayers that the students of the Pious Schools addressed to the Virgin Mary, among which we highlight the Crown of the Twelve Stars, in honour of the Immaculate Conception, in the praise of God the Father, because he preserved Mary from all blame in her Conception.

St. Joseph Calasanz had participated since childhood and youth, in the religious environment of the old Crown of Aragon in which the feast of the Immaculate Conception was accepted and celebrated by the Christian people in a unanimous manner. Among the seven festivities of the Virgin Mary that were celebrated with various devotions in their schools, he wanted to include the Immaculate Conception

At the heart of our schools, communities and families, Mary approaches us with that humble, close and serene presence that characterizes her. With his discreet style, she offers us her hope. In our houses and classrooms, it is easy for us to keep a small image, picture of Mary and to offer our gesture of love in the simple offering of a simple flower or lit candle. At the same time, when we look at her we feel that she looks at us, always protects us, and is attentive to our needs. Mary speaks to us silently about God, reminds us that those beautiful feelings that children express in their prayer: innocence, generosity, kindness, pure heart, trust … connect us with the compassionate heart of God.

Mary Immaculate tunes us to the most intimate experience of each child in her heart. From the immaculate heart of Mary we learn the openness to God, to his Word, to his inspirations, to look at each person, especially those who are rejected and humiliated, from the heart with affection, with tenderness, with a clean look.

Most Holy Virgin Mary, we entrust the soul of all our children, of our educators and parents to your immaculate heart, and we thank you from the heart for your living and eloquent presence among us.

Lastly, we offer you in this audio, the opening prayer of our Advent retreat, in which we accompany Our Lady, Virgin Mary, in expectation of the Saviour’s birth, from the praises of God the Father of the Crown of the Twelve Stars.