Assumption of Mary

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Assumption of Mary
Baroque Rubens Assumption-of-Virgin-3.jpg
The Assumption of Mary, Rubens, circa 1626
Also called
  • The Assumption
  • Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ [1]
  • Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary [2]
Observed by
TypeChristian
Significancethe bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven
ObservancesAttending mass or service
Frequencyannual

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (often shortened to the Assumption) is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, [3] the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members.It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

Oriental Orthodoxy Branch of Eastern Christianity

Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Christian churches that adheres to Miaphysite Christology and theology, with 60 to 70 million members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Armenia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and parts of the Middle East and India. An Eastern Christian communion of autocephalous churches, its bishops are equal by virtue of episcopal ordination, and its doctrines can be summarized in that the communion recognizes the validity of only the first three ecumenical councils.

Contents

In the churches that observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on 15 August. In many countries, the feast is also marked as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory". [4] This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. [5] While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Mother of God (Dormition of the Theotokos or "the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God"), [6] whether Mary had a physical death has not been dogmatically defined. In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary's victory over sin and death through her intimate association with "the new Adam" (Christ) [7] as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory". [8] [9] [10]

Pope Pius XII 260th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2 March 1939 to his death. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.

<i>Munificentissimus Deus</i> apostolic constitution by Pope Pius XII,  promulgated on 1 November 1950, defining ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Munificentissimus Deus is the name of an apostolic constitution written by Pope Pius XII. It defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was the first ex-cathedra infallible statement since the official ruling on papal infallibility was made at the First Vatican Council (1869–1870). In 1854 Pope Pius IX made an infallible statement with Ineffabilis Deus on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was a basis for this dogma. The decree was promulgated on 1 November 1950.

Papal infallibility

Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church." Infallibility is, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, "more than a simple, de facto absence of error. It is a positive perfection, ruling out the possibility of error".

The New Testament contains no explicit narrative about the death or Dormition, nor of the Assumption of Mary, but several scriptural passages have been theologically interpreted to describe the ultimate fate in this and the afterworld of the Mother of Jesus (see below). [11]

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

History of the belief

The Assumption (Latin: assumptio, "a taking") was defined as dogma by the Catholic Church in 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined it ex cathedra in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus . [12] The Catholic Church itself interprets chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation as referring to it. [13] The earliest known narrative is the so-called Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary's Repose), which survives intact only in an Ethiopic translation. [14] [15] [16] Probably composed by the 4th century, this Christian apocryphal narrative may be as early as the 3rd century. Also quite early are the very different traditions of the "Six Books" Dormition narratives. [17] The earliest versions of this apocryphon are preserved in several Syriac manuscripts of the 5th and 6th centuries, although the text itself probably belongs to the 4th century. [18] [19] [20]

Dogma is an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism, or the positions of a philosopher or of a philosophical school such as Stoicism.

Revelation 12 Book of Revelation, chapter 12

Revelation 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate. This chapter contains the accounts about the woman, the dragon and the child, followed by the war between Michael and the dragon, then the appearance of the monster from the sea. William Robertson Nicoll, a Scottish Free Church minister, suggests that in this chapter the writer has created a Christianised version of a Jewish source which "described the birth of the messiah in terms borrowed from ... cosmological myths [such as] that of the conflict between the sun-god and the dragon of darkness and the deep".

Book of Revelation Final book of the New Testament

The Book of Revelation, often called the Book of Revelations, Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or simply Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, and therefore also the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology. Its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation" (before title pages and titles, books were commonly known by the incipit, their first words, as is also the case of the Hebrew Five Books of Moses. The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon The only extended passage in the Old Testament is in the Book of Daniel.

Assumption statue, 1808 by Mariano Gerada, Ghaxaq, Malta Saintmaryghaxaq.JPG
Assumption statue, 1808 by Mariano Gerada, Ghaxaq, Malta

Later apocrypha based on these earlier texts include the De Obitu S. Dominae, [21] attributed to St. John, a work probably from around the turn of the 6th century that is a summary of the "Six Books" narrative. The story also appears in De Transitu Virginis, [22] a late 5th-century work ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis that presents a theologically redacted summary of the traditions in the Liber Requiei Mariae. The Transitus Mariae tells the story of the apostles being transported by white clouds to the deathbed of Mary, each from the town where he was preaching at the hour. The Decretum Gelasianum in the 490s declared some transitus Mariae literature apocryphal.

