In order to reach Jesus, who is the true light and the sun that dissipates all the darkness of history, we need to have people near us who reflect the light of Christ and illuminate the way. And who is brighter than Mary? Who can be a more hopeful star than her, the aura that announced the day of salvation? That is why the liturgy today celebrates, just before Christmas, the magnificence of the Immaculate Conception of Mary: the mystery of God’s grace who embraced the existence of the creature destined to become the Mother of Jesus, preserving her from original sin. From her we see the grandeur and beauty of God’s project for each of us: to become saints and immaculate in love, in the image of our Creator.
Pope Benedict XVI, 8 December 2007