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The Blessed Virgin Mary: Sinless by grace, saved by grace, assumed by grace

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the doctrine that God the Father chose and prepared a Mother for his only-begotten Son who was “ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect” and who “would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater…”

On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared as dogma the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. His Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissimus noted the connection between the two Marian dogmas, stating that the two “are most closely bound to one another.” It said that God does not usually “grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come,” but did so with the Assumption, “and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.” What does this mean? That just as Mary was kept from original sin by God’s grace, she was also kept from the decay of the grave by that same grace.

Pius XII stated that the image of the woman clothed with the sun, which is part of today’s first reading from the Book of Revelation, has long been understood by the “scholastic Doctors” as signifying “the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God”. The celebration of the Feast of the Assumption can be traced back to at least the seventh century in both the East and the West. Liturgical developments and theological insights flourished from the seventh to ninth centuries.

 

Read more at Catholic World Report. 

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