The Feast of the Assumption

The Assumption by Cabezalero

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin's passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a Holy Day of Obligation.

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay - a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time.

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that: 'Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death, nothing certain is known. The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition.

'Regarding the origin of the feast we are also uncertain. It is more probably the anniversary of the dedication of some church than the actual anniversary of Our Lady's death. That it originated at the time of the Council of Ephesus, or that St Damasus introduced it in Rome is only a hypothesis.

'The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. 

'Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous.'

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