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              Feasts of the Season Fall 2017
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary August 15
How long after the Cruci xion of Jesus did Mary live on Earth? Some say about ten or twelve years. But no one really knows. Some say that Mary lived in Jerusalem for the rest of her life and died there. Some early Christians were so convinced that this was true they built a church over the place where they believed Mary died. They chose a spot just outside the walls of Jerusalem. This happened about 500 years after Mary’s life on earth ended, and the church was named the Church of the Dormition of Mary. (Dormition comes from a Latin word that means “falling asleep.”) Yet, there is no proof that Mary died in Jerusalem. Other early Christians made the case that Mary died in Ephesus, in Asia Minor. These Christians said that the disciple John went to preach the Gospel in Ephesus, and he took Mary with him.
Knowing how long Mary lived and where she died matters less than the fact that when her life on Earth came to an end, she was taken body and soul into Heaven. The Church teaches that, because Mary
was conceived without the stain of original sin on her soul and because she lived a perfectly sinless life, she escaped death as we know it. At the end of her earthly life, her soul did not leave her body.
In the year 1950, Pope Pius XII, with the approval of the bishops of the Church, proclaimed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a dogma (o cial teach- ing) of our Catholic faith. A decade later, the Second Vatican Council rea rmed
this teaching by stating that “the Immaculate Virgin, preserved from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen of all” (Lumen Gentium, 59).
In the United States, the feast of the Assumption is a holy
day of obligation, except when it falls on either Saturday or Monday. You can also honor Mary on her special day with a special prayer of your choosing. The traditional prayer printed here is a reminder that Mary, at the throne of God, is our special helper. The prayer’s title is the  rst word of the prayer in Latin, Memorare, which means “to remember.” This prayer was composed by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), a great French saint known for his love of Mary.
                                         Remember, most loving Virgin Mary, never was it heard that anyone who turned to you for help was left unaided.
Inspired by this con dence, though burdened by my sins, I run to your protection for you are my mother.
Mother of the Word of God, do not despise my words of pleading but be merciful and hear my prayer. Amen.
       A Service of
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