Melito of Sardis was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in early Christianity. Melito held a foremost place in terms of Bishops in Asia due to his personal influence on Christianity and his literary works, most of which have been lost but of what has been recovered has provided a great insight into Christianity during the second century. Jerome, speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful. This work by Tertullian has been lost but Jerome quotes pieces regarding Melito for the high regard in which he was held at that time. Melito is remembered for his work on developing the first Old Testament Canon. Though it cannot be determined what date he was elevated to an episcopacy, it is probable that he was bishop during the arising controversy at Laodicea in regard to the observance of Easter, which resulted in him writing his most famous work, an Apology for Christianity to Marcus Aurelius. Little is known of his life outside what works are quoted or read by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius. A letter of Polycrates of Ephesus to Pope Victor about 194 states that "Melito the eunuch [this is interpreted "the virgin" by Rufinus in his translation of Eusebius], whose whole walk was in the Holy Spirit", was buried at Sardis. His feast day is celebrated on April 1.

The Decretum Gelasianum or the Gelasian Decree is so named because it was traditionally thought to be a Decretal of the prolific Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome 492–496. The work reached its final form in a five-chapter text written by an anonymous scholar between 519 and 553, the second chapter of which is a list of books of Scripture presented as having been made Canonical by a Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome 366–383. This list, known as the Damasine List, represents the same canon as shown in the Council of Carthage Canon 24, 419 AD.

An Armenian letter attributed to Dionysus the Areopagite also mentioned the supposed event, although this was written sometime after the 6th century. John of Damascus, from this period, is the first church authority to advocate the doctrine under his own name. His contemporaries, Gregory of Tours and Modestus of Jerusalem, helped promote the concept to the wider church.

In some versions of the story, the event is said to have taken place in Ephesus, in the House of the Virgin Mary. This is a much more recent and localized tradition. The earliest traditions say that Mary's life ended in Jerusalem (see "Mary's Tomb"). By the 7th century, a variation emerged, according to which one of the apostles, often identified as St Thomas, was not present at the death of Mary but his late arrival precipitates a reopening of Mary's tomb, which is found to be empty except for her grave clothes. In a later tradition, Mary drops her girdle down to the apostle from heaven as testament to the event. [23] This incident is depicted in many later paintings of the Assumption.

Teaching of the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world, having been celebrated as early as the 5th century and having been established in the East by Emperor Maurice around AD 600. [24] St. John Damascene records the following:

St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven. [25]

The Assumption of Mary was celebrated in the West under Pope Sergius I in the 8th century and Pope Leo IV confirmed the feast as official. [24] Theological debate about the Assumption continued, following the Reformation. But the people celebrated the Assumption as part of the cult of Mary that flourished from the Middle Ages.[ citation needed ] In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined it as dogma for the Catholic Church. [26] Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott stated, "The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries. ... The first Church author to speak of the bodily assumption of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus of the B.M.V., is St. Gregory of Tours." [27] The Catholic writer Eamon Duffy states that "there is, clearly, no historical evidence whatever for it." [28] However, the Catholic Church has never asserted nor denied that its teaching is based on the apocryphal accounts.[ citation needed ] The Church documents are silent on this matter and instead rely upon other sources and arguments as the basis for the doctrine.[ citation needed ]

Psychologist Carl Jung, who was deeply interested in archetypes and comparative religion, celebrated that the Catholic Church had officially elevated the Virgin Mary (whom he noted as symbolizing the feminine principle) to standing with three masculine figures in the panoply of the church. (Jung: "Answer to Job") [ citation needed ]

Catholic teaching

Dogmatic definition

On 1 November 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary as a dogma:

By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, 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 into heavenly glory. [29]

Pope Pius XII deliberately left open the question of whether Mary died before her Assumption. [30] [31]

Before the dogmatic definition, in Deiparae Virginis Mariae Pope Pius XII sought the opinion of Catholic Bishops. A large number of them pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma. [8] In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pius XII referred to the "struggle against the infernal foe" as in Genesis 3:15 and to "complete victory over the sin and death" as in the Letters of Paul as a scriptural basis for the dogmatic definition, Mary being assumed to heaven as in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory". [8] [9] [10]

Theological issues

Our Lady of Assumption, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Luis Potosi city, San Luis Potosi state, Mexico14.jpg
Our Lady of Assumption, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

