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Header-Celebrating Our Lady of Glory on the Assumption

By Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira 

 

In ancient times, people referred to the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady as the feast of Our Lady of Glory. They understood that the Assumption of Our Lady was not merely the physical event of her leaving this earth after resurrecting by virtue of her Divine Son and being taken to Heaven: it was also her glorification. 

After her humble and unknown life on this earth, Our Lady had a greater role after the death of Our Lord as Queen and Mother of the Catholic Church. Our Lady went through all kinds of suffering, anguish and humiliations on earth. It is fitting that Our Lord glorified her in the eyes of men through her assumption.

She was glorified with this unique privilege whereby a merely human creature is taken to material heaven by the angels. From there, she certainly was taken in a mysterious way to the physical and immaterial heights of the heavenly Paradise, where she finds herself at this moment enjoying the beatific vision of God, Our Lord in an ineffable way.

 

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Many traditions and revelations about the assumption naturally affirm that this glorification by the angels was accompanied by indescribable manifestations of glory. Our Lady was a mere human creature with a nature far inferior to that of the angels. To show the great difference between natures, we need only recall how one saint saw her own guardian angel and was so dazzled by what she saw that she thought that she was seeing God. And yet guardian angels are among the lowest ranks of angels in heaven. 

Our Lady of the Assumption-Image 1We can only imagine the glory of Our Lady who was taken to heaven by the highest Cherubim and Seraphim. She was served by God’s highest creatures with such a high respect and veneration that it was as if they considered themselves unworthy of presenting to her their prayers and veneration.

Thus, after bidding farewell to those on earth, Our Lady started rising off the ground in a most hallowed ecstasy; and at a certain point the manifestations of the angels began. If it is true that on Easter day all nature rejoiced, and that on Ascension day all nature was jubilant, then, of course, we can imagine the great and splendid joy of all nature on the Assumption of Our Lady.

We can imagine the splendid colors of the sky. How the stars of that night must have shone! If the sun danced and changed colors at Fatima, we can imagine the wonderful way it must have appeared on that day! The angels must have sung in magnificent harmony and all must have felt great and ineffable interior consolations!

The concrete and positive fact is that Our Lady allowed her inner glory to be manifested to all during the Assumption. We can imagine how she, who possessed a most holy soul and an inexpressible dignity and majesty, at that moment allowed her grandeur to be manifested in an extraordinary way. As Our Lord’s grandeur shone in His glorified body on Mount Tabor, so also her sanctity naturally and entirely shined forth in her eyes, countenance and body.

We can imagine this manifestation like a great flash of light that completely blotted out the sky. At that moment of this grandeur, she probably manifested a great maternal tenderness since she was a mother bidding farewell to her children. She also must have shown a great outpouring of mercy and supreme goodness as she made it clear to everyone that she would no longer be present on earth and that, at the moment she was leaving mankind, her great mission in the pinnacle of heaven was beginning.

Our Lady of the Assumption-Image 2Saint Therese of the Child Jesus said she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth. If this is true of the Little Flower, how much more we can say this of the glory of Our Lady! From the time of the Assumption onward, Our Lady’s glory has been increasingly manifested. We see this in the construction of a huge number of churches dedicated to her. As Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort aptly observes, no church on earth–except perhaps churches that are almost no longer churches–does not have at least one altar dedicated to Our Lady. Not one soul has been saved without having been one of her devotees. Men have received no grace except through the intercession of Our Lady.

In other words, her glory will increasingly grow until the end of the ages when the moment of the Last Judgment comes. On that day, everyone, including her, will be judged. However, since she is faultless and without guilt, Judgment Day will be the day of her supreme glorification. If all virtues and defects of all creatures will become known at the Judgment, what canticles of praise will Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and the Eternal Father sing of her on that day? It is beyond words. The joy of the Last Judgment will be this glorification of Our Lady at the end of history. When history is no more; when the life of humanity has come to an end and the final historic event is over, then she will receive a truly unfathomable glorification.

 


The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on August 13, 1965. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

 

Also Read:  The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

 

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 18, 2019

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics, than many compli...

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November 18

 

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics,
than many compliant with the enemies of the Church
and conformed to the foes of our Faith.

St. Peter Canisius


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

During the French Revolution, the Sisters of the Visitation...

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St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Born on August 29, 1769 in the French city of Grenoble, Rose Philippine was baptized in the Church of St. Louis. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut and, against her father’s wishes, became a novice there when she was eighteen years old. However, the French Revolution caused much disruption for the nuns, and when the Sisters of the Visitation were expelled from their convents, Rose returned home.

She cared for the sick and the poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. Some time after the Revolution ended, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish the Visitation community, and ultimately gave the convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and joined the Order. When the Bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his thriving diocese in Louisiana, Rose and four other nuns made the trip to America in 1818.

Rose and the nuns were sent to Missouri, pioneers of the New World. There, as well in neighboring states, they established multiple schools, built a convent, an orphanage, a mission school for Indian girls, a boarding academy and a novitiate for her Order. However, the strenuous and difficult regime of work for her apostolate took its toll on her body. She died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1852 after spending more than 30 years as a pioneer in the evangelization of the New World. She was canonized in 1988. Rose was truly devoted to God, and prayed in her every spare moment. Because of this, the Indians began to call her “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” or "Woman-Who-Prays-Always."

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WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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