In Argentina as with most largely Catholic countries today begins their Christmas celebration with the feast or celebration of "The Immaculate Conception". Contrary to what you might think at first glance this does not refer to Jesus but to Mary. The beginning of the celebration of Christ's birth, for Argentines, begins with celebrating the sinlessness and perpetual virginity of "the holy mother" Mary. This celebration is actually the largest part of the Christmas season for Argentines which only reflects the influence of the Catholic church on argentine culture. Strangely enough this was not a Catholic doctrine until 1854 but the "sinlessness" of Mary has been held to since the Middle Ages within Catholicism. Mary has become the focal point of the Catholic Church as the provider of forgiveness and the author of hope and salvation. It is amazing how here in the States and in religions around the world that we seem to loose focus on the meaning of Christmas which is indeed Christ Himself. Pray for us as we take the Gospel message of the salvation of the world through Jesus Christ alone to a lost and dying world who has no knowledge of who Jesus really is.