In Pius XII's dogmatic statement, the phrase "having completed the course of her earthly life", leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her assumption or not. Mary's assumption is said to have been a divine gift to her as the 'Mother of God'. Ludwig Ott's view is that, as Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race. [32]

Ludwig Ott writes in his book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma that "the fact of her death is almost generally accepted by the Fathers and Theologians, and is expressly affirmed in the Liturgy of the Church", to which he adds a number of helpful citations. He concludes: "for Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin. However, it seems fitting that Mary's body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death". [33]

The point of her bodily death has not been infallibly defined by any pope. Many Catholics believe that she did not die at all, but was assumed directly into Heaven. The dogmatic definition within the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus which, according to Roman Catholic dogma, infallibly proclaims the doctrine of the Assumption leaves open the question of whether, in connection with her departure, Mary underwent bodily death. It does not dogmatically define the point one way or the other, as shown by the words "having completed the course of her earthly life". [26]

Scriptural basis

In Munificentissimus Deus , near the end of the review of the doctrine's history, Pope Pius XII stated : "All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation." Precedent to this, he cited many passages that have been offered in support of this teaching.

The pope cited 1 Corinthians 15 . In this passage Paul alludes to Genesis 3:15 (in addition to the primary reference of Psalm 8:6 ), where it is prophesied that the seed of the woman will crush Satan with his feet: "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." Since, then, Jesus arose to Heaven to fulfill this prophecy, it follows that the woman would have a similar end, since she shared this enmity with Satan.

The pope also mentioned (in paragraph 26) Psalm 132 , a psalm commemorating the return of the Ark of God to Jerusalem and lamenting its subsequent loss. The second half of the psalm says that the loss will be recompensed in the New Covenant, and so it is hopefully prayed, "Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified" (v. 8). Since the Church sees this New Covenant ark in Mary, it understands that she was taken into Heaven in the same manner as the Lord – that is, body and soul.

The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta. The church is also known as Mosta Dome or as Mosta Rotunda. The facade of the Basilica is decorated for the feast of the Assumption which is annually celebrated on the 15th of August. Rotunda Church.jpg
The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta. The church is also known as Mosta Dome or as Mosta Rotunda. The façade of the Basilica is decorated for the feast of the Assumption which is annually celebrated on the 15th of August.

Finally, he mentioned in the next paragraph "that woman clothed with the sun [ Revelation 12:1–2 ] whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos" was support for the creating this dogmatic doctrine for Catholics.

Assumption vs. Dormition

The Dormition: ivory plaque, late 10th-early 11th century (Musee de Cluny). Dormition de la Vierge.JPG
The Dormition: ivory plaque, late 10th-early 11th century (Musée de Cluny).

Many Catholics believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they believe that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed. Others believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven without first dying. [34] [35] Either understanding may be legitimately held by Catholics, with Eastern Catholics observing the Feast as the Dormition.

Many theologians note by way of comparison that in the Catholic Church, the Assumption is dogmatically defined, while in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Dormition is less dogmatically than liturgically and mystically defined. Such differences spring from a larger pattern in the two traditions, wherein Catholic teachings are often dogmatically and authoritatively defined – in part because of the more centralized structure of the Catholic Church – while in Eastern Orthodoxy, many doctrines are less authoritative. [36]

The Latin Catholic Feast of the Assumption is celebrated on 15 August, and the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God (or Dormition of the Theotokos, the falling asleep of the Mother of God) on the same date, preceded by a 14-day fast period. Eastern Christians believe that Mary died a natural death, that her soul was received by Christ upon death, and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her death and that she was taken up into heaven bodily in anticipation of the general resurrection.

Orthodox tradition is clear and unwavering in regard to the central point [of the Dormition]: the Holy Virgin underwent, as did her Son, a physical death, but her body – like His – was afterwards raised from the dead and she was taken up into heaven, in her body as well as in her soul. She has passed beyond death and judgement, and lives wholly in the Age to Come. The Resurrection of the Body ... has in her case been anticipated and is already an accomplished fact. That does not mean, however, that she is dissociated from the rest of humanity and placed in a wholly different category: for we all hope to share one day in that same glory of the Resurrection of the Body which she enjoys even now. [37]

Protestant views

Views differ within Protestantism, with those with a theology closer to Catholicism sometimes believing in a bodily assumption, while most Protestants do not.

