The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is my favorite Marian feast!  It is a holy mystery full of beauty and hope for all followers of Christ.  Below are some thoughts by Bishop Vincenzo Paglia concerning today’s feast.

In the heart of the month of August, the Churches of the East and the West together celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary.  As known, in the Catholic Church the dogma of the Assumption was proclaimed during the Holy Year of 1950…  But the roots of the memorial reach back to the first centuries of the Church.  In the East, where the feast perhaps began, it is still called, “The Dormition of the Virgin” today.  Saint Theodore of Stadium, astonished by the truth of this feast, asked himself, “What words will I use to explain your mystery?  My mind is in difficulty … your mystery is uncommon and sublime: it transcends all of our ideas.”  And he added, “She who became a mother by giving birth remained as intact as a virgin, because it was God who was generated.  Thus in your living formation, unlike all others, you alone rightfully put on the glory of the complete person, body and soul.”  And he concluded, “You have fallen asleep, yes, but not to die.  You have been assumed into heaven, but you do not stop protecting the human family.”  

Mary, most holy, we turn to you who dwell body and soul in the eternal presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in the fullness of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Please pray for the Church, pray for us as we make our pilgrim way.  Please pray for our diocese of Knoxville, our Bishop Richard Stika, all members of our diocese, all our priests, deacons, religious and seminarians.  Please pray for our young people that they too will strive, through grace, for the glory of that “complete person” who reflects the very glory of God.  Please pray that they will be open to God’s call for them and the true fulfillment that can only be known in saying “yes” to God as you, yourself, did.