Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: history

The solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary è fissata il 15 agosto già nel V secolo, con il senso di “Nascita al cielo” o, nella tradizione bizantina, “Dormizione”. A Roma la festa viene celebrata dalla metà del VII secolo, ma si dovrà aspettare il 1° novembre 1950, con Pio XII, per la proclamazione del dogma dedicato a Maria assunta in cielo in corpo e anima. Nel Credo apostolico, professiamo la nostra fede nella “Risurrezione della carne” e nella “vita eterna”, fine e senso ultimo del cammino della vita.

This promise of faith is already fulfilled in Mary, as a "sign of consolation and sure hope" (Preface). A privilege, that of Mary, closely linked to the fact that she is the Mother of Jesus: given that death and the corruption of the human body are the consequence of sin, it was not appropriate for the Virgin Mary - free from sin - to be affected by this human law. Hence, the mystery of the "Dormition" or "Assumption into Heaven". The fact that Mary has already been taken up into heaven is for us a reason for gladness, joy and hope: "Already and not yet". A creature of God - Mary - is already in heaven: with and like her, we too, creatures of God, un giorno lo saremo.

The fate of Mary, united with the transfigured and glorious body of Jesus, will therefore be the fate of all those who are united with the Lord Jesus in faith and inlove. It is interesting to note that the liturgy - through the biblical texts taken from the book of Revelation and from Luke, with the singing of the Magnificat - aims to make us not so much reflect as we pray: the Gospel in fact suggests reading the mystery of Mary in the light of her prayer , the Magnificat: thelove that extends from generation to generation, and the predilection for the least and the poor finds its best fruit in Mary, one could say her masterpiece, a mirror in which the entire people of God può riflettere i propri lineamenti.

The solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in body and soul, is the eloquent sign of how much not only the "soul" but also the "body" is confirmed as a "very beautiful thing" (Gen 1:31), so much that, as in the Virgin Mary, "our flesh" will be assumed into heaven. This does not exempt us from committing ourselves to history, on the contrary: the very gaze turned to the Destination, to Heaven, our Homeland, prompts us to commit ourselves to the present life in the wake of the Magnificat: glad for the mercy of God, attentive to all brothers and sisters you meet along the way, starting with the weakest and most fragile.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The proclamation of the Dogma

“Therefore, after raising again a God suppliant instances, and having invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, to the glory of God almighty, who has poured into the virgin Mary his special benevolence in honor of his own Son, Immortal King of the ages and conqueror of sin and death, to the greater glory of his august Mother and to the joy and exultation of all church, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the holy apostles Peter and Paul and Ours, we pronounce, declare and define to be dogma from God revealed that: the immaculate Mother of God ever virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into celestial glory” (Pius XII; Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950)

Give praise

Today the Virgin Mary, with her Magnificat, teaches us to give praise and glory to God. An invitation through which the Virgin Mary, contemplated today in her glory, invites us to act beyond our usual exaggeration of problems and difficulties. Mary is capable, and she teaches us today too, to look at life from another angle: our heart is greater than our sins, and even if our heart condemns us, God è più grande del nostro cuore! (cfr 1Gv 3,20).

It is therefore not a question of illusion, as if there were no problems in life, but a question of appreciating the beautiful and the good that exists in life and knowing how to give thanks to God because of this! In this way, even the problems are relativized.

God surprises

A second aspect that deserves to be highlighted on this day is the fact that Mary was a virgin and Elizabeth barren. God it is the One who goes "beyond", who surprises you with his provident action of salvation.

The goal

Maria is now in the glory of God, has reached the Meta where one day we will all meet again. This is why Mary is today a sign of consolation of hope, because if she, a creature like us, has arrived, we too could have arrived. Let's keep our gaze and heart fixed on She who never abandoned hers Son Jesus e con Lui oggi gode la gioia e la gloria del Cielo.

And let us entrust ourselves to her to help us walk the path of life knowing how to recognize the great things that God it performs in us and around us, to know how to magnify it with the song of our existence.

Prayer to Maria Assunta

O Mary Immaculate Assumed into heaven,
you who live most blessed in the vision of God:
of God Father that made you tall creature, of God Son what he wanted from you
be begotten man and have you his mother, of God Holy Spirit in you
fulfilled the human conception of the Savior.

O most pure Mary
o Mary sweet and beautiful
o Maria strong and thoughtful woman
o poor and painful Mary
o Mary virgin and mother
very human woman like Eva more than Eva.
neighbor God in your grace in your privileges
in your mysteries
in your mission in your glory.

O Mary assumed into the glory of Christ
in the complete and transfigured perfection of our human nature.
O Mary door of heaven
mirror of divine light
Shrine of the Covenant between God and men,
let our souls fly after you
let them ascend after your radiant path
transported by a hope that the world does not have that of eternal bliss.
Comfort us from heaven or merciful Mother and in your ways
of purity and hope guide us one day to the blessed meeting with you
and with your divine Son
our Savior Jesus. Amen!
(Saint Paul VI)

fonte Vatican News © Dicastery for Communication

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is a Catholic dogma which states that Mary, mother of Jesus, at the time of his death (“Dormition of Mary”) immediately moved, both in soul and body, to Paradise, where he was “assumed”, that is, received, accepted.

"It was convenient– writes St. John Damascene –that she who in childbirth had kept her virginity intact should keep her body intact from corruption after death. It was fitting that she who had carried the Creator made a child in her womb should dwell in the divine abode. It was convenient that the Bride of God entered the heavenly house. It was convenient that she who had seen her own son on the Cross, receiving in the body the pain that had been spared in childbirth, contemplated him seated at the right hand of Father. It was convenient that the Mother of God possessed her due for her own sake son and that she was honored by all creatures as Mother and slave of God".

Mary appears for the last time in the writings of the New Testament in the first chapter of Acts vers. 14"All these were assiduous and unanimous in prayer, together with some women and with Mary, the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.” She is in the midst of the apostles, in prayer in the upper room, awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit.

The conciseness of the inspired texts is matched by the abundance of news about the Madonna in the apocryphal writings, above all the Protoevangelium of James and the Narration of St. John the Theologian on the dormition of the Holy Mother of God. The term "dormition" is the oldest that refers to the conclusion of Mary's earthly life.

In the East, towards the fifth century, the Marian cult began among Christians and the Monophysite Eastern churches (of the Armenian and Coptic peoples) under the name "Dormitio virginis”, strengthened in its propagation by the emperor Maurice (582-602) who ordered its celebration throughout the Empire; in the West it arrived in Spain and Gaul in the sixth century, and in Rome in 650 it was celebrated on August 15 with the name of Dormitio or Assumption.

A "constitutum” of S. Sergio I (687-701) speaks of the feast of the dormitio for which a solemn procession was made.

This custom spread with St. Leo IV (847-855) who had the vigil and octave celebrated.

The dogmatic definition, pronounced by the Venerable Pius XII (Eugene Pacelli, 1939-1958) on 1 November 1950, declaring that Mary did not have to wait, like other creatures, for the end of time to also benefit from bodily redemption, wanted to highlight the unique character of her personal sanctification, for sin has never dimmed, not even for a single instant, the clarity of his soul. The definitive union, spiritual and bodily, of man with the Christ glorious, it is the final and eternal stage of redemption. Thus the blessed, who already enjoy the beatific vision, are in a certain sense awaiting the fulfillment of the redemption, which had already occurred in Mary with the singular grace of preservation from sin.

In the light of this doctrine, which has its foundation in Sacred Scripture, in the so-called "Protoevangelium”, containing the first announcement of messianic salvation given by God to our first parents after the fault, Mary is presented as a new Eve, closely united to the new Adam, Jesus.

Jesus and Mary are in fact associated in pain and inlove to repair the guilt of our forefathers. Mary is therefore not only the mother of the Redeemer, but also his cooperator, closely united to him in the struggle and decisive victory. This intimate union requires that Mary also triumph, like Jesus, not only on sin, but also on death, the two enemies of mankind. And as the redemption of Christ has its conclusion with the resurrection of the body, also Mary's victory over sin, with the Immaculate Conception, had to be complete with the victory over death through the glorification of the body, with the assumption, since the fullness of Christian salvation is the participation of the body in celestial glory.

From the homily of Pope Benedict XVI (Castel Gandolfo, 15 August 2008)

Dear brothers and sisters,

torna ogni anno, nel cuore dell’estate, la Solennità dell’Assunzione della Beata Vergine Maria, la più antica festa mariana. […]

Let us ask Mary to give us today the gift of her faith, that faith which already makes us live in this dimension between the finite and the infinite, that faith which also transforms the feeling of time and of the passing of our existence, that faith in which we feel intimately that our life is not sucked into the past, but drawn towards the future, towards God, there where Christ before us and behind him, Mary.

Looking at Our Lady of the Assumption we understand better that our everyday life, though marked by trials and difficulties, flows like a river towards the divine ocean, towards the fullness of joy and peace. We understand that our dying is not the end, but the entry into life that knows no death. Our setting on the horizon of this world is a resurgence at the dawn of the new world, of the eternal day.

"Mary, as you accompany us in the effort of our daily living and dying, keep us constantly oriented towards the true homeland of bliss. Help us do as you did".

Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends who are taking part in this celebration this morning, let us pray together this prayer to Mary. In the face of the sad spectacle of so much false joy and at the same time so much anguished pain that is spreading throughout the world, we must learn from her to become signs of hope and consolation, we must proclaim with our lives the resurrection of Christ.

"Help us, Mother, shining Gate of heaven, Mother of Mercy, source through which our life and our joy have sprung, Jesus Christ. Amen".


Last Updated: August 9, 2022 19:56 by Remigio Ruberto

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