Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Assumption has been observed in the Catholic Church since the sixth century but did not become a defined dogma of the Church until the middle of the twentieth century. Pope Pius XII promulgated a Papal Bull entitled Munificentissimus Deus on November 1, 1950. In it, exercising papal infallibility, he wrote that it is a dogma of the Church “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.”

As Catholics, we believe that the bodies of the just will be united to their souls at the end of the world and be glorified in heaven. Obviously, this means that the bodies and souls of the departed are now separated, with their souls in heaven and their bodies in the grave. Our belief in the Assumption, however, means that we believe that the body of Mary is also in heaven, like the body of Jesus her Son. Jesus arose from the tomb and ascended into heaven by His own power while Mary’s body was taken up to heaven by the power of her Son.

An interesting Archival Moment in our faith journey in Newfoundland: