“A great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He has done wonderful things…” (from the introit for today’s Mass.)
“Through thee redeemed to endless life, thy praise let all the nations sing.”
On this her feast day, we are called to consider that “that which has been realized in her, the total glorification of our humanity, will be realized for us at the end of time. This privilege is very fitting for her, all-pure, all-holy, whose body was never touched by any slightest shadow of sin, but was always the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Ark of the Covenant, the very Tabernacle of the Son of God. … Mary has been taken up into Heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges., the root of all others and the reason for them…Mary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. (Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy,).
Another reason exists for the Assumption of Mary; it is a quite practical one and can be proved scientifically. There are some truths that simply cannot, indeed, will not be denied. As such, the beautiful Eucharistic miracles which prove that the Consecrated Host is truly the body and blood (Type AB no less!) of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
And we now have scientific documentation of a process called microchimerism, which refers to the process of transfer of the maternal and infant cells during pregnancy. In other words, scientists now know that it is likely that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ each harbor each other’s cells in their bodies. Therefore it is even more credible that Christ Our Lord brought His Mother, body and soul to be with Him in Heaven. (For more on microchimerism, see here, and here.)
The presence of her Divine Son’s cells in her body is ample reason for her body not being confined to the grave. And think, her own cells are present in His Sacred Body for all time. Truly, heart of His Sacred Heart, eternally.
Since Mary was perfectly preserved from original sin, there was never a need for her to die.
“Hence, Mary’s death appears as a holocaust of love. The sacrifice, made under the cross in the greatest spiritual sorrow, was thereby outwardly completed in a sweet and loving manner as in a slumber of love.” (Rev. M. J. Scheeben, Mariology, Vol. II.)
“A slumber of love.” The ancient Church knew well that the death of the Mother of God was a singular event, and they referred to this “slumber of love” as her Dormition, her “falling asleep,” a clear indication that the close of the Virgin’s earthly life was peaceful, unaccompanied by any anxiety or pain. On earth, Mary lived for Jesus and for Him only. When her earthly race was run, Mary’s burning desire to be reunited forever with her Son found its fulfillment. “Now, since it is certain that the Son died of love and that the Mother died of the death of the Son,” wrote St. Francis de Sales (+1622), “we must not doubt that the Mother died of love.” (Source)
On 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus. From this we read,
Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. “It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. … It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.”
Among the holy writers, … the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet’s words: “I will glorify the place of my feet,” he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory His most beloved Mother from whom He had received human flesh. He asserts that “you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord’s feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: ‘Arise, O Lord, into Your resting place: You and the ark which You have sanctified.”‘ And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which He triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of His sanctification “has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling.”
In the fifteenth century, during a later period of scholastic theology, St. Bernardine of Siena … taught on this question: The likeness between God’s Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul – a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King makes it entirely imperative that Mary “should be only where Christ is.” … , since the Church has never looked for the bodily relics of the Blessed Virgin nor proposed them for the veneration of the people, we have a proof on the order of a sensible experience.
The above-mentioned teachings of the holy Fathers and of the Doctors have been in common use during more recent times. Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: “And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourished and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms.”
In like manner St. Francis of Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has Himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: “What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?” And St. Alphonsus writes that “Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to His own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which He himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust.”
The above quotes, and many more could be offered, prove the constant teaching over two thousand years regarding devotion to the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. We who strive to be her faithful children need to fortify our faith with these truths, hold firm and think on them and above all, honor her on her feast days especially.
Reparation for Blasphemy Against the Blessed Virgin Mary
Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sore afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate. O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance!
Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to the outrages and blasphemies; were it so, how gladly we should make it, for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honour thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honoured and loved by all men. In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, the supreme comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves, for all our families, for the Church, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.
It’s a very good time to either renew our consecrations to the Immaculata or to prepare to renew on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will be the Octave, that is, next week. If so, you might consider praying the Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary each day between now and then.
Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most favored daughter of God the Father, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Most Pure Mother of God the Son, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Most Glorious Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, redeemed in a sublime manner by the merits of your Son, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother and Model of the Church, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, excellent exemplar in faith and charity, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you conceived the Word of God in your heart before you conceived Him in your womb, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you gave precious blood to the Son of God in His human nature, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, conceived free of original sin, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you embraced God’s saving will with a pure and sinless heart, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose pure soul a sword did pierce beneath the Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus gave you to be our Mother as He hung dying on the Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you accepted us as your children as you stood beneath your Son’s Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, all pure and holy, filled with grace, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, exalted by Divine Grace above all angels and men, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mediatrix of all grace, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most pure and holy of all creatures before God, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate our hearts, our lives, our families to you, preserve us from sin.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our family, protect us from evil.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, drive heresy from the Church.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, restore the faith, convert the Pope!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, we trust in your love for us, your children on earth; pray for us who have recourse to you. Inspire our weak and sinful hearts with your Immaculate Heart and petition Almighty God on our behalf. Remind Him of your great love for us and beg His mercies on us now in our great need. We turn to you with complete trust in your generous love, O Mother of Mercy. Amen.
Act of Total Consecration to the Immaculate Queen of Heaven
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, whom God has made the treasurer of His mercy, I, an unworthy sinner, beseech thee to accept me as thy property and possession.
To thee, O Mother, I offer all the faculties of my soul and body, and I place my life, my death and my eternity in thy hands, that thou may use my entire being according to thy will. Use me, O Immaculate Virgin, as thou will to fulfill that which was written of thee – “She shall crush thy head”, and “Thou hast destroyed all heresies in all the world”.
Deign that I may become in thy most pure and merciful hands a useful instrument to make thee known and loved and to increase those who love thee in order that the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus may be established and spread throughout the world. Amen.
V. Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin,
R. Give me strength against thy enemies!
Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, be Queen of our hearts! Be Queen of the Church!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Thank you for reading.
~ evensong, for love of the Immaculata