Perhaps you will recall that several months ago I wrote a few articles on ‘The Seven Joys of Mary’. I covered them all except for the last two ‘joys’. Today being the feast of Mary’s Assumption into heaven and her being crowned as Queen of all the Angels and Saints I am returning to devote these lines as part of our celebration of this great feast and also to complete the writings of the Joys of Mary. You didn’t really think I forgot about them, did you?
This great feast that we celebrate today coves three momentous events in Mary’s life: her dormition , her assumption into heaven and her being crowned as queen of heaven thus fulfilling her role that was chosen for her by God the Father when He sent the angel Gabriel to her as a young woman asking her to accept the singular role that God the Father had chosen for her: to bring into this world God’s only Son who would give Himself through the sacrifice of his life on the cross and thus redeem the whole human race and open for us the gates of heaven.
The first of those momentous events is referred to by some theologians as the Dormition, or the falling asleep of Mary at the end of her life. Theologians especially of the Eastern churches hold this belief. It is very understandable since Mary was immaculately conceived and remained sinless throughout her life, hence she should not have to suffer the penalty of death.
The second event is what we in the Western church refer to as the Assumption, the taking up of Mary, body and soul into heaven at the end of her earthly life. Then, the third event is a twofold kind of celebration; first the entire court of heaven assembles to welcome Mary into heaven. One of the ancient hymns speaks of it in these words,
“Rejoice: when Christ raised you in the flesh, and placed you above the stars, the entire court of heaven went forth to meet you.”
It was also at that moment that Christ crowned his beloved Mother giving her the title and the place of singular honor as Queen of all the angels and Saints. We also refer to Mary as the Queen of heaven and earth. These events surrounding her being raised into heaven and being given that singular place of honor are certainly cause for great joy.
The Church honors Mary today in a spirit of true joy as she is given the ultimate reward to be placed at her Son’s die for all eternity. How often we turn to Mary in prayer and utter the words of the “Hail Mary’ begging her intercession on our behalf that we might receive the gift of heavenly grace and be guided each day on our won journey to the Kingdom of heaven. Stop and think about it, not only do religious orders like the Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans and so many others, along with many nations throughout the world claim her as their patroness, giving her such singular honor and always entrusting our own needs and placing them in the loving care of her hands.
Thus the Joys of Mary give her honor and praise. They also help to draw us closer to her and to her Divine Son.