“Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI on the Assumption of Mary

As Catholics, we have been blessed to live during two of the most memorable pontificates in recent history. Many people my age (late 30’s) consider ourselves the JP2 Generation and will go on to say that we are also now the B16 generation. The JP2 generation extends from individuals in their early 50’s and individuals in their mid 20’s, since Pope St. John Paul II reigned as Holy Father for 26 years. His Pontificate will be in the memory of many individuals for years to come.

Our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI, is another amazing man of God and one that I love to read just as I love to read Blessed John Paul II. We are blessed to have Popes that are philosophers and theologians, for in history, Popes came from other fields of study.

For my last blog post of August 2012, I give you one excerpt from both of these men on the Assumption of Mary. Both of these excerpts are from The Angelus. It’s been my hope that you have enjoyed these “Monday’s with Mary” on the Assumption and Queenship of our Blessed Virgin Mary. In the months ahead, I will continue to focus on her relationship with the Church. In October, “Monday’s with Mary” will focus on the Rosary. In the month of the December, each “Monday’s with Mary” will explain the Immaculate Conception.

In the comment section below, please tell me if you have enjoyed these posts and offer suggestions of topics that you want to know more about regarding Our Lady.

Pope St. John Paul II – The Angelus on August 15, 1999

“Today the liturgy invites us to contemplate Mary, taken up body and soul into heaven. By a special privilege, she was enriched by divine grace from the moment of her conception, and Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Father, opened the doors of his kingdom to her, first among human creatures. Now from heaven, where the Queen of the angels and saints is crowned, the Mother of God and of the Church is close to the Christian people before whom she shines as the “new and immaculate woman (who) mediated for the guilt of the first woman” (Sacramentarium Gregorianum, Praefatio in Assumpt., n. 1688).

“Let us turn trustingly to her who “shines among the saints like the sun among the stars”. Mary, like a bright star, shows us, pilgrims on earth on our way to heavenly glory, the homeland for which we are bound. She reassures us that we will reach our goal if we do not tire of constantly seeking the “things of above” with living faith, certain hope and fervent love. Not only does she show us the way, but she herself accompanies us and is the “happy Gate of heaven”.

“In various parts of the world, this ancient Marian feast occurs at the height of the summer season, a time when many people are on holiday, which is sometimes a mere escape and release. But if one’s physical constitution properly gains new strength, freedom from work enables one to make more room for the interior life and contemplation of eternal realities. In many tourist localities there are wonderful shrines and welcoming places of Marian devotion. So as to make the most of these days of rest, why not visit them and pause there in prayer, possibly together with the family? The encounter with Mary, in these spiritual oases, will be a comfort and encouragement for a more serene life and a Christian witness that adheres ever more closely to the Gospel.”

May the Solemnity of the Assumption therefore be an opportunity to experience Mary’s loving presence more deeply. As a sign of sure and comforting hope she is a support and an incentive for believers to be true disciples of Christ. May everyone feel her closeness; may the suffering, the sick and all who turn to her in their difficulties and trials, especially experience her efficacious intercession.

Mary, sweet Queen of heaven, show yourself a Mother to us all! “Give us days of peace, watch over our journey, make us see your Son, full of the joy of heaven” (Hymn for Second Vespers).”

Pope Benedict XVI – The Angelus on August 15, 2012 

“To understand the Assumption we must look to Easter, the great mystery of our salvation, which marks the passage of Jesus to the glory of the Father through the passion, death, and resurrection. Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God in the flesh, is the creature who is most deeply inserted in this mystery, redeemed from the first moment of her life, and associated in a special way with the passion and glory of her Son. Thus, Mary’s Assumption into heaven is the mystery of the Passover (Pasqua) of Christ fully realized in her. She is intimately united to her risen Son, victor over sin and death, fully conformed to him. But the Assumption is a reality that touches us too because it points to our destiny in a luminous way, the destiny of humanity in history. In Mary, in fact, that reality of glory to which each of us and the whole Church is called.

“The passage of the Gospel of St. Luke that we read in the liturgy of this solemnity shows us the journey that the Virgin of Nazareth took to be in the glory of God. It is the account of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39-56), in which Our Lady is proclaimed blessed among all women and blessed because she believed in the fulfillment of the words of the Lord that were spoken to her. And in the song of the “Magnificat,” which elevates her to God in joy, the depth of her faith shines through. She places herself among the “poor” and the “lowly,” who do not trust in their own strength, but give themselves over to God, who make room for his action, which is capable of doing great things precisely in weakness. If the Assumption opens us up to the bright future that awaits us, it also powerfully invites us to entrust ourselves to God, to follow his Word, to seek and do his will every day: this is the path that makes us “blessed” on our earthly pilgrimage and opens the gates of heaven to us.”

Blessed Mother, Assumed Into Heaven and now Queen of the Kingdom of God…Pray For Us!

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