Dormition Solesmes AbbeyWe have the great Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary today! We honor the transitus of the Mother of God because what happened to her, is also the gift God wants to give to us. The commemoration of the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary is known as the Assumption because of the tradition that her body did not decay but that she was raised up, body and soul, into heaven. The Eastern Churches call today’s commemoration the Dormition, or falling asleep. The Assumption tradition was already present among right-believing/worshipping Christians in the sixth century. It was thought at the beginning of the 20th century that since that this doctrine so widespread and after consulting the views of the world’s bishops, Pope Pius XII formally and infallibly declared the doctrine of the Assumption to be part of the authentic and ancient dogma of the universal Church on 1 November 1950.

Saint Robert Bellarmino reflects: “And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be the food of worms.”

I think Father David Petras gives an important sum of the feast in this way: This is the mystery the ends of the earth celebrate today, for it has transformed the meaning of human life, and “through he holy Dormition, the world is given new life.”