This day, the 15th August, is one of the most important feast days of the year and a Holy Day of Obligation.
Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary which was made a dogma of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Earlier, Pope Pius V had in the year 1568 made this feast a universal holy day for the Church. Before this time the tradition of Assumption was already proclaimed as early as in the eighth century, Pope Sergius I encouraged celebrations for the Feast of the Assumption, and later Pope Leo IV confirmed the Feast as official.
Blessed Virgin Mary is closely associated with the events of Jesus’ life; we can think of some, the Annunciation, Presentation of Jesus, and Jesus getting lost and found in the Temple, the Wedding at Cana and at the Crucifixion of Jesus. Like all mothers, she experienced the joys, sorrows and the anxieties that a parent has for their child. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.
Extract of what Pope Francis said on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15th 2019.
With the assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven, she is “like a mother who waits for her children to come back home”. Knowing that she is there with God in heaven “gives us comfort and hope during our pilgrimage” on earth, he said.
The feast of the Assumption of Mary is an invitation to everyone, “especially for those who are afflicted by doubt and sadness, and live gazing downward”, he said.
“Let us look on high,” he said, where Mary awaits. “She loves us, she smiles at us and she comes to our aid with haste.”
Just as every mother wants what is best for her children, “she tells us, ‘You are precious in God’s eyes; you were not made for measly worldly gratifications, but for the great joys of heaven’”, the Pope said.
In life, it is important to seek what is truly great, “otherwise we get lost” chasing after so many trivial things, he said.
“Mary shows us that if we want our life to be happy, God goes first because only he is great,” he said.
“Instead, how often we live chasing after things that don’t matter: prejudices, grudges, rivalries, jealousies, illusions, superfluous material goods. How much pettiness in life!”
But today, “Mary invites us to lift our gaze up to the great things that the Lord has done for her” and reminds people that the Lord also does great things in them.
“Let us be attracted by true beauty, let us not be swallowed up by the petty things of life, but let us choose the greatness of heaven,” he said.
With these beautiful thoughts, let the Blessed Virgin Mary has a special place in our live.