Tag: Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary

What Is The Assumption Of Mary? 

What Is The Assumption Of Mary? 

The Assumption of Mary

by Father William Saunders

Addressing a jubilant crowd of more than 500,000 people packed into St. Peter’s Square, Pope Pius XII solemnly defined in Munificentissimus Deus on Nov. 1, 1950, that the “Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Although the solemn definition may have been at the midpoint of the 20th century, the belief in the Assumption of our Blessed Mother exemplifies the dynamism of revelation and the Church’s ongoing understanding of it as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Granted, the word Assumption does not appear in Sacred Scripture. For this reason many fundamentalists who literally interpret the Bible would have a difficulty with this belief. Nevertheless, we must first pause and reflect on the role of our Blessed Mother in the mystery of salvation, for this provides the foundation for the belief in the Assumption.

We firmly believe that from the first moment of her conception Mary was free of all sin, including Original Sin, by a special favor of almighty God. The Archangel Gabriel recognized her as “full of grace,” “blessed among women” andone with the Lord.” Mary had been chosen to be the Mother of our savior. By the power of the Holy Spirit, she conceived our Lord Jesus Christ, and through her, true God became also man, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

During her lifetime, although the Gospel citations are limited, Mary always presented our Lord to others: to Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist, who leapt for joy in the womb at the presence of the Lord still in his own mother’s womb; to the simple shepherds as well as the wise Magi; and to the people at Cana, when our Lord acquiesced to His mother’s wish and performed the first miracle.

Moreover, Mary stood at the foot of the cross with her Son, supporting Him and sharing in His suffering through her love as only a mother could do. Finally, she was with the Apostles at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended and the Church was born. Therefore, each of us can step back and see Mary as the faithful servant of God who shared intimately in the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord.

For these reasons we believe that the promises our Lord has given to each of us of sharing eternal life, including a resurrection of the body, were fulfilled in Mary. Since Mary was free of Original Sin and its effects (one of which is corruption of the body at death), since she shared intimately in the life of the Lord and in His passion, death and resurrection, and since she was present at Pentecost, this model disciple appropriately shared in the bodily resurrection and glorification of the Lord at the end of her life. (Note that the solemn definition does not specify whether Mary physically died before being assumed or just was assumed; it simply states, “Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life…”)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, also quoting the Byzantine Liturgy, states, “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: ‘In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition (falling asleep) you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death'” (No. 966).

The belief in the Assumption of our Blessed Mother has been longstanding in our Church. We must remember that the early Church was preoccupied with resolving questions about Christ, particularly His incarnation and the hypostatic union (His divine and human natures). However, in addressing these questions, the Church gradually defined the titles of Mary as Mother of God and as New Eve, and the belief of the Immaculate Conception, all of which form the basis for the Assumption.

In Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII cited various Church Fathers to trace the longstanding tradition of the belief of the Assumption–St. John Damascene, St. Andrew of Crete, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and St. Gregory of Tours, to name a few. Bishop Theoteknos of Livias (c. 550- 650) delivered one of the most comprehensive early sermons concerning the Assumption: “For Christ took His immaculate flesh from the immaculate flesh of Mary, and if He had prepared a place in heaven for the Apostles, how much more for His mother; if Enoch had been translated and Elijah had gone to heaven, how much more Mary, who like the moon in the midst of the stars shines forth and excels among the prophets and Apostles? For even though her God-bearing body tasted death, it did not undergo corruption, but was preserved incorrupt and undefiled and taken up into heaven with its pure and spotless soul.”

St. John Damascene (d. 749) also recorded an interesting story concerning the Assumption: “St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.” In all, the Patristic Fathers defended the Assumption on two counts: Since Mary was sinless and a perpetual virgin, she could not suffer bodily deterioration, the result of Original Sin, after her death. Also, if Mary bore Christ and played an intimate role as His mother in the redemption of man, then she must likewise share body and soul in His resurrection and glorification.

The Byzantine Emperor Mauritius (582602) established the celebration of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15 for the Eastern Church. (Some historians speculate that the celebration was already widespread before the Council of Ephesus in 431). By the end of the 6th century, the West likewise celebrated the Feast of the Assumption. While the Church first emphasized the death of Mary, gradual shifts in both title and content occurred so that by the end of the 8th century, the Gregorian Sacramentary had prayers for Assumption Day.

The Feast of the Assumption gives each of us great hope as we contemplate this one facet of the beautiful woman of faith, our Blessed Mother. Mary moves us by example and prayer to grow in God’s grace, to be receptive to His will, to convert our lives through sacrifice and penance, and seek that everlasting union in the heavenly Kingdom.

