Wednesday, August 15


Hail, You Who Are Wholly Immsersed in God's Kingdom

(Image Credit: Botticini)

Never has the Church venerated bodily relics of the Mother of God. Today, then, rather than celebrating her bodily relics (Latin, reliquiae), we celebrate that she has so completely entered the Heavenly Reign of God that she has left (Latin, relinquere) nothing behind. The fact of a complete and universal dearth of Marian relics (despite enthusiasm for relics of so many of her contemporaries) most clearly witnesses to the Early Church's belief that Mary did not remain in earthly death:

"If therefore it might come to pass by the power of your grace, it has appeared right to us your servants that, as you, having overcome death, do reign in glory, so you should raise up the body of your Mother and take her with you, rejoicing, into heaven. Then said the Savior [Jesus]: 'Be it done according to your will.'" Pseudo–Melito, c. AD 300, The Passing of the Virgin

"Mary, the holy Virgin, is truly great before God and men. For how shall we not proclaim her great, who held within her the uncontainable One, whom neither heaven nor earth can contain?" Epiphanius, before AD 403, Panarion

St. Louis de Montfort, some thirteen hundred years later, reflected:

"What I say absolutely of Jesus Christ, I say relatively of Our Lday. Since Jesus Christ chose her for the inseparable companion of His life, of His death, of His glory and of His power in Heaven and upon earth, He gave her by grace, relatively to His Majesty, all the same rights and privileges which He possesses by nature. 'All that is fitting to God by nature is fitting to Mary by grace,' say the says; so that, according to them, Mary and Jesus, having but the same will and the same power, have also the same subjects, servants, and slaves. We may, therefore... call ourselves and make ourselves the loving slaves of the Most Holy Virgin, in order to be, by that very means, the more perfectly the slaves of Jesus Christ." (True Devotion, #74-75)

Assumption Day trivia: Some Bavarian dioceses kept 23 September as a feast of the "Second Assumption", or the "Fortieth Day of the Assumption", believing that the Blessed Virgin was taken up to heaven on the fortieth day after her death.

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