Tomorrow is major feast of the Church, the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven and a day of holy obligation. We shall be offering a Sung Mass at 7pm followed by devotions at the Marian Shrine.
It often surprises people to learn that the feast is a very ancient one, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dating from the fourth, in a document entitled “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” The document is written by St John to whom Christ on the Cross had entrusted the care of His mother, and recounts the death, laying in the tomb, and assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
Tradition places Mary’s death at Jerusalem or at Ephesus, where John was living. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, in one of the rare moments in which papal infallibility was exercised, declared the assumption to be a dogma of the Church “that the Immaculate Mother, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.