Fri, August 29, 2014
"We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:
that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory."
With these words, Pope Pius XII officially and infallibly declared the Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God (theotokos), to be dogma in 1950.
In this pronouncement, Pope Pius was simply stating dogmatically what the Church, East and West, had believed for many years. The Catechism of the Catholic Church further explains:
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians (966).
The Catechism then quotes from the Troparion of the Feast of the Dormition from the Byzantine Liturgy:
In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. (966)
Thus, the Assumption of Mary is not only a participation in her Son's resurrection, but a preview of our future resurrections. As such, the dogma of Mary's Assumption is firmly rooted in the actions and person of Christ, and in the virtue of Christian hope.