This Thursday is the Dormition of the Theotokos for the East and Friday is the Assumption of Mary into Heaven for the West. As we celebrate this great Marian Solemnity through both lungs of the Church, I am reminded how important this event is in Salvation History.
The Assumption of Mary (or Dormition) is the natural, or should we say, supernatural progression of Her Immaculate Conception. Since Mary is “Full of Grace” and the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, the Assumption is what completes the life of Our Heavenly Queen here on Earth. She now resides in her Heavenly dwelling interceding and praying for us.
Knowing the importance the saints have played in the life of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries, it has always been a goal of this blog to provide you with the lives and words of the saints. Because of his great love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, I give you 10 words from St. Alphonsus Ligouri to the 21st Century on the Assumption of Mary –
1. “But God was pleased that Mary should in all things resemble Jesus; and as the Son died, it was becoming that the Mother should also die; because, moreover, He wished to give the just an example of the precious death prepared for them, He willed that even the most Blessed Virgin should die, but by a sweet and happy death.”
2. “There are three things which render death bitter: attachment to the world, remorse for sins, and the uncertainty of salvation. The death of Mary was entirely free from these causes of bitterness, and was accompanied by three special graces, which rendered it precious and joyful. She died as she had lived, entirely detached from the things of the world; she died in the most perfect peace; she died in the certainty of eternal glory.”
3. “Mary certainly could not be tormented at death by any remorse of conscience, for she was always pure, and always free from the least shade of actual or original sin; so much so, that of her it was said: ‘Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.’”
4. “But what joy must the Divine Mother have felt in receiving the news of her approaching death! She who had the fullest certainty of the possession of Divine grace, especially after the Angel Gabriel had assured her that she was full of it, and that she already possessed God. ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee . . . thou hast found grace.’”
5. “If Mary, then, loved no other good than Jesus, He being in heaven, all her desires were in heaven. Taulerus says, that ‘Heaven was the cell of the heavenly and most Blessed Virgin Mary; for, being there with all her desires and affections, she made it her continual abode.’”
6. It would seem just, that the Church, on this day of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, should invite us to weep rather than to rejoice, since our Mother has left this earth, and we no longer enjoy her presence. As Saint Bernard says, it seems that we should rather weep than exult. But, no, holy Church invites us to rejoice: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
7. “Now, behold, Mary leaves the earth, and calling to mind the many graces she had there received from her Lord, she looks on it affectionately. And now Jesus offers her His Hand and the Blessed Mother rises in the air, passes beyond the clouds and arrives at the gates of heaven.”
8. “The glory of Mary, which was full and complete, is different from that which the other saints have in heaven… Mary in heaven desires nothing and has nothing to desire.”
9. “Let us rejoice, then, with Mary in the exalted throne to which God has elevated her in heaven. And let us rejoice also for her own sake, since if our Mother has ceased to be present with us by rising in glory to heaven, she has not ceased to be present with us in her affection.”
10. “And with this love of our Mother Mary, I leave you, my readers, saying to you: Continue joyfully to honor and love this good Lady. Try also to promote the love of her wherever you can; and do not doubt that, if you persevere in true devotion to Mary, even until death, your salvation is assured.”
Let us Pray: As we celebrate these great days in the life of the Church at the end of the week, let us pray for our fellow Christians throughout the Middle East that are suffering and enduring overwhelming persecutions because they believe that Jesus the Nazorean is the Christ. We ask that the Holy and Immaculate Theotokos continue to pray for them and for all Christians around the world. Amen.