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Assumption exemplifies call to glorify, serve God

Holy day of obligation is on Aug. 15

‘Assumption of the Virgin’ by Titian is an altarpiece panel painting on the high altar at the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, Italy.
Photo Credits: Titian
On Thursday, Aug. 15, the Church celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation.

The Solemnity of the Assumption commemorates the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven at the end of her life. Pope Francis, in a message on the holy day last year, said that the Assumption was “a special privilege granted to the Mother of God on account of her unique corporal and spiritual union with her Son, Jesus.”

In his message last year, Pope Francis said the Assumption reminds us that “we are called to serve and glorify God with our whole being.” Heaven awaits those who live in joyful service of God, which is expressed “in generous service to our brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis said.

On Nov. 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith: “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 to heavenly glory,” he stated. The pope proclaimed this dogma after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death” (966).

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians, the catechism explains.

Some information for this story was provided by Catholic News Service.

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