Mary and the Church:
Assumption (eschatological image)
©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Assumption into Heaven. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents IV. Mary and the Church / 5. Assumption (eschatological image)
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen [context: Assumption; ftn 13: Cf. Pius XII, Const. Apost. Munificentissimus, Nov 1, 1950: AAS 42 (1950): Denz. 2333 (3903)] 59
  • taken up into heaven...continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation 62
  • In the Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle. (cf. Eph 5:27) 65
  • In the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. 68
  • She shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Pet 3:10), a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God. 68
  • exalted as she is above all the angels and saints [may intercede] 69
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • to the moment she was borne, body and soul, into heaven 19
  • We are sure that our Mother and heavenly queen will not fail to stay close to her children and, from her home in heaven, to guard the whole Church of Christ and further the salvation of the whole human race. 38
Creed, Paul VI, 1968
  • was at the end of her earthly life raised body and soul to heavenly glory and likened to her risen Son in anticipation of the future lot of all the just [19: cf. Const. Ap. Munificentissimus Deus, AAS 42 (1950):770] 15
General Catechetical Directory, 1971
  • and who was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory 68
Basic Teaching for Catholic Education (USA), 1973
  • [special gift from God] being assumed body and soul to heaven 24
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • She has a place in the ongoing work of redemption, which has as its goal, "to bring all things in the heavens and on earth into one under Christ's headship" (Eph 1:10) 5
  • Blessed be her glorious Assumption (Divine Praises) 10
  • The meaning of this doctrine is that Mary is one with the risen Christ in the fullness of her personality, or as we commonly say, "in body and soul." 57
  • Pope Pius XII solemnly proclaimed on November 1, 1950: "The Immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever-virgin, after her life on earth, was assumed, body and soul, into heavenly glory." (Munificentissimus, Nov 1, 1950) 57
  • [historical background - ] Memorial of Mary, Dormition, 6 C homilies on Assumption 58
  • Mary is "the image and first-flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come." (LG 68) 59
  • "as a sign of sure hope and solace for the pilgrim People of God." (LG 68) 59
  • In her Assumption, Mary manifests the fullness of redemption, and appears as the "spotless image" of the Church responding in joy to the invitation of the Bridegroom Christ, himself the "first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." 59 (1 Cor 15:20)
  • Mary in her Assumption, as in other aspects of her God-gifted personality, is a figure of the Church as perfected through union with Christ.61

    More on Assumption, especially under the aspect of Mary/Church=bride 60-61 [including quote from Archbishop Philip Pocock], 102, 104, 111

