15 AUGUST | Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of our Blessed Mother is one of the Four Marian Dogmas held dear by the Catholic Church. In a nutshell, we hold it a tenet of our faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the end of her earthly life, was taken up, body and soul, into heaven--not by her own power, but by the power of God. This is a necessary consequence of her Immaculate Conception in that, having been preserved by God (not by her own command, of course; Mary never claimed anything for herself, and the Church never taught that she is an equal of God in anything) from the stain of original sin, and having been preserved from sin throughout her life, she was not subject to the main consequence of sin, which is death, and the corruption of the body in the grave. In short, Mary most pure, unlike the rest of us, did not have to wait until judgment day for the resurrection of the body. Both her body and soul, pure from the beginning and preserved free from stain of sin throughout her earthly life, are immediately worthy of heaven. Though it was only in 1950 that the Pope dogmatically defined the Assumption, it has long been believed in and celebrated by the faithful as part of the Tradition handed down to us from the time of the apostles. It was on 01 November 1950 that Pope Pius XII promulgated the apostolic constitution, "Munificentissimus Deus" (from the incipit, 'The most bountiful God...'), in which the definition of the dogma was carefully laid down, thus: "...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" (par. 44). While the assumption of the Blessed Mother is not explicitly stated in Sacred Scripture, we identify her as the woman clothed with the sun in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelations. Our Queen and Mother enthroned above, pray for us!

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