In 1973, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their letter Behold Your Mother,” stated, “Christ has risen from the dead, we need no further assurance of our faith. Mary assumed into heaven serves rather as a gracious reminder to the Church that our Lord wishes all whom the Father has given Him to be raised with Him. In Mary taken to glory, to union with Christ, the Church sees herself answering the invitation of the heavenly Bridegroom.”


Fr. Saunders is pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish and president of Notre Dame Institute, both in Alexandria.

Feast Of The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15

Feast Of The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15

The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Rev
12 v 1

“And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”



Dear Faithful, today August 15th, the Catholic Faithful all over the earth celebrates together this glorious Feast Day of Our Lady, in commemoration of Her (Our Lady’s) Glorious Assumption Into Heaven.

Since the very beginning of The Church, the remains of those who had died in The Lord were lovingly gathered; sometimes at great risk of life. The Catacombs in Rome is such a place, where the remains or bones of those who had died were kept; and from the beginning The Faithful would meet there to pray for the souls of the departed and to offer The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass on behalf of their souls. The martyrs and those who had lived exemplary holy lives were believed to be already in Heaven and The Faithful would gather before their relics to implore their intercession from Heaven. This is evidenced not only in writings that survive to this day but also in the graffiti on the walls of the catacombs in Rome.  

The relics of countless Saints and Martyrs are with us today in Churches throughout the earth. Especially precious to us are the holy relics of The Apostles.
*But dear Faithful Catholic, you may travel the world OVER…. and you will never ever find ONE single relic of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

NOT ONE.

and that’s because there ARE none!

And don’t you think, dear reader, this to be an ASTONISHING fact, considering how The Early Church risked life and limb to lovingly gather up the remains of The Apostles and Martyrs to venerate them?

WHY then, are there no earthly remains of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus’ own Dear Mother?

The Answer is simple and clear: because She was ASSUMED BODY and SOUL into HEAVEN.

I. The Sacred Scriptures 

We began this message today with the passage from Revelation that show Our Blessed Lady crowned Queen of Heaven:

Rev. 12

“And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

The verses that follow show us the serpent, Satan the dragon making war with her ‘seed’, in fulfillment of the very FIRST prophesy in Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

*Are you having great trials and spiritual battles today?

GOOD!

It’s a sure sign you’re a child of Mary and the devil hates you because you’re ‘The Woman’s offspring’ through Christ her SON!

St.John called her ‘WOMAN‘ in his Gospel and he calls her ‘WOMAN‘ AGAIN in The Revelation: for SHE IS The Second EVE; the prophesied ‘WOMAN‘ that was to COME that would CRUSH the Serpent‘s HEAD when She said FIAT! YES! To God’s Redemptive Plan.

That’s why the devil HATES her so much, and that’s why souls that hate The Holy Catholic Faith very soon began to blaspheme MARY, Our Blessed Mother.
*But the verse JUST before this, tells us more:

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” 

Revelations 11:19

St. John first saw The Temple of God and The Ark of The Covenant, and immediately in the next verse he sees The Woman clothed with the SUN and crowned QUEEN of Heaven.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IS THE ARK of The COVENANT.

II.
 The Catechism

What exactly do we confess with the ancients in The Dogma of The Assumption of Mary?

1
 The Dogma which recognizes The Blessed Virgin Mary’s singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection by which she was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when the course of her earthly life was finished. (Catechism of The Catholic Church, Glossary: p. 867)

2   #966  “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. (Lumen Gentium 59; cf Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus). 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

“In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”

(Byzantine Liturgy, Tropariion-Feast of The Dormition, Aug.15th).
*So often those who try to refute The Holy Catholic Faith accuse The Holy Catholic Church of ‘inventing Doctrines and Dogmas.’

But here we see that The Eastern Churches confess this Dogma together with us in a very similar way, calling it ‘The Feast of The Dormition of The Blessed Virgin Mary.’

But is there further historical evidence that proves this Dogma that all Catholics are obliged- indeed REJOICE!- to receive?

III
.  The Assumption: Saints and Fathers.



*This longstanding Sacred Tradition of the belief of The Assumption can be found in the historical record in the writings of many Saints, most notably St. John Damascene, St. Andrew of Crete, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and St. Gregory of Tours. In the interest of time we will examine but a few today, that you might be strengthened and confirmed in The Holy Catholic Faith once delivered to The Saints.

1
.  325 A.D. – Eusebius of Caesarea 

Eusebius wrote a History of The Early Church. He wrote that not only was our Blessed Lady assumed into Heaven but that it had been reveled to her by The Holy Ghost afore hand.

He wrote:

The virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, is taken up to her son in heaven, as some write had been revealed to her.”

(Chronological Tables Year 46 A.D. in some manuscripts).


2
.   262 A.D. – St. Gregory the Wonderworker.

