What does “The Assumption” Mean?
by Fr. Larry Rice, CSP
On Nov. 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which the church celebrates every year on Aug. 15. Simply put, the Assumption states that at the end of her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken body and soul into heaven.
While this event isn’t reflected in Sacred Scripture, it is clearly part of the Church’s earliest observance. In the 6th century, St. John Damascene wrote in one of his sermons, “Your sacred and happy soul, as nature will have it, was separated in death from your most blessed and immaculate body, and although the body was duly interred, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay; your most pure and sinless body was not left on earth, but you were transferred to your heavenly throne.”