The feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation and falls on Tuesday. The Assumption is the ex cathedra doctrine (declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950) that says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Ex cathedra is the theological term for a teaching that has been declared infallibly by the Pontiff. It means that the pope can explicate an article of divine revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in his role as St.Peter’s successor. When he does so he is protected from error. The other infallible teaching is her Immaculate Conception, declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854
The feast stresses two points: the destiny of Mary and our own destiny. As Catholics, we believe the mother of Jesus was taken body and soul into heaven. And, as Catholics, we believe we will share in that glory someday.
As the first person to believe the Good News at the Annunciation, Mary symbolises all Christians. Her “Yes” to God should be our “Yes.” She carried Christ into the world through her joy and her pain. We should emulate her faithfulness, just as we strive to show others Christ in our world. That symbolism also encourages our hope for eternal salvation. The feast of the Assumption reflects that hope. As God did for Mary, we hope He will do for us.
The rosary is a wonderful way to honour the Mother of God and reflect on our destiny in Christ. Share the Glorious Mysteries with your family, especially the fourth mystery – the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. More information on the teaching can be found here.
Monday is a feast day also, that of St Maximilian Kolbe, the 47-year-old Franciscan priest who said “Yes” and volunteered to die in place of a prisoner (who unlike him had a wife and children) 82 years ago on August 14 at the Nazi concentration and death camp of Auschwitz in Poland. You can read more here.