Anglican views

Within Anglican doctrine, the Assumption of Mary is either rejected, or regarded as adiaphora ("a thing indifferent"); [38] it therefore disappeared from Anglican worship in 1549, partially returning in some branches of Anglicanism during the 20th century under different names. A Marian feast on 15 August is celebrated by the Church of England as a non-specific feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a feast called by the Scottish Episcopal Church simply "Mary the Virgin", [39] [40] [41] and in the US-based Episcopal Church it is observed as the feast of "Saint Mary the Virgin: Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ", [42] while other Anglican provinces have a feast of the Dormition [39] – the Anglican Church of Canada for instance marks the day as the "Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary", [2]

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which seeks to identify common ground between the two communions, released in 2004 an non-authoritative declaration meant for study and evaluation, the "Seattle Statement"; this "agreed statement" concludes that "the teaching about Mary in the two definitions of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, understood within the biblical pattern of the economy of hope and grace, can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions". [11]

Other Protestant views

A famous treatment in Western art, Titian's Assumption (1516-1518). Tizian 041.jpg
A famous treatment in Western art, Titian's Assumption (1516–1518).

The Protestant Reformer Heinrich Bullinger believed in the assumption of Mary. His 1539 polemical treatise against idolatry [43] expressed his belief that Mary's sacrosanctum corpus ("sacrosanct body") had been assumed into heaven by angels:

Hac causa credimus ut Deiparae virginis Mariae purissimum thalamum et spiritus sancti templum, hoc est, sacrosanctum corpus ejus deportatum esse ab angelis in coelum. [44]

For this reason, we believe that the Virgin Mary, Begetter of God, the most pure bed and temple of the Holy Spirit, that is, her most holy body, was carried to heaven by angels. [45]

Most modern Protestants neither teach nor believe in the Assumption of Mary, as they see no biblical basis or extra-biblical basis for it. Although many churches within Lutheranism do not teach the Assumption of Mary, 15 August remains a Lesser Feast in celebration of "Mary, Mother of Our Lord", according to the Calendar of Saints. [46] [47]

Feasts

The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Novara di Sicilia in August Assunzione agosto NovaradiSicilia tre.jpg
The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Novara di Sicilia in August

The Assumption is important to many Catholic and Orthodox Christians as the Virgin Mary's heavenly birthday (the day that Mary was received into Heaven). Belief about her acceptance into the glory of Heaven is seen by some Christians as the symbol of the promise made by Jesus to all enduring Christians that they too will be received into paradise. The Assumption of Mary is symbolised in the Fleur-de-lys Madonna.

The present Italian name of the holiday, "Ferragosto", may derive from the Latin name, Feriae Augusti ("Holidays of the Emperor Augustus"), [48] since the month of August took its name from the emperor. The Solemnity of the Assumption on 15 August was celebrated in the eastern Church from the 6th Century. The Catholic Church adopted this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a reference to the belief in a real, physical elevation of her sinless soul and incorrupt body into Heaven.

Public holidays

'Patoleo' (sweet rice cakes) are the Piece de resistance of the Assumption feast celebration among Goan Catholics. This feast coincides with the Indian Independence Day. Catholic Goan style Patoleo.jpg
'Patoleo' (sweet rice cakes) are the Pièce de résistance of the Assumption feast celebration among Goan Catholics. This feast coincides with the Indian Independence Day.

Assumption Day on 15 August is a nationwide public holiday in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Gabon, Greece, Georgia, Republic of Guinea, Haiti, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of North Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro (Albanian Catholics), Paraguay, Poland (Polish Army Day), Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tahiti, Togo, and Vanuatu; [49] and was also in Hungary until 1948.

It is also a public holiday in parts of Germany (parts of Bavaria and Saarland) and Switzerland (in 14 of the 26 cantons). In Guatemala, it is observed in Guatemala City and in the town of Santa Maria Nebaj, both of which claim her as their patron saint. [50] Also, this day is combined with Mother's Day in Costa Rica and parts of Belgium.

Prominent Catholic and Orthodox countries in which Assumption Day is an important festival but is not recognized by the state as a public holiday include the Czech Republic, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia. In Bulgaria, the Feast of the Assumption is the biggest Orthodox Christian celebration of the Holy Virgin. Celebrations include liturgies and votive offerings. In Varna, the day is celebrated with a procession of a holy icon, and with concerts and regattas. [51]

The Titular statue of the Assumption of Our Lady located in the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta. The statue was crafted by Salvatore Dimech in 1868 and remodelled in 1947 by Vincent Apap. Assumption Mosta.jpg
The Titular statue of the Assumption of Our Lady located in the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta. The statue was crafted by Salvatore Dimech in 1868 and remodelled in 1947 by Vincent Apap.

