Friends of the Rosary:
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption in these words: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.”
This belief, dated back to the apostles themselves, became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.
In the early days of Christianity, the “Memory of Mary” was celebrated. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the “Falling Asleep” (“Dormitio”) of the Mother of God. Centuries later, it would become the feast of the “Assumption of Mary.”
From the beginning, it was clear that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated.
Mary had died in the presence of the apostles and they buried the body in Jerusalem. But her tomb, when opened later, was found empty. Her body did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay.
The apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven. It was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption.
The location of the empty tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage. Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.
All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption.
Her divine motherhood is celebrated both at Christmas and a week later, on January 1st, on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception, on December the 8th, shows her fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. This feast marks the preparation for her divine motherhood.
The Assumption is God’s crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. It gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.
Jesus, I Trust In You!
To Jesus through Mary!
+ Mikel A. | RosaryNetwork.com, New York