The Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that the Virgin Mary was free of original sin from the moment of her conception.It proved highly controversial in the Middle Ages, but revived in the 19th century and was adopted as Church dogma when Pope Pius IX promulgated Ineffabilis Deus in 1854.
The doctrine had the overwhelming support of the Church’s hierarchy, although a few, including the Archbishop of Paris, warned that it is not stated in the New Testament and could not be deduced from it. Protestants overwhelmingly rejected Ineffabilis Deus as an exercise in papal power and the doctrine itself as without foundation in Scripture,and Eastern Orthodoxy, although it reveres Mary in its liturgy, called on the Roman church to return to the faith of the early centuries. The iconography of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception shows her standing, with arms outspread or hands clasped in prayer, and her feast day is 8 December.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother is not to be confused with her purity in the virgin birth of Jesus.