Friday, August 10, 2012

Aug. 15: The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When we come together as a parish community for Mass on either the evening of Tuesday, August 14 (Vigil) or on Wednesday, August 15 to celebrate with the entire Catholic Church throughout the world the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can learn a lot about God’s plan for each of us. This day highlights the special role Mary has in God’s plan of salvation.

Because of her Immaculate Conception, in which Mary was conceived without original sin, it naturally follows that God would preserve her from bodily decay, a result of original sin, by receiving her body into heaven.  When we honor Mary on this Holy Day by gathering as a Church to celebrate her Assumption into heaven, we are reminded again of the awesome gift of God in giving Mary to us as our spiritual Mother. She awaits each of us in heaven, our true and lasting home. Through Mary, God gave us Jesus as our Savior and in her we have an outstanding model of how to love God through the example of her complete openness to God’s will for her to be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God who is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

This less than 7-minute video by Friar Joseph Mary, FI of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate teaches about the Assumption of Mary and provides helpful references to Sacred Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.

In the great mystery of the Assumption, the Church teaches us the truth that at the end of her earthly life Mary was taken up or received (assumed; Latin: assumptio) body and soul by God into heaven. 
Assumption of the Virgin, by Andrea Vaccaro (1600s)

The doctrine of Mary’s Assumption was declared November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus (Most Bountiful God): “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 966).

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