Who shall declare the Assumption of Mary? For the glory wherewith she is crowned in heaven is as singular as the grace she found upon earth was incomparable.
If eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what things God has prepared for them that love Him (1 Cor.2:9) who can say or conceive what He has prepared for her that bore Him and that loves Him – which no one doubts – with a love unparalleled?
Oh, happy in truth is Mary and doubly happy in that she has both received the Savior and has been received by the Savior. In both these signal honors the dignity of the Virgin Mother appears to us equally admirable, in both the condescension of the Divine Majesty appears equally worthy of praise.
First Sermon for the Feast of the Assumption
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Since I was a boy Our Lady of Czestochowa has been of keen importance to me. She even is the image on my iPhone.
Here is a beautiful article on this image of Our Lady by John Sikorski, a PhD student at my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.
May we stay close the Mother of God.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us.
In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior’s Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary.
Pius XII instituted today’s feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession “peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue” (Decree of May 4, 1944). In 1942 during the ravages of World War II, Pope Pius XII dedicated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and set the feast for August 22nd.
In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the day, Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
(cf. DG for text)
Today, let’s beg for the gift of “peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue.”
The theological explanation of the Vistiation reminds us that at the annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant. A startling divine gift.
Then we see Mary hurrying to visit Elizabeth. An interior in-breaking extroverting itself.
I think the key here is Mary’s selflessness and her sharing in the joy of God. Containing the joy she feels is impossible. In her visitation Mary brings the joy of God to both Elizabeth and to John the Baptist who moves in Elizabeth’s womb.
As we know, this second of the joyful mysteries of the Rosary is about Joy who desires to expand into our heart and abide there. Let’s pray for the movement of joy in our life today.