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August 16, 2009

Mary’s Assumption

     August 15th is the feast of the Assumption of Mary.  For Catholics it is a Holy day of Obligation, unless if falls on a Saturday or Monday which was the case this year.  Many Catholics do not understand what the feast represents.  It is a feast that has been in observance for centuries but it only became an official doctrine in 1950.  

    The Assumption is a feast that flows directly from the belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  Catholics believe that Mary was conceived without sin, pure and immaculate.  It only follows therefore, that Mary would also be preserved from the effect of sin which is death.  For this reason Mary was believed to simply have fallen asleep after which time her body was taken up into heaven.  

    The feasts of Mary are varied in nature and many in number.  Some of them have their origins in the piety popular culture.  All of them tell of the devotion Catholics have for the mother of Jesus.  Except for the month of April, every month of the calendar year has at least one feast of Mary.  Some months have several.  The following is a chronological list of the feast of Mary, Mother of Jesus the Christ.

January 1 – the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
January 8 – Our Lady of Prompt Succor
 February 2 – the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
February 11 – Our Lady of Lourdes
March 25 – The Annunciation
May 31 - The Visitation
June 27 – Our Mother of Perpetual Help
July 16 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
August 15 – The Assumption
August 22 – The Queenship of Mary
September 8 – the Birth of Mary
September 12 – The Most Holy Name of Mary
September 15 – Our Lady of Sorrows
September 24 – Our Lady of Walsingham, (England)
October 7 – Our Lady of the Rosary
October 8 – Our Lady of Good remedy
November 21 – the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8 – the Immaculate Conception
December 12 – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Other facts we should know about the Catholic devotion to Mary are as follows:
The Month of Mary is May,    the Month of the Rosary is October
The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the Saturday following the second Sunday after Pentecost and lastly,  Every Saturday of the calendar year is dedicated to Marian Devotions.