Blessed Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
With great joy the Church celebrates this feast day of our Blessed Mother, the day on which we commemorate her bodily resurrection and glorification of the Lord at the end of her life.
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII announced the Apostolic Constitution, MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS, defining the doctrine of the Assumption. Speaking to a jubilant crowd of more than 500,000 people packed into St. Peter’s Square, Pope Pius XII proclaimed, “Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us that:
“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.”508 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, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th)” (CCC 966)
According to the catechism, Mary was “exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things,” and so we honor her as Queen of the universe and Queen of our hearts. Not only is today a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics, but also it’s the perfect day to venerate our Blessed Mother, offering her the crown of our hearts.
Here is a quote from St. Bernard of Clairvaux that would be a great starting point for our meditation today:
“And with regard to ourselves, how deservedly do we keep the feast of the Assumption with all solemnity. What reasons for rejoicing, what motives for exultation have we on this most beautiful day! The presence of Mary illumines the entire world so that even the holy city above has now a more dazzling splendor from the light of this virginal Lamp. With good reason thanksgiving and the voice of praise resound today throughout the courts of Heaven…let us not complain for here we do not have a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come, the same which the blessed Mary entered today.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
They say that, on the Blessed Mother’s feast days, good things happen for her children. That includes you and me. May you – may all of us – be abundantly blessed on this wonderful feast!