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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
To this day, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception has either been accepted with blind faith or dismissed as nonsense. However, zealous scholars show us there is a third option. In The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception, Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso explores the figure of Mary, as well as those of Anne, Elizabeth, and Sarah, reconstructing a lineage of holy women that the passing of centuries has erased from memory. Among these holy women, Mary is the highest example. Rigoglioso starts from an apocryphal text, the Infancy Gospel of James (a more accurate title is Birth of Mary, Revelation of James), and makes further references to the Roman, Greek, and Egyptian traditions. In this way, she reconstructs Mary's childhood and shows how Jesus's Mother was not just a passive victim but "a conscious priestess of divine conception."
The Immaculate Conception has always interested me, and finding a book on this subject has been a pleasure. I recommend other curious readers to approach The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception with an open mind. The material is new and exceptional, and although Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso is very precise and exhaustive, you will find yourself in a world that (I believe) you never suspected existed. Give yourself time to understand everything because the picture is fascinating. For me, discovering that Mary was part of a specific group of holy women that links her to Sarah is one of the most exciting discoveries I have ever made. I recommend The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception to those who have never found convincing answers to their questions on this delicate subject. Rigoglioso will put them on the right track.