Nearly a 100 years BEFORE Eusebius, The Early Church Historian, St. Gregory was preaching The Assumption:

“Come, then, you too, dearly beloved, and let us chant the melody which has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, Arise, O Lord, into Your rest; You, and the ark of Your sanctuary. For the holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary. … Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear, and forget your own people and your father’s house; so shall the King greatly desire your beauty: for He is the Lord your God, and you shall worship Him. Hearken, O daughter, to the things which were prophesied beforetime of you, in order that you may also behold the things themselves with the eyes of understanding.” 

(Homily 1 on the Annunciation).
*In this homily or sermon by St. Gregory The Wonder-Worker, (AD 272) not only do we find The Early Church confessed The Assumption of Mary, but they also already had a THEOLOGY of Mary

(1). That She was The Ark of The Covenant and (2). That she was and is, Queen of Heaven.

He quotes two prophecies about Mary’s Assumption: One in which David tells the Messiah to “Arise” with His ark (Psalms 132:8), (which Gregory says is Mary), and a SECOND which is about the vision of the Queen of Heaven standing at the right hand of the Messiah (Psalms 45: 11). 

In preaching that Mary “arose” bodily and that she is now in heaven, body and soul, St. Gregory is one of the EARLIEST witnesses in the historical record to the belief in Mary’s Assumption. (3). A mere 500 years after Pentecost, The Holy Catholic Church was still preaching and confessing The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

3. Bishop Theoteknos of Livias (c. 550650). 

“For Christ took His immaculate flesh from the immaculate flesh of Mary, and if He had prepared a place in heaven for the Apostles, how much more for His mother; if Enoch had been translated and Elijah had gone to heaven, how much more Mary, who like the moon in the midst of the stars shines forth and excels among the prophets and Apostles? For even though her God-bearing body tasted death, it did not undergo corruption, but was preserved incorrupt and undefiled and taken up into heaven with its pure and spotless soul.”

4. St. John Damascene (d. 749) writes this concerning the Assumption: 

St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles confessed that her   was taken up to heaven.” 


5. 
Liber Requiei Mariae – 200 A.D. – “And our Lord said to them: ‘Let them bring the body of Mary into the clouds.’ … And when they arrived together in Paradise, they placed the body of Mary beside the tree of life. And they brought her soul and placed it upon her body. And our Lord dismissed his angels to their places.” 

(Liber Requiei Mariae 89, as it appears in Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions of Mary’s Dormition and Assumption. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 163-164).
*Dear Faithful, time does not permit us here to list more quotes from Saints Confessors and Doctors of The Church who joyfully confessed the glorious Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary; but these things we have written today that we might rejoice together with them in The Assumption of Our Blessed Lady.

JESUS has a MOMMA!

and He gave her to us from The Cross at His Most Sacred Passion to be our very OWN dear mother: and when her race on earth was finished and she fell asleep, The Lord Jesus-Who conquered death and IS The Resurrection and The Life, RAISED UP His Dear Mother into Heaven to be with Him forever, a foretaste of our OWN Resurrection-

and He crowned her!

Queen of Heaven!

Queen of Saints and Angels!

Where with Jesus and all The Saints and Angels she intercedes for us today! 
HAVE you THANKED her today, for saying ‘FIAT’ to Jesus that your soul might be saved?
Let’s do that right NOW! 

Pray with me, first in the words of the 

Sub Tuum Praesidium the most ancient known-prayer to Our Lady-(AD 200) and then an AVE:
+We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; 

despise not our petitions in our necessities, 

but deliver us always from all dangers, 

O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

AVE
MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Rejoicing in The Assumption of The Blessed  Virgin Mary.

Dear Faithful, you help us GREATLY when you SHARE this Articles. 

We thank each one of you and may The Lord bless you abundantly. Amen. 

Two Other Saints Who Were Assumed By God – Mary Wasn’t The Only One

Two Other Saints Who Were Assumed By God – Mary Wasn’t The Only One

The Blessed Virgin Mary isn’t the only person who was assumed, body and soul, by God at the end of her earthly life (Jesus “ascended” into heaven). The Bible tells us about at least two other holy men of God who received a similar gift: Enoch and Elijah.

Enoch

Enoch is something of an enigma. He’s mentioned in only 6 verses of the Old Testament book of Genesis, but what is said about him is fascinating:

“When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. […] When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.(Genesis 5.18, 20-24)

Whoa! So Enoch was faithful, and then was taken away by God.

How was Enoch faithful? Why did God choose to take him away? Unfortunately, Scripture doesn’t say.

That hasn’t stopped people from trying to fill in the gaps: there are a number of apocryphal books about Enoch written long after Genesis that purport to tell “the rest of the story,” claiming that he was put in charge of angels and other incredible things.

