Besides being the feastday of St. Ambrose, today is the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception. And, consequently, today is traditionally a day of fasting and partial abstinence from meat.
For today, we as traditional Catholics are called upon to fast and to refrain from eating any flesh meat, except with the one principal meal allowed on a day of fasting. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted. On this day one, normal-sized meal and two smaller meals that do not equal the normal meal are allowed. Eating between meals, however, is prohibited although fruit juices and milk are allowed. The two smaller meals can not contain flesh meat.
The Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the faith stating that Mary was conceived sinless in the womb of her mother Anne, and Mary remained without sin throughout her entire life. Remember, Mary is not just an average woman but the Mother of God; she is extraordinary (Luke 1:42). She is, by no means, divine in anyway, but she certainly is the greatest of all saints. She is the perfect model of charity. Let us try and imitate Mary by wearing her Brown Scapular and praying the Rosary. To imitate Mary, is to grow closer to Jesus Christ, Our Savior.
Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum:
An interval of a few months will again bring round that most happy day on which, fifty years ago, Our Predecessor Pius IX., Pontiff of holy memory, surrounded by a noble crown of Cardinals and Bishops, pronounced and promulgated with the authority of the infallible magisterium as a truth revealed by God that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instant of her conception was free from all stain of original sin. All the world knows the feelings with which the faithful of all the nations of the earth received this proclamation and the manifestations of public satisfaction and joy which greeted it, for truly there has not been in the memory of man any more universal or more harmonious expression of sentiment shown towards the august Mother of God or the Vicar of Jesus Christ.Mary, Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE ST. PIUS X ON THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEBRUARY 2, 1904