Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This is the principal feast of Mary. It has a double purpose: first, the happy departure of Mary from this life and second, the assumption of her body into heaven. Departure from this world and entrance into the next is the same movement in two different expressions. Little is known for certain about the day, year and manner of Mary's death. The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Jesus' Ascension. Since Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin, she was spared bodily decay and was taken up body and soul into heaven once her earthly life was over. Thus the Lord has exalted her as Queen over all things.

Mary's Assumption takes nothing away from Christ. On the contrary, it demonstrates the power of his Resurrection. Since Mary was the mother of Christ and the first to believe in him, she was raised by Him to the glorified life of heaven. It is, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection" (no. 966).

Mary is not only the first disciple and mother of Jesus; she is also a symbol of the Church and a model for all Christians. By reflecting on the graces God gave the Blessed Virgin, we understand more about his gifts to us. The Assumption of Mary is the realization of the hope that all believers share. Her acceptance into the glory of Heaven is a sign of the promise made by Jesus to all Christians that one day they too will be received into paradise.

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