Mary’s Heavenly Birthday

Today is a key holy day on the Catholic liturgical calendar: the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This day is important to Catholics because it is the day we mark Mary’s “heavenly birthday” – in other words, the day that she was received into heaven. We see Mary’s entrance into heaven as a symbol of Christ’s promise to us: that whoever “endures to the end” (Matthew 10:22) will also be received into paradise.

Scripture supports the idea that Mary was assumed into heaven. In Revelation 12:1-2, 5, Saint John describes her as appearing bodily in heaven:

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. … she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.

The physical depiction of Mary is different from others in heaven who appear to only be disembodied souls, such as those mentioned in Revelation 6:9-10.

The late Pope John Paul II in his August 15, 2004 homily, also cited John 14:3 in connection with the Assumption:

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Mary is not only Jesus’ mother, she is our mother as well, as we see in Revelation 12:17:

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.

Let’s make sure we take the time to remember our spiritual mother on this great feast day!

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