15 August 2013

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In the Apocalypse, chapter 11, St. John describes a vision of the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven-- the container of the words of the Old Covenant, the tablets upon which were written the Ten Commandments. Immediately upon this, beginning chapter 12, he sees this:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

This vision of the woman has been seen by Christians since earliest times to refer to Mary --"The Woman" (Gen. 3:15)-- the Mother of God, the Ark of the New Testament, the container of the Word of the New Covenant. St. John sees her in Heaven, immediately succeeding the vision of the Ark of the Old Covenant.

Recall that the chapter notations in scripture are a later addition to these texts. St. John's vision of the two arks are immediately succeeding.

Shouldn't the Ark of the New Covenant be honored more than was the Old?

Mary is our sign of hope, our great sign (signum magnum) that in the travails of persecution that Our Lord will never abandon us, that Heaven will triumph over evil. We need only persevere, and who better to help us than Our Lady?

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriosae Virginis Matris Mariae corpus et animam, ut dignum Filii tui habitaculum effici mereretur, Spiritu Sancto cooperante, praeparasti, da, ut cuius commemoratione laetamur; eius pia intercessione, ab instantibus malis et a morte perpetua liberemur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.


Remember that today is a Holy Day of Obligation. Remaining Masses at St. Francis de Sales Oratory:

Low Mass at 12:15pm
High Mass at 6:30pm


Jeanne Holler said...

Interestingly I was talking to a friend at work just a few moments ago and he said: "isn't today a feast day." I said yes it is and it is also a HOLY DAY of OBLIGATION, he is no longer a practising Catholic, sad to say!
I said It is the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother into Heaven ...he said if you went around here and asked people I bet they don't even know It is THE ASSUMPTION one of the greatest Feast Days in the Catholic Church ....oh how we must pray for the conversion of sinners and those who reject the Holy Catholic Church ...Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen !

doughboy said...

We sang the Salve Regina (yes, in Latin) as our recessional this morning at my suburban parish. I nearly fell over in ecstasy!