This Monday August 15, the Catholic Church celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What does this mean?
For many years it was assumed that Mary's body was never buried into the ground after her life on earth. The body of Mary had never been tainted by sin. Mary came into the world free from original sin and she lived a sinless life. Since Mary's soul had not been touched by sin, there was no reason for God to allow her body to return to dust.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII officially declared Mary's Assumption to be an article of faith. He wrote, "Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory. She was exalted by the Lord as the Queen of all, in order that she might be thoroughly conformed to her Son."
When the Second Vatican Council met in 1959, the question of Mary's position in the Church was given great consideration. The Council affirmed that the Blessed Virgin Mary is a daughter of the Church and indeed its first member. It said she serves the Church in a special way as exemplar of virgin and mother. It reaffirmed the honors and titles she possesses.
Let us honor Mary as our Mother. Let us pray to her daily. It has been said that hell has not contained a single soul who ever had a true and heartfelt devotion to Mary. Let us honor Mary here in this life as our Mother, so that in the world to come, Mary may claim us as her children.
Sincerely in Christ,