VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Mary’s assumption into heaven was a special sign of God’s favor, but it also indicates God’s desire to save all people, body and soul, Pope Francis said.
Reciting the Angelus prayer on the feast of the Assumption Aug. 15, Pope Francis also asked the crowd in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying for the 38 people who died Aug. 14 when a large span of a highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy.
(See a related video.)
But he also prayed for all people who are suffering around the world. “To Mary, consoler of the afflicted, who we contemplate today in the glory of heaven, I want to entrust the anguish and torment of those who, in many parts of the world, suffer in body and spirit.”
“Let us pray that Mary, with her maternal intercession, will help us live our daily journey in the sure hope of joining her one day with all the saints and our loved ones in heaven,” the pope said.
The assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven was a “divine privilege” given to her because of her close union with Jesus from the very beginning, the pope said. “It was a corporal and spiritual union that began at the Annunciation and matured throughout Mary’s life,” leading finally to the foot of the cross.
While Mary was given a special grace, the pope said, the feast day should remind Catholics that the church professes faith in “the resurrection of the body” for all who are saved by Christ.
“The stupendous assumption of Mary manifests and confirms the unity of the human person and reminds us that we are called to serve and glorify God with our whole being, body and soul,” he said. “Serving God only with our body would be the action of a slave; serving God only with the soul would be contrary to our human nature.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103