What is the immaculate conception?

In the Gospel of Luke an angel visits a young woman in Nazareth named Mary and asks if she will bear the Messiah. Mary says yes. Then, presto! Mary becomes pregnant with Jesus. This is known as the immaculate conception, right?

Wrong. Even though many Catholics connect this story in Luke’s gospel with the term immaculate conception, the doctrine itself refers to something different. It still refers to Mary, but it is not about how Mary became pregnant with Jesus. It is…

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