The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates her being taken up body and soul into heaven when her earthly life was finished. It first began to be celebrated as a feast day in the Eastern Church after the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431) proclaimed Mary the Mother of God. By the sixth century, the feast celebrated Mary’s Dormition, “her falling asleep”. The western church began to celebrate this feast around 650. The Church’s teaching on the Assumption was formally proclaimed a doctrine by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope St. John Paul, quoted John 14: 3, as the scriptural basis for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: “When I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” He further revealed that “Mary is the pledge of the fulfilment of Christ’s promise. Her Assumption thus becomes for us ‘a sign of sure hope and consolation.'”
In today’s society, many idolize sensuality, materialism, and self-indulgence. In contrast, the celebration of the solemnity of the Assumption Our Blessed Virgin Mary turns our eyes away from these temporary, earthly attachments and directs our focus on the dignity and destiny of our human body and the beauty and dignity of womanhood. It turns our eyes upon the true life which awaits us beyond the grave – eternal life.
May we take heart that one day our bodies and souls will be reunited with God after death. On her special feast day, let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother, for the grace to keep our eyes fixed on her Son as we place our heart in hers, forever united with her, that we may be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.
Collect for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Almighty and everlasting God,
You have taken up body and soul
into the heavenly glory the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Your Son: Grant, we beseech You,
that, ever intent upon heavenly things,
we may be worthy to be partakers of her glory.
Through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.
-Taken from the Roman Missal