Assumed to be the Queen of Heaven

By sticking close to Christ and Mary, you and I can take a spiritual rocket out of this world into the bliss of eternal beatitude!

By Br. Eliott, MIC

In 1969, the Saturn V rocket blasted off into outer space with immense power. Less than 20 years before Neil Armstrong boarded this rocket, the Catholic Church proclaimed a special truth about Mary, one that meant she had traveled beyond the moon and the stars. 

In 1950, Ven. Pope Pius XII proclaimed that Mary (the Mother of God) was assumed into Heaven at the end of her life. This important mystery of our Catholic faith is known as the “Assumption of Mary.” As rockets launch into the heavenly atmosphere, so, too, was Mary assumed into heavenly glory by God’s power.

Defining the Dogma
The Assumption of Mary’s body and soul into Heaven is significant for my religious community, the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, and our charism. Can you guess what the essence of our charism is? It’s the Immaculate Conception! 

The Immaculate Conception is very easy to understand — it is the Church teaching that Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin when she was conceived. This mystery helps one to understand Mary’s Assumption. For example, inasmuch as Mary was preserved from every sin, she was exempted from corruption in the grave, and was thus assumed into eternal glory at the end of her earthly life. We Marians seek to imitate Mary in being free from all sin, and pray for the grace to do so. By conquering sin in this life, we are preparing our bodies to be reunited with our souls at the end of time (the resurrection of the body).

Living the evangelical counsels
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception chose the liturgical feast day of the Assumption of Mary for our renewal of vows ceremony. Every year on Aug. 15, the opening day of "Marian Week," Marians in formation renew their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The connection between Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Assumption helps us Marians to reflect on the meaningfulness of our vows. Because Mary had no sin, Our Lady is the perfect example of one who lived the three vows to the full.

Mary’s obedience was exemplified when the Archangel Gabriel announced that she would become the Mother of God. Mary said, “May it be done to me, according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Mary models perfect chastity in this same Annunciation passage about giving birth to the Messiah: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” (Lk 1:34).

When Mary presented Jesus in the Temple, she modeled poverty because she could not afford the offering of a lamb. Instead, Mary substituted the offering of a lamb with two turtledoves: “… they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord … and to offer the sacrifice of ‘a pair of turtledoves …’” (Lk 2:22, 24). 

Insofar as Mary was poor in spirit (see Mt 5:3) and clean of heart (see Mt 5:8), she was assumed into Heaven and now sees God in the “light of glory.” This is why the Marians take Mary our model for living the three vows. We hope to follow Mary into eternal life through a life consecrated to Christ.

A royal assumption
Eight days after the liturgical feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Church celebrates the Queenship of Mary (the octave day, Aug. 22). There is an integral connection between Mary’s Assumption and Queenship. 

In a general audience given by Pope John Paul II, the saint explained, “Taken up into heaven, Mary is associated with the power of her Son and is dedicated to the extension of the Kingdom, sharing in the diffusion of divine grace in the world.”

The mysteries of our faith are all connected, the Holy Father continued: “Christ is King not only because he is Son of God, but also because he is the Redeemer; Mary is Queen not only because she is Mother of God, but also because, associated as the new Eve with the new Adam, she co-operated in the work of the redemption of the human race.”

By sticking close to Christ and Mary, you and I can take a spiritual rocket out of this world into the bliss of eternal beatitude!

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!


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