What the Assumption Means for Us

While today is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, it is not a holy day of obligation this year because it falls on a Monday. Still, it’s a special feast day and we do well to celebrate as much as our state in life allows.

The dogma that Our Lady was taken body and soul to heaven upon the completion of her earthly life was pronounced in an ex cathedra statement by Pope Pius XII in a 1950 bull entitled Munificentissimus Deus and is also found in paragraph 966 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

At the close of Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII tells us why this feast should matter to all of us:

“[T]his solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God was bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Christ’s Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who in all things shows her motherly heart to the members of [Christ’s] Body. . . . In this magnificent way, all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally, it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.”

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