We will soon celebrate the Feast of the Assumption – the wondrous moment when God took Mary into Heaven, body and soul, to be joyously reunited with the Holy Family. Born on the Feast of the Assumption, St. Anthony’s life was interwoven with the Blessed Mother. He spent years preaching about her importance and grace, right up until his final moments when he sang his favorite hymn to her. Christopher and Michelle, these feast days, like the Assumption of Mary, give us insight into our relationship with our all-loving God. The great Feast of the Assumption of Mary gives us hope that we will follow Our Lady in death to be with her and her Son Jesus in eternal life. Did you know that The Feast of The Assumption of Mary is the oldest feast day of Our Lady and that no one knows when or where it began to be celebrated in the Church?
I think it’s a beautiful story of how God works in our lives. It seems that after The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built in 336AD, events in the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the Christians in Jerusalem. One of the stories about His mother centered around the “Tomb of Mary,” which was close to Mount Zion and where the early Christian community had lived.

It’s important for us to understand that from the very beginning there were no relics of Mary. Only an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem where it was believed that Mary had died. This sacred spot became a place of pilgrimage, and today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary is located there. St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. In one sermon he expressed the belief of the Church: “Although her body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth.”

Your generous gift in honor of the Blessed Mother will enable us to care for your elderly Friars, educate those who are studying to become Friars, and help us to continue to serve the poor who come to us for assistance each day. For it is only through your kindness that our ministries of hope and compassion are able to continue. As we pray to Our Lady during the Novena for the Feast of the Assumption, August 6-15, the Franciscan Friars will be remembering your Special Intentions. Be sure to list them on the form below and return it with your gift in the envelope provided. In our novena in honor of the Assumption, you will hear this beautiful prayer: “All-powerful and ever-living God:
You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of Your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory.” Amen to that, amen to that! May Our Lady always intercede for you, comfort you and bring you peace!