Weekly Features: August 10, 2015

Solemnity of Mary's Assumption

The Marian Library/International Research Institute has compiled several resources from our website on this subject. We have broken them down into categories such as Mary's Life, Devotion, Art and more. Scroll down through the listing for all of the content.

Also, see this shorter list of highlighted material which also includes August commemoration days:

The Dogma of the Assumption

Mary's Assumption into Heaven (Iconography)

Meditations on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of Mary: A Theological Reflection

Pius XII and Our Lady

August Commemoration Days


Describe the scriptural support for the dogma of Mary's Assumption. Like the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception, the dogma of the Assumption is not explicitly stated in the Bible. The teaching that 'at the end of her earthly course, Mary was assumed into heavenly glory, body and soul' was dogmatically defined by Pius XII in 1950 in Munificentissimus Deus. udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq14.html

What does scripture tell us about Mary's life? A frequently-asked question: udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq02.html

What about Mary's death? A frequently-asked question: udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq24.html

What do we know about Mary's life from apocryphal sources? There are a number of ancient texts not in the canon of Sacred Scripture which claim to present details about the life of Mary. The Protoevangelium Jacobi (ca. 150)... udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq05.html



Mary and the Church: Assumption (eschatological image) – A list of quotations on the Assumption from post-Vatican II magisterial documents such as this from Lumen Gentium, Chapter 8: "in the Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle (cf. Eph 5:27)" (LG, 65) udayton.edu/mary/resources/documents/docs4-5.html

What are the Marian dogmas? There are four Marian dogmas:

1) Divine Motherhood - Council of Ephesus 431

2) Mary's Virginity a) Virginal Conception through the Spirit - Baptismal symbols since third century; b) Perpetual Virginity (virginal birth and no other children) - Baptismal symbols since fourth century (first in eastern church)

3) Immaculate Conception (Mary's freedom from original sin) - Pius IX, 1854

4) Mary's Assumption (body and soul) into heaven - Pius XII, 1950




Development of the Liturgical Celebration of the Assumption

It is often stated: As the Church prays, so she believes. The great prayer of the Liturgy aided the development of the doctrine of the Assumption. There are sources which place the earliest celebration of the feast at Antioch from the fourth century on. O'Carroll writes: "The starting-point was Jerusalem. There was hesitancy and variation even in the name used for the feast as time passed: Dormition, Passing, and Assumption." Emperor Maurice established the feast of the Dormition for Constantinople on August 15, in the year 600. It was established fifty years later in Rome, where it had the special status of being celebrated with a procession.

The Coptic Church celebrated a feast in honor of Mary's death on January 16 by the mid sixth century, and her Assumption on August 9, as testified to in a homily of Theodosius, Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria.

Theoteknos of Livias, a bishopric on the left bank of the Jordan, "speaks of the feast as the Assumption (Analepsis), not Dormition (Koimesis)." He says:

"If the God bearing body of the saint has known death, it has not, nevertheless, suffered corruption; it has been preserved from corruption and kept free from stain and it has been raised to heaven with her pure, spotless soul by the holy angels and powers." Further on he states: "It was fitting that the most-holy body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full of glory...should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God." (p. 57)
By all accounts the Assumption was fully accepted and celebrated liturgically throughout the East. In the West, accounts of the Assumption liturgy and belief are variable. There is a liturgical prayer sent to Charlemagne by Pope Adrian which speaks of the Mother of God who "suffered temporal death, but nevertheless could not be held back by the bonds of death, she who brought forth your Son, Our Lord, incarnate from herself." (p. 57)

A Variety of Customs Associated with the Assumption A variety of local, regional and national customs are associated with the Feast of the Assumption on and around August 15. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/assmp03.html

Which are the Marian feast days? There are many Marian feast days celebrated in the Catholic Church, but the principal ones are the Solemnity of Mary, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, the Annunciation, the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception .... udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq04.html

Marian Feasts Past and Present – The following feature points to the evolution of Marian feasts in the recent past. It shows the feasts in vigor before the liturgical reform of 1969, the changes made in 1969, and the further developments of 1986. udayton.edu/mary/resources/dogmas.html

Does the liturgy give us any hints about Mary's life? Several events concerning Mary's life are commemorated during the yearly liturgical cycles of the Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian Churches. udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq03.html



An Overview Page – The following overview page gives direct links to assist in varied ways to contemplate Mary’s Assumption into heaven. At the end of the links is a select bibliography. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/assumption.html

Historical Background – Belief that Mary has been taken up and is now in heaven with both her body and her soul has been part of the teaching of the Catholic Church since the earliest centuries of Christianity. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/assmp01.html

Mother of the New World – The meaning of the Assumption is that of a culmination and a new beginning. With the Assumption, the promises of the Lord were fulfilled for Mary, and as always, beyond all expectation.… Rev. Johann G. Roten, S.M. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/MotherofNewWorld.html

A Reflection on the Feast of the Assumption – The following contribution to The Mary Page on the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a contemplation on a fifteenth-century Greek Orthodox icon painted by iconographer Andreas Ritzos …. by Virginia Kimball. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/kimball.html

Prayerful Reflections on the Assumption – St. Alphonsus de Liguori is one among the saints who writes that Mary died for sheer longing and love of the Savior. Below is a quotation from his seventh discourse, "The Assumption of Mary." udayton.edu/mary/meditations/assmp05.html



Mary's Flowers During the Middle Ages – Includes a section on the custom of bringing herbs for a blessing on the Assumption. udayton.edu/mary/resources/flowers.html

How do religious names of flowers originate? Includes Assumption lily. udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq209.html

Explain the 'Marian Year' celebrations. There was a Marian Year in 1950. It coincided with the proclamation of the Dogma of Mary's Assumption by Pope Pius XII. udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq33.html

Why do we call Mary Queen? Assumption and Coronation must be sharply distinguished. http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq73.html 



The Rosary in Image and Text Meditations Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Includes the Glorious Mysteries and therefore the Assumption. udayton.edu/mary/meditations/rosmed.html, udayton.edu/mary/meditations/glorious.html



The following poems celebrate the mystery of Our Lady's Assumption. The reader will also find here poetry which explores the relationship between the season of summer and the Blessed Virgin's role in salvation history. udayton.edu/mary/resources/poetry/assumpp.html

New Marian Poetry includes: "Assumpta est Maria en Coelum" udayton.edu/mary/resources/poetry_new/poemsforordinarytime.html



What are the fifteen symbols of the Immaculata represented on the famous tapestry of Our Lady in Reims, France? The famous tapestry of Our Lady in the Reims Cathedral comprises fifteen tableaux relating the life of Mary. udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq204.html

What is the meaning of the crescent moon that Mary is sometimes pictured standing upon? The crescent appears under Mary's feet in paintings of the Assumption (Meister of the Luzien-Legende, 1485) and signifies her glory and victory over time and space. udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq244.html



Bibliography of Articles in Marian Studies – 1950 — Present: Summary List In May 1999, the Mariological Society of America celebrated its fiftieth year as an academic theological society. For each of the fifty years the society published, the papers presented … include work on the Assumption. udayton.edu/mary/resources/msarticles.html



Marian Theology Tape 2 (Lecture by Anthony Tambasco), 100 min,1990. Contact the Marian Library for loan at 937-229-4214 or mlimri@udayton.edu.


Image shown: Titian's Assumption of the Virgin

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