This month we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. A feast day reminds us of the glorious state that all of the faithful will achieve at Christ’s second coming, and the constant intercession of Mary for all of us before the throne of God. While all of the Marian doctrines are integrally related, the Immaculate Conception set the foundation for the eventual proclamation of the Assumption. Since Mary was conceived without original sin, through the merits of her Son, it makes sense that she would not bear the result of original sin: bodily corruption – also through the grace of Jesus Christ.
There are four Marian doctrines which the Church holds to be part of our deposit of faith.
- Mary, Mother of God. Promulgated at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. this doctrine states that Mary is the mother of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, who has both a divine and human nature. The Feast day is January 1st.
- The Perpetual Virginity of Mary. Stated in the documents from the Council of Constantinople in 553 A.D. and universally accepted as a title of Mary throughout the Church.
- The Immaculate Conception. Proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in his Apostolic Constitution “Ineffabilis Deus” in 1854. This doctrine states that Mary, from the first moment of her conception, was kept free from original sin. The Feast day is December 8th.
- The Assumption of Mary. Proclaimed by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Munificentissimus Deus in 1950. It states that “Mary, Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin, after finishing the course of her life on earth, was taken up in body and soul to heavenly glory.” The Feast day is August 15th followed by the Queenship of Mary on August 22.
This month we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15th. Each feast day reminds us of the glorious state that all of the faithful will achieve at Christ’s second coming, and the constant intercession of Mary for all of us before the throne of God.
While all the Marian doctrines are integrally related, the Immaculate Conception sets the foundation for the eventual proclamation of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Since Mary was was conceived without original sin, through the merits of her Son, it makes sense that she would not bear the result of original sin, original sin; bodily corruption- also through the grace of Jesus Christ. Mary is also called, the “New Eve”.
We read in the Catachism of the Catholic Church:
“Finally 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
Marian Apparitions and the State of the World:
Even though belief in the Immaculate Conception and Assumption can be traced back to the early Church, why have these two doctrines been so recently ratified? I think it is for the same reason that 75% of the church approved Marian Apparitions have been within the last 200 years. The Blessed Mother sees the spiritual dangers that the human race has drifted into and wants the world to know that her Motherly intercession can bring us the grace of the Holy Spirit and salvation in Jesus Christ.
The 26 approved Marian Apparitions have a number of similar themes in their messages. To pray the rosary for the conversion of sinners and for the renewal in faith. Mary wants to bring us to Christ and share with her the new creation that God brought through the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son.
The Assumption of Mary is an invitation for us to open our hearts to her gentle guidance. She is the ark of the new covenant instituted by Christ, and the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars” (Rev. 12:1-2). This is why many times a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is combined with a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is the sure way to the heart of Jesus and is the spiritual mother given to us by Jesus from the cross.