In many places, religious parades and popular festivals are held to celebrate this day. In Canada, Assumption Day is the Fête Nationale of the Acadians, of whom she is the patron saint. Some businesses close on that day in heavily francophone parts of New Brunswick, Canada. The Virgin Assumed in Heaven is also patroness of the Maltese Islands and her feast, celebrated on 15 August, apart from being a public holiday in Malta is also celebrated with great solemnity in the local churches especially in the seven localities known as the Seba' Santa Marijiet. The Maltese localities which celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady are: Il-Mosta, Il-Qrendi, Ħal-Kirkop, Il-Gudja, Ħ' Attard, L-Imqabba and Victoria. The hamlet of Praha, Texas holds a festival during which its population swells from approximately 25 to 5,000 people.

In Anglicanism and Lutheranism, the feast is now often kept, but without official use of the word "Assumption". In Eastern Orthodox churches following the Julian Calendar, the feast day of Assumption of Mary falls on 28 August.

See also

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Mariology branch of theology about Mary the mother of Jesus

Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mariology methodically relates teachings about her to other parts of the faith, such as teachings about Jesus, redemption and grace. Christian Mariology aims to connect scripture, tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church on Mary. In the context of social history, Mariology may be broadly defined as the study of devotion to and thinking about Mary throughout the history of Christianity.

Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.

History of Catholic Mariology

The history of Catholic Mariology traces theological developments and views regarding Mary from the early Church to the 21st century. Mariology is a mainly Catholic ecclesiological study within theology, which centers on the relation of Mary and the Church. Catholic Mariology is the encyclopedic area of theology concerned with Mary, the Mother of God. Theologically, it not only deals with her life, but her veneration in daily life, prayer, art, music, architecture, in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.

Mariology of the saints

Throughout history Roman Catholic Mariology has been influenced by a number of saints who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation. The analysis of Early Church Fathers continues to be reflected in modern encyclicals. Irenaeus vigorously defended the title of "Theotokos" or Mother of God. The views of Anthony of Padua, Robert Bellarmine and others supported the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a dogma in 1850.

Mariology of the popes

The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Marian art in the Catholic Church

The Blessed Virgin Mary has been one of the major subjects of Western Art for centuries. Numerous pieces of Marian art in the Catholic Church covering a range of topics have been produced, from masters such as Michelangelo and Botticelli to works made by unknown peasant artisans.

Mariological papal documents

Mariological papal documents have been a major force that has shaped Roman Catholic Mariology over the centuries. Mariology is developed by theologians on the basis not only of Scripture and Tradition but also of the sensus fidei of the faithful as a whole, "from the bishops to the last of the faithful", and papal documents have recorded those developments, defining Marian dogmas, spreading doctrines and encouraging devotions within the Catholic Church.

<i>Ubi primum</i> (Pius IX, 1849)

Ubi primum is an encyclical of Pope Pius IX to the bishops of the Catholic Church asking them for opinion on the definition of a dogma on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It was issued on February 2, 1849

Latin Church Automonous particular church making up of most of the Western world Catholics

The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 sui iuris churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity, according to Catholic tradition, through its direct leadership under the Holy See.

