Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, August 14
Mass at 5:30 pm
Thursday, August 15
Masses at 6:45 and 8:15 am; and 12:10 and 7:00 pm (bilingual)
Today's solemnity recalls the teaching of the Church that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven. The teaching of the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world as early as the 5th century. The Assumption of Mary was celebrated in the West under Pope Sergius I in the 8th century and Pope Leo IV then confirmed the feast as official. Theological debate about the Assumption continued, following the Reformation, climaxing in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined it as dogma for the Catholic Church.
On 1 November 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary as a dogma: By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: 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.
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." 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. (CCC #966)
After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints," The Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother. In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God. (CCC #972)