Saint of the Day ~ August 15

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Today, the universal Church, including many Christians from other denominations, celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This special feast commemorates a dual event – the joyous departure of Mary from this life, and the assumption of her body joined together with her soul in Heaven. The Solemnity of the Assumption is recognized as the principal feast of the Mother of God, and Eastern Christians have traditionally held Mary’s assumption into Heaven as an essential component of their faith.

Venerable Pope Pius XII confirmed this belief about the Virgin Mary as the perennial teaching of the Church, when he defined it formally as a dogma of the Catholic faith in 1950, invoking papal infallibility with his Apostolic Constitution “Munificentissimus Deus (Most Bountiful God)”, which defined the dogma and contained the Pontiff’s accounts of many longstanding traditions by which the Church has celebrated Mary’s bodily assumption throughout the Church’s long history.

His Apostolic Constitution also cited testimonies from the early Church Fathers on the subject, and described the history of theological reflection of Mary’s assumption, citing several early Byzantine liturgical texts, as well as the eighth-century Arab Christian theologian, Saint John of Damascus, in his own authoritative definition of her assumption.

In a sermon on the Assumption, Saint John of Damascus wrote, “It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death…that she, who had carried the Creator as a Child at her breast, should dwell in the Divine Tabernacles.”

For a practical reflection on the Assumption of Mary and what it means to us in our individual  walks of faith, please read today’s “Meditation for the Day”.

We commemorate this special Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Collect of the Roman Missal from the Proper for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

“Almighty, Ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Your Son, body and soul into Heavenly glory, grant we pray that, always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.

“Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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