The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

According to Catholic teaching, the Assumption of Mary is the belief that at the end of her earthly life, Mary was taken up into heaven, bodily (physically) as well as spiritually.

A few key points about the meaning of the Assumption of the Mother of Jesus are found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (see 966).

The Catechism affirms that Mary did not suffer from original sin but was conceived full of grace. According to this doctrine, known as the Immaculate Conception, God’s supernatural life dwelt in Mary from the very beginning of her existence.

Surprisingly, the Immaculate Conception is not simply about Mary. This doctrine, which has its roots in early Christianity, ultimately is about the mystery of Jesus Christ. God became man in Mary’s womb. Since Jesus truly is the all-holy God, the Second Person of the Trinity, Catholics believe he is worthy to dwell in a pure vessel, a holy temple. God prepared Mary as an immaculate dwelling place, full of grace and not stained by sin, for the God-man, Jesus.

The Immaculate Conception serves as a basis for understanding Mary’s assumption.

Mary remains ever faithful to her son. Since one of the blessings promised to all faithful disciples is victory over death, it is fitting that Mary, who is the first and model disciple of Christ, would be the first to receive this blessing. Catholics believe that the privilege of resurrection promised to all faithful Christians was given first to Mary and in a totally unique way.

While we all hope to have our bodies raised to glory at the end of time, Mary experienced the resurrection and glorification of her body at the moment her earthly life ended. Thus, her assumption—which flows from her unique participation in Christ’s victory as the mother of the Savior and as the first and most faithful of Christ’s followers—anticipates to some degree our own share in the fullness of that victory if we persevere as followers of Christ.

Aside from our current dispensation, The Assumption is not a Holy Day of obligation this year because August 15 falls on a Saturday.

We may not be gathering together to celebrate the feast, yet we can pray for Mary’s blessed intervention and assistance, for ourselves our families and our world through these challenging times.  May we persevere in faith and charity to the fullness of victory that is ours’ in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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St. Vincent de Paul Update for 8/14/20