Elijah

Elijah was one of the most important prophets of the Old Testament. One day he was with his protégé Elisha, when “suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (2 Kings 2v11).

Elisha was dumbstruck, to say the least: “Elisha saw this,” Scripture says, “and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more.” (2 Kings 2.12).

Where did they go exactly?

While Mary definitely went to heaven, there is some debate about where exactly Enoch and Elijah went after being taken up by God. Did they go to heaven? Or did they go to the limbo of the patriarchs? Or to some other location?

St. Thomas Aquinas argued “Elijah was taken up into the atmospheric heaven, but not in to the empyrean heaven, which is the abode of the saints: and likewise Enoch was translated into the earthly paradise, where he is believed to live with Elias until the coming of Antichrist.”

Either way, it appears Enoch and Elijah both were taken up by God, body and soul, into some other realm, unlike most saints whose bodies remain on earth (at least until the resurrection at the end of the world).

Full Text Of Pope Francis’ Speech On Assumption

Full Text Of Pope Francis’ Speech On Assumption

And now we turn with trust to Mary, sweet Queen of Heaven, and we ask her: “Give us days of peace, watch over our path, let us see your Son, full of the joy of Heaven”

 

BEFORE THE ANGELUS

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! Happy Feast of the Assumption!

The reading from (Luke 1:39-56)  today’s feast day describes the meeting between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, stressing that, “during those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah.” (v. 39). In those days, Mary ran to a small city on the outskirts of Jerusalem to meet Elizabeth.

Today, we contemplate her on her journey to the heavenly Jerusalem, to finally see the Father’s face and to see again the face of her Son Jesus. Many times during her earthly life, she had gone to hilly areas, up to the last sorrowful stage of Calvary, associated with the mystery of Christ’s Passion. Now, we see her reaching God’s mountain, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1) — as the Book of Revelation says — and we see her crossing the threshold of the celestial homeland.

She was the first to believe in the Son of God, and she is the first to be assumed into Heaven in soul and body. First, she received Jesus and took Him in her arms when He was still a baby, and she is the first to be received by His arms to be introduced into the Eternal Kingdom of the Father. Mary, a humble and simple girl of a lost village on the fringes of the empire, precisely because she received and lived the Gospel, is admitted by God to be for eternity beside the Son’s throne. It is thus, that the Lord puts down the mighty from their thrones and exalts those of low degree (cf. Luke 1:52).

Mary’s Assumption is a great mystery that concerns each one of us; it concerns our future. Mary, in fact, precedes us on the way on which all those go that, through Baptism, have bound their life to Jesus, as Mary bound her life to Him. Today’s feast pre-announces the “new heavens and the new earth,” with the risen Christ’s victory over death and the definitive defeat of the Evil One. Therefore, the exultance of the humble girl of Galilee, expressed in the canticle of the Magnificat, becomes the song of the whole of humanity, which is pleased to see the Lord bend over all men and all women, humble creatures, and assume them with Himself into Heaven.

The Lord bends over the humble, to raise them, as the canticle of the Magnificat proclaims. The song of Mary also leads us to think about many actual sad situations, in particular those women overwhelmed by the weight of life and the drama of violence; of women who are slaves to the arrogance of the powerful; the girls forced into inhumane work; the women forced to surrender in both body and spirit to the avarice of men. May the beginning of a life of peace, of justice and of love reach them as soon as possible, in expectation of the day in which they finally feel gripped by hands that do not humiliate them, but assuage them with tenderness and lead them to Heaven. Mary, a girl, a woman who suffered so much in her life, makes us think of these women who suffer so much. Let us ask the Lord that He Himself may lead them by the hand on the way of life, freeing them from these slaveries.

And now we turn with trust to Mary, sweet Queen of Heaven, and we ask her: “Give us days of peace, watch over our path, let us see your Son, full of the joy of Heaven” (Hymn of the Second Vespers).
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

AFTER THE ANGELUS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once again, I would like to entrust to the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate today in heavenly glory, the anxieties and sorrows of the populations that in so many places of the world are innocent victims of persistent conflicts. My thought goes to the inhabitants of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently stricken by new massacres, which for some time have been perpetrated in shameful silence, without even drawing our attention.

Unfortunately, these victims are part of the many innocents that have no weight on world opinion. . May Mary obtain for all sentiments of understanding and the desire for concord!
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from different countries! In particular, I greet the young people of Villadose, the faithful of Credaro and those of Crosara.

I wish a happy feast of the Assumption to all of you here present and to those who are in various holiday places, as well as to all those who have not been able to go on vacation, especially the sick, persons who are alone, and those that ensure indispensable services to the community during these days of celebration.
I thank you for having come and, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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