Mary Who She Is and Why She Matters

Who is Mary and why does she matter?

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Leading Us Home to Heaven

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We celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 15. As Catholics, we believe that our Blessed Mother was free from all stain of sin, and therefore it was most fitting that she would not have to experience the result of sin — death. Her Assumption was not by any power of her own. By participating in her Son's Resurrection, the Father assumed her body and soul into Heaven. This mystery anticipates the resurrection of our bodies, which will happen at the end of time.

Saint Faustina had a devotion to Our Lady of the Assumption and even prayed novenas for her intercession for various intentions (see Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowolska, 1206). On Aug. 15, 1934 she wrote:

I did not assist at Holy Mass. The woman doctor did not allow me; but I prayed fervently in my cell. After a short time, I saw the Mother of God, unspeakably beautiful. She said to me, "My daughter, what I demand from you is prayer, prayer, and once again prayer, for the world and especially for your country. For nine days receive Holy Communion in atonement and unite yourself closely to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. During these nine days you will stand before God as an offering; always and everywhere, at all times and places, day or night, whenever you wake up, pray in the spirit. In spirit, one can always remain in prayer" (325).


Our Lady is calling us to pray. We can see this in her apparitions both to St. Faustina and at Fatima. Are we answering her call today?

One hundred years ago this month, on Aug. 19, 1917, Our Lady said to the children of Fatima, "Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice."

What sacrifices can we make? Our Lady told St. Faustina on the Solemnity of the Assumption in 1937 that the best sacrifice that one can make is their own will. Our Lady said, "My daughter, I strongly recommend that you faithfully fulfill all God's wishes, for that is most pleasing in His holy eyes. I very much desire that you distinguish yourself in this faithfulness in accomplishing God's will. Put the will of God before all sacrifices and holocausts" (1244).

Our Lady models how to say yes to the will of the Father. At the Annunciation she said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38).

What is the fruit of this sacrifice? Precisely eternal life in Heaven, as can be seen in the Assumption. The Blessed Virgin Mary was a woman of faith and obedience, and as she was obedient to the Father every moment of her life, He brought her to be with Him in Heaven. We, too, are called to be men and women of faith and obedience. This is the path to true life and happiness, ultimately in Heaven. Be not afraid of not being perfect, God's mercy is ours to receive with every new morning (see Lam 3:22-23). The Lord and our Blessed Mother will walk with us on this journey, and lead us home to Heaven.

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