Ineffabilis Deus

Ineffabilis Deus (Latin for The incomprehensible God ) is a dogmatic Bull of Pope Pius IX. and was released on December 8, 1854. It is subtitled: For an explanation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.


The denial of the true humanity of Christ led to the denial of true motherhood of Mary. The denial of the divinity of Christ led to the denial of the divine motherhood of Mary. Direct disputers the Mother of God were the Nestorians. Even at the Council of Ephesus (431 ), there was to clarify and it was: If anyone does not confess that the Emmanuel (Christ) in truth is God and that therefore the Holy Virgin is Theotokos - because it has the flesh of the God originating logos born - so he was excluded. The difficulty was, inter alia, in how it was possible that one of the original sin -loaded ( and unbaptized ) man can be " Mother of God ". The theological answer to this single question went on for centuries; much was John Duns Scotus at. In the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus of 1854, ie more than 1400 years later than the Council of Ephesus, was a precise specification of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.


In the introduction, the bull on the state of man that cometh into the world because of the sin of Adam and Eve, triggered by a trick of the devil, who was born with original sin. God wants to correct this error and sends in his grace incarnate Logos, his own son among mankind, so he picks up their guilt and humanity straightens again.

For the only-begotten Son before all time God chooses already a special mother, that Mary, from. It equips this woman who is to give birth to the Son of God, with more graces than all the angels and saints. She is from the beginning without the stain of original sin, and therefore by a wonderful holiness. The son now chooses this mother, and the Holy Spirit causes Jesus is conceived and born of her.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

In the liturgy of the Church

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Church has proclaimed and confirmed and presented to the faithful for public worship and devotion of all ages. Therefore, there is in the Church's liturgy own Liturgy of the Hours, Mass and Preface. In addition, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was ( according to ancient tradition December 8 - nine months before the birth of ancient feast of Mary, September 8) introduced and an associated holiday, on which the Pope will celebrate a service at the Patriarchal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The church has the original sin loose conception of Mary presented to the faithful for public worship and devotion. Open by this fact, they expressed that the Conception of the Virgin is very strange and wonderful that they very different was going on than the rest of the people (ie, without the " dissemination of original sin " ), that Mary is therefore very holy and worthy of reverence.

It is further created the possibility to choose the patronal feast " Immaculata " for churches, chapels, etc.. Confraternities and congregations for the worship of the Immaculate Conception have formed over centuries. In the Litany of Loreto the Immaculate Conception of Mary is mentioned (since 1846) specifically.

In the teaching of the Church

To prove the continuity of the faith ( the Ineffabilis Deus with the defined dogma only formulated ), the bull gives a lecture in detail what the Bible, the Church Fathers, the medieval theologians and the magisterium.

Alexander VII, Pope from 1655 to 1667, brings the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the Const. Sollicitudo from December 8, 1661 as expressed: " From time immemorial it is the pious opinion of believers in Christ, that the soul of the Blessed Virgin and Mother Mary in the first instant of its creation and its union with the body on the basis of a special grace of God and a special preference dividend in respect of the merits of her son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, was preserved pure from all stain of original sin; In this sense, one commits solemnly the feast of her conception. "

It can thus demonstrate a continuity in the teaching of the Church. The author of the bull orders that books are banned, which take this into doubt. The Council of Trent had set and decided that all men inherited the original sin come into the world to proclaim the dogma of original sin on the basis of the testimonies of Scripture, the Church Fathers and the legitimate church meetings; the same Council declared, however, just as solemnly, it was not his intention, in this decree and in this general decision, the Holy and Immaculate Virgin and Mother of God miteinzuschließen.

History of the Statement of Faith

Therefore, a congregation was selected from cardinals of the holy Roman Church and theologians from the secular and regular clergy, and written in a letter dated 2 February 1849 Gaetia so they everything concerning the Immaculate Conception of Mary, maturely to consider and share their views on. On the basis of these responses, as well as on the basis of liturgical and doctrinal tradition, a consistory was held, which encouraged the pope to formulate a dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Formulation of the dogma in the Bull

Final considerations

The bull ends with a Marian praise of " Schlangenzertretrin " ( alluding to the artist's impression) and the desire to further devotion to Mary.

Declaration of the dogma

According to Catholic theology, the dogma in detail states the following:

  • Under the passive conception Conception is to be understood, that the moment in which the soul created by God and have in the living matter, which prepares ( begotten ) the parents, is poured.
  • Maria will be spared from the indebted by Adam and Eve and original sin enters in a state of sanctifying grace existence.
  • God gives Mary the absence of original sin as a free gift ( gratia ) and emergency law ( privilegium ).
  • Efficient cause ( causa efficiens ) of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is the Almighty God.
  • Merit cause ( causa Meritoria ) is the merit salvation of Jesus Christ.
  • Final cause ( causa finalis proxima ) of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is her divine motherhood

As early as the 7th century, is in the Greek East, a festival of " Conception of St. Anna ", ie the passive conception of Mary, detectable. The feast spread to southern Italy continued to Ireland and England. Object of the feast was the Conception of Mary by the Holy. Anna after a long childlessness.

In the Orthodox Church, Mary is celebrated as the " Panagia " ( the all saints) and " from every stain of sin free", which is also a positive understanding of the " Immaculate Conception " is predicated, although the Orthodox Church does not accept the Bull " Ineffabilis Deus ".


  • Doctrine of salvation of the Church. Documents of Pius IX. to Pius XII. German edition of the French original by P. Cattin OP and H. Th Conus O.P. concerned by Anton tube bass player, Paul Publisher Fribourg / Switzerland, 1953, pp. 306-325, tel. 510-545; Imprimatur Friburgi Helv, the 22 maii 1953 L. V. Waeber G). The Latin original of " Ineffabilis Deus " can be found in: Pii IX Acta, pars 1a, vol. I, p.597.
  • Ludwig Ott: Floor plan of the Catholic dogma, 11th edition, Bonn 2005