  • Mary who is the "image and first-flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come." (LG 68) 89
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • [Aug 15, liturgical celebration of, one of four Marian solemnities in revised liturgy] 6
  • a feast that sets before the eyes of the Church and of all mankind the image and the consoling proof of the fulfillment of their final hope, namely, that this full glorification is the destiny of all those whom Christ has made His brothers, having "flesh and blood in common with them" (Heb. 2:14; cf. Gal. 4:4) 6
  • [liturgy, doctrinal theme] Assumption into heaven, maternal Queenship; the beginning that has already been made and the image of what, for the whole Church, must still come to pass. (Preface) 11
  • the Virgin in prayer ... We have here the prayerful presence of Mary in the early Church and in the Church throughout all ages, for, having been assumed into heaven, she has not abandoned her mission of intercession and salvation. (LG 62) 18
  • although she is assumed into heaven ... Mary's glory which ennobles the whole of mankind, as the outstanding phrase of Dante recalls: "You have so ennobled human nature that its very Creator did not disdain to share in it." 56
  • [for description of eschatological image see especially 57] Mary, the New Woman, stands at the side of Christ, the New Man, within whose mystery the mystery of man (GS 22) alone finds true light; she is given to us as a pledge and guarantee that God's plan in Christ for the salvation of the whole man has already achieved realization in a creature: in her. Contemplated in the episodes of the Gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in his mind and divided in his heart, uncertain before the riddle of death, oppressed by loneliness while yearning for fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal visions over earthly ones, of life over death.
Gaudete in Domino, 1975
  • She is also taken up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven.
Sharing the Light of Faith (USA), 1979
  • her entry into Christ's resurrection in being assumed body and soul to heaven 106
Catechesi Tradendae, 1979
  • raised body and soul to the glory of heaven 30
Dives in Misericordia, 1980
  • [see "eschatological level" in the Magnificat section]
    "The motherhood of Mary in the order of grace ... lasts without interruption from the consent which she faithfully gave at the annunciation and which she sustained without hesitation under the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. In fact, being assumed into heaven, she has not laid aside this office of salvation but by her manifold intercession she continues to obtain for us the graces of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she takes care of the brethern of her son who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home." (LG 62) 9
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • [Vatican II] the Mother of God is already the eschatological fulfilment of the Church: "In the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle" (cf. Eph. 5:27); and at the same time the Council says that "the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin, and so they raise their eyes to Mary, who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues." (LG 65) 6
  • In this eschatological fulfilment, Mary does not cease to be the "Star of the Sea" (Maris Stella) (Ftn 16: St. Bernard) for all those who are still on the journey of faith. 6
  • "taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving role, but by her manifold acts of intercession continues to win for us gifts of eternal salvation." (LG 62) 40
  • Mary contributes in a special way to the union of the pilgrim Church on earth with the eschatological and heavenly reality of the Communion of Saints, since she has already been "assumed into heaven." (LG 62) The truth of the Assumption, defined by Pius XII, is reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which thus expresses the Church's faith: "Preserved free from all guilt of original sin, the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory upon the completion of her earthly sojourn. She was exalted by the Lord as Queen of the Universe, in order that she might be the more thoroughly conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16) and the conqueror of sin and death." (LG 59) In this teaching Pius XII was in continuity with Tradition, which has found many different expressions in the history of the Church, both in the East and in the West. 41
  • Connected with this exaltation of the noble "Daughter of Sion" (LG 55) through her Assumption into heaven is the mystery of her eternal glory. For the Mother of Christ is glorified as "Queen of the Universe." (LG 59) 41
  • The glory of serving does not cease to be her royal exaltation: assumed into heaven, she does not cease her saving service, which expresses her maternal mediation "until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect." (LG 62) Thus, she who here on earth "loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the Cross," continues to remain united with him, while now "all things are subjected to him, until he subjects to the Father himself and all things." 41
  • Thus in her Assumption into heaven, Mary is, as it were, clothed by the whole reality of the Communion of Saints, and her very union with the Son in glory is wholly oriented towards the definitive fullness of the Kingdom, when "God will be all in all." 41
  • [Assumption selected as end of Marian Year 1988] in order to emphasize the "great sign in heaven" spoken of by the Apocalypse. In this way we also wish to respond to the exhortation of the Council, which looks to Mary as "a sign of sure hope and solace for the pilgrim People of God." (LG 68) 50
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • assumed body and soul into heaven, "the eschatological image and first flowering" of the Church (cf. LG 68) which sees and admires in her "that which she herself wholly desires and hopes to be" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 103] finding in Mary "a sign of sure hope and solace" (LG 68). 9
  • post-conciliar debate to a more suitable illustration of dogmas brought about in: ... on the ultimate destiny of man (dogma of the Assumption) ... 12
  • "Contemplated in the episodes of the gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in his mind and divided in his heart, uncertain before the riddle of death, oppressed by loneliness while yearning for fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal vision over earthly ones, of life over death." (MC 57) 21
Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988
  • In her person "the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle." (cf. Eph 5:27) (LG 65) In this sense, one can say that the Church is both "Marian" and "Apostolic-Petrine." (See more: ftn 55, H.U. von Balthasar, Dec. 22, 1987) 27
Evangelium Vitae, 1995
  • And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 21:1), we look to her who is for us "a sign of sure hope and solace." (LG 68)
  • O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life. 105
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992

Assumption (queenship): 966, 974, 2177, 2853 [BB]

966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." (LG 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus) The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

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. (Byzantine Liturgy, Aug. 15)

972 ... In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God. (LG 68; cf. 2 Pet 3:10)

974 The most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity -- this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed -- is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. [See also 1053: gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven (Paul VI, CPG 29]

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • Even now, amid the joyful songs of the heavenly Jerusalem, the reasons for her thanksgiving and praise remain unchanged. They inspire her maternal concern for the pilgrim Church, in which she continues to relate her personal account of the Gospel. Mary constantly sets before the faithful the "mysteries" of her Son, with the desire that the contemplation of those mysteries will release all their saving power. In the recitation of the Rosary, the Christian community enters into contact with the memories and the contemplative gaze of Mary. 11
  • In the Ascension, Christ was raised in glory to the right hand of the Father, while Mary herself would be raised to that same glory in the Assumption, enjoying beforehand, by a unique privilege, the destiny reserved for all the just at the resurrection of the dead. Crowned in glory – as she appears in the last glorious mystery - Mary shines forth as Queen of the Angels and Saints, the anticipation and the supreme realization of the eschatological state of the Church. 23
  • The glorious mysteries thus lead the faithful to greater hope for the eschatological goal towards which they journey as members of the pilgrim People of God in history. This can only impel them to bear courageous witness to that "good news" which gives meaning to their entire existence. 23
  • Finally, contemplating Christ and his Blessed Mother in glory, they see the goal towards which each of us is called, if we allow ourselves to be healed and transformed by the Holy Spirit. It could be said that each mystery of the Rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. 25
  • Finally, how could one possibly gaze upon the glory of the Risen Christ or of Mary Queen of Heaven, without yearning to make this world more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God's plan? 40
Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003
  • Contemplating her, assumed body and soul into heaven, we see opening up before us those "new heavens" and that "new earth" which will appear at the second coming of Christ. Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: "Veni, Domine Iesu!" (Rev 22:20) 62

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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