References

  1. Episcopal Advance. 99–101. Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. February 1970. On the fifteenth of August, the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Episcopal Church prays: "O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
  2. 1 2 "The Calendar". Prayerbook.ca. p. ix. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  3. Church of England (1907). The Annotated Book of Common Prayer: An Historical, Ritual, and Theological Commentary on the Devotional System of the Church of England. Longmans, Green and Company. p. 159. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  4. Pope Pius XII: "Munificentissimus Deus – Defining the Dogma of the Assumption" Archived 4 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine , par. 44. Vatican, 1 November 1950
  5. Encyclopedia of Catholicism by Frank K. Flinn, J. Gordon Melton 207 ISBN   0-8160-5455-X p. 267
  6. Munificentissimus Deus, 17 Archived 4 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded.
  7. http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus.html
  8. 1 2 3 Introduction to Mary by Mark Miravalle (1993) Queenship Pub. Co. ISBN   978-1-882972-06-7 pp. 75–78
  9. 1 2 Paul Haffner in Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and Consecrated Persons (2008) ISBN   9781579183554 edited by M. Miravalle, pp. 328–350
  10. 1 2 Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus item 39at the Vatican web site Archived 4 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  11. 1 2 "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ". Vatican.va. 26 June 2000. Retrieved 3 November 2013. There is no direct testimony in Scripture concerning the end of Mary’s life. However, certain passages give instances of those who follow God's purposes faithfully being drawn into God's presence. Moreover, these passages offer hints or partial analogies that may throw light on the mystery of Mary's entry into glory.
  12. Dustin Resch (8 April 2016). Barth's Interpretation of the Virgin Birth: A Sign of Mystery. Routledge. p. 171. ISBN   978-1-317-17611-4.
  13. Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, para 27, Vaticsn (1950)
  14. Stephen J. Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption
  15. "Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption". Oup.com. 19 October 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  16. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, 2006). A complete translation of this earliest text appears at pp. 290–350
  17. ""Six Books" Dormition narratives" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  18. William Wright, "The Departure of my Lady Mary from this World,"
  19. "The Departure of my Lady Mary from this World," (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  20. The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, 6 (1865): 417–48 and 7 (1865): 108–60. See also Agnes Smith Lewis, ed., Apocrypha Syriaca, Studia Sinaitica, XI (London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1902).
  21. "De Obitu S. Dominae". Uoregon.edu. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
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  23. Ante-Nicene Fathers – The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, vol. 8 page 594
  24. 1 2 Butler's Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, Paul Burns 1998 ISBN   0860122573 pp. 140–141
  25. More on the Assumption of Mary by Fr. William Saunders, EWTN
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  27. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Tan, 1974), pp. 209–210
  28. Eamon Duffy, What Catholics Believe About Mary (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1989), p. 17
  29. Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus item 44 at the Vatican web site Archived 4 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  30. According to Catholic dogma, because the Virgin Mary remained an ever-virgin and sinless, the church believed that the Virgin Mary could not suffer the consequences of Original Sin, which is death. Nicea II Session 6 Decree
  31. "Nicaea II Definition, "without blemish"". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  32. Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp. 250 ff.
  33. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, Book III, Pt. 3, Ch. 2, §6, ISBN   0-89555-009-1
  34. The Catholicism Answer Book: The 300 Most Frequently Asked Questions by John Trigilio, Kenneth Brighenti 2007 ISBN   1-4022-0806-5 p. 64
  35. Shoemaker 2006, p. 201
  36. See "Three Sermons on the Dormition of the Virgin" by John of Damascus, from the Medieval Sourcebook
  37. Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, in: Festal Menaion [London: Faber and Faber, 1969], p. 64.
  38. Williams, Paul (2007). pp. 238, 251, quote: "Where Anglican writers discuss the doctrine of the Assumption, it is either rejected or held to be of the adiaphora."
  39. 1 2 Williams, Paul (2007). p. 253, incl. note 54.
  40. The Church of England, official website: The Calendar. Accessed 17 July 2018
  41. The Scottish Episcopal Church, official website: Calendar and Lectionary. Accessed 17 July 2018
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  43. De origine erroris libri duo (On the Origin of Error, Two Books) . "In the De origine erroris in divorum ac simulachrorum cultu he opposed the worship of the saints and iconolatry; in the De origine erroris in negocio Eucharistiae ac Missae he strove to show that the Catholic conceptions of the Eucharist and of celebrating the Mass were wrong. Bullinger published a combined edition of these works in 4 ° (Zurich 1539), which was divided into two books, according to themes of the original work." The Library of the Finnish nobleman, royal secretary and trustee Henrik Matsson (c. 1540–1617), Terhi Kiiskinen Helsinki: Academia Scientarium Fennica (Finnish Academy of Science), 2003, ISBN   951-41-0944-9 , 9789514109447, p. 175
  44. Froschauer. De origine erroris, Caput XVI (Chapter 16), p. 70
  45. The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary (1996), George H. Tavard, Liturgical Press ISBN   0-8146-5914-4, 9780814659144, p. 109.
  46. "Mary, Mother of Our Lord". Liturgybytlw.com. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  47. "St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord". Wmltblog.org. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  48. Pianigiani, Ottorino (1907). "Vocabolario etimologico della lingua italiana".
  49. Columbus World Travel Guide, 25th Edition
  50. Reiland, Catherine. "To Heaven Through the Streets of Guatemala City: the Processions of the Virgin of the Assumption", Emisferica
  51. "The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, the most revered summer Orthodox Christian feast in Bulgaria", Radio Bulgaria, August 18, 2018

Bibliography

Further reading