December 8 is the Festa dell’Immacolata or the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated throughout Italy. The feast recognizes that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin — something with which, in Catholic dogma, every person is considered to have been born. Pictured is the painting “Immacolata Concezione” from 1637-1640 by Pietro Novelli il Monrealese. It is housed over the main altar in the magnificent baroque church, Chiesa dell’Immacolata Concezione in Palermo.
In Sicily, on December 7th and 8th, there are many different traditions celebrated in honor of the Virgin Mother. See last year’s post for more details.