Angelus Message on Mary's Assumption
The Fathers of the Church recognized Mary in this woman bathed in light. In her triumph, the Christian people - pilgrims through history - see the fulfillment of their expectations and the sure sign of their hope.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Christian tradition has placed in the heart of summer one of the oldest and most suggestive of Marian feasts, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Just as Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, in the same way, Mary, at the end of her earthly existence, was assumed into heaven.
The liturgy today recalls this consoling truth of faith to us, while it sings the praises of she who has been crowned with incomparable glory. "In Heaven," we read in the passage from Apocalypse that is offered for our meditation today, "a grandiose sign appeared: a woman dressed in the sun, with the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars." (12,1)
Mary is an example and a support for all believers: she encourages us not to lose faith in the face of difficulties and of the inevitable problems of everyday. She assures us of her help and reminds us that the essential thing is to search for and think of "the things above, not of this earth" (cfr Col 3,2).
In the grip of our daily concerns, we risk indeed thinking that the ultimate goal of human existence is here, in this world in which we are only passing through. But it is Paradise that is the true goal of our earthly pilgrimage. How different our days would be if it was that prospect which animates them! That is the way it was for the
saints. Their existence is testimony that when one lives with the heart constantly turned to heaven, earthly realities are lived according to their true value in the scale of things because they are illuminated by the eternal truth of divine love.
To the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate in her celestial glory, I wish to entrust once more the concerns of mankind about every place in the world that is torn apart by violence. We join our brothers and sisters who, at this time, are gathered at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa for a eucharistic celebration presided by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who went to Lebanon as my special envoy, to bring comfort and concrete solidarity to all the victims of the conflict and to pray for the great goal of peace.
We are also in communion with the priests and the faithful of the Church in the Holy land, who are gathered in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, along with the Pontifical Representative in Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Antonio Franco, to pray for the same intentions. My prayers also go to the dear nation of Sri Lanka, threatened once more by a deterioration of ethnic conflict, and to Iraq, where the frightening daily trail of bloodshed makes the prospect for reconciliation and reconstruction seem more remote.
May Mary obtain for all sentiments of mutual understanding, the will towards such understanding, and a desire for concord.
After the Angelus prayers, he said this in English: I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. May the example of her life of obedience to the will of God, recognised by her exaltation into glory, be for all Christians a source of hope and inspiration! I wish you a blessed feast day, and a pleasant time in Castel Gandolfo and Rome!
From Papa Ratzinger Forum