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Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day — August 15

sotw070608Thou art the glory of Jerusalem … the honor of our people … the hand of the Lord hath strengthened Thee, and therefore Thou shalt be blessed for ever. Judith 15, 10-11

On this festival the Church commemorates the happy departure from life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Her translation into the kingdom of Her Son, in which She received from Him a crown of immortal glory, and a throne above all the other saints and heavenly spirits.

After Christ, as the triumphant Conqueror of death and hell, ascended into Heaven, His Blessed Mother remained at Jerusalem, persevering in prayer with the disciples, till, with them, She had received the Holy Ghost. She lived to a very advanced age, but finally paid the common debt of nature, none among the children of Adam being exempt from that rigorous law.

But the death of the saints is rather to be called a sweet sleep than death; much more that of the Queen of Saints, who had been exempt from all sin. It is a dogma of faith defined by Pope Pius XII, that the body of the Blessed Virgin was raised by God soon after Her death, and taken up to glory, by a singular privilege, before the general resurrection of the dead. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in Her honor. It is the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which Her life was rendered most wonderful; it is the birthday of Her true greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of Her whole life, which we admire singly in Her other festivals.

Mary was born on September 8th (the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary’s death, however, leaves no impression but peace; that death had no other cause than love. Being a mere creature, She could not deliver Herself from that claim of the old enemy; but leaving Her tomb filled with flowers, She mounts up to Heaven, flowing with delights, leaning upon Her Beloved. Amid the acclamations of the daughters of Sion, who will henceforth never cease to call Her Blessed, She ascends surrounded by choirs of heavenly spirits joyfully praising the Son of God. Never more will shadows veil, as they did on earth, the glory of the most beautiful daughter of Eve. Beyond the immovable Thrones, beyond the dazzling Cherubim, beyond the flaming Seraphim, onward She passes, delighting the heavenly city with Her sweet perfumes. She stays not till She reaches the very confines of the Divinity; close to the throne of honor where Her Son, the King of ages, reigns in justice and in power; there She is proclaimed Queen, there She will reign for evermore in mercy and in goodness.

Ineffable is the mystery of this glorious day sacred to the Mother of Our Lord; yet it is meet that we praise it exceedingly, for it has been made singularly honorable by the Assumption of the Virgin. In this mystery we see virginity bearing a Son, and a death that never found its like. Her passing away was no less wonderful than Her child-bearing had been joyful. Admirable in conceiving Her Son by Her faith, She was admirable also in Her passage to God. With special joy and increased love, with faithful prayer and attentive heart, let us, beloved brethren, call upon Mary: that we may be aided and protected by Her intercession, while we proclaim Her a fruitful Virgin and a happy Mother, glorious in merits, and blessed in Her death. Let us beseech our merciful Redeemer to deign to lead the people here present to the Heaven whereunto He gloriously assumed His Blessed Mother Mary, while the Apostles stood around Her. May He deign to grant us this grace, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth God for ever and ever.

Reflection – Whilst we contemplate, in profound sentiments of veneration, astonishment, and praise, the glory to which Mary is raised by Her triumph on this day, we ought, for our own advantage, to consider by what means She arrived at this sublime degree of honor and happiness, that we may walk in Her steps. No other way is open to us. The same path which conducted Her to glory will also lead us thither; we shall be partners in Her reward if we copy Her virtues. Saints Anne and Joachim are the parents of Our Lady, whose Feast Days are recognized in the Liturgical year.

Taken from the books Lives of the Saints For Every Day In the Year (by Fr. Alban Butler) and Volume 13 of The Liturgical Year (by Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B).

To read more about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, please click on these links or visit www.fatimashoppe.org

The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

The Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Hail Holy Queen! by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Holy Hour With Mary written by a Montfort Father

Read more about this Saint