Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

15 August A.D. 2011

[Ordinary of the Mass]
[Latin Text]
[English Text]
[Blessing of First Fruits]




On November 1, AD 1950, the feast of All Saints, our Holy Father Pope Pius XII declared:

“by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.[2]


    In celebrating the feast of the Assumption, the Church has us consider that God created Adam and Eve in immaculate sinlessness—and that had they persevered in that state, they would have been preserved free from all suffering and even from death.

    But our first parents had free will—just as we do—because without free will they would have been unable to honor God in any way—without free will they would not have been capable of being saints or sinners—they would have been more like robots.  Unfortunately, they used that free will to disobey God, and suffering and death entered the world.

    But no sooner had they committed their fatal sin, than God announced His plan to forgive them and their fallen descendants.  He would send His Son, born of a woman, and they would figuratively crush the head of the serpent; for the serpent represented sin and the temptation to sin. 

    He sent the woman into the world—the second Eve, creating her in immaculate sinlessness from the very moment of her conception.  As He promised, the woman would “be at enmities” with the devil—the exact polar opposite—which is to say, perfectly and perpetually free from sin.[3]  And He sent His own Son into the world    the second Adam, taking human nature from that second Eve, but likewise free from every stain of sin.

    And just like the first Adam and Eve, Jesus and Mary had perfectly free wills, for again, free will is necessary if we are to honor God.  But unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus and Mary used that free will in lives of perfect obedience to God the Father.  The words of Mary at the Annunciation—“Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word[4]—are representative of her entire lifetime of obedience to God's will—not just at one moment, but for all of her years on earth.  She obeyed God in becoming the mother of His Son, and again in giving Him up to His death on the Cross, and at every other moment of her life.

    By virtue of this perfect obedience; this perfect conformity to the will of God, we can say that she shared in His victory over sin and death.  In obedience, He allowed Himself to be crucified, but then He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, body and soul.  In similar obedience, she too gave herself over to the will of God, and at the end of her earthly life she was assumed body and soul into heaven to be with her beloved Son—a fitting triumph over suffering and death for the second Eve.

    In a certain sense, this feast of Mary's Assumption is our feast also, for the triumph of Jesus Christ and his Blessed Mother over sin and death constitute our redemption, and teach us what we must do for our salvation.

    Mary had free will just as we do—she could have sinned but never did.  So this feast of her glorious Assumption into heaven is tangible proof that we too can be victorious over sin and death—that through the grace of God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary we can conform our wills to the will of God and spend eternity in their most blessed company.



[1]   Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Bartolome Esteban Murillo   (1618 - 1682) circa 1640

[2]   Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus,

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