J.M.J. "One of the most direct and unqualified testimonies for the Immaculate Conception to be found among the early ecclesiastical writers is that of St. Ephrem of Syria (+373). In his Carmina Nisibena he categorically declared, in his poem addressed to Christ, 'Thou and Thy Mother are alone in this: You are wholly beautiful in every respect. There is in Thee, Lord, no stain, nor any spot in Thy Mother.' This use of the accommodated sense of Cant. 6:7, affords a clear affirmation of the exemption of Mary from all sin, rooted in the fact of the Divine Maternity. Further to single out the exclusiveness of this prerogative of the Blessed Virgin, in the context of this phrase of her freedom from spot or stain, St. Ephrem emphasizes that she alone, of all mankind, possesses such a privilege. Thus exalted above all mere creatures in the order of grace, her pure soul came immaculate from the hand of God, 'like Eve before the fall, endowed with the fullness of grace, by reason of her anticipated motherhood of the Son of God.'"
Aidan Carr, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D., and Germain Williams, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D., "Mary's Immaculate Conception," in Mariology, Volume I, edited by Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M. (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1955), 349.