Before today’s Angelus, Pope Francis spoke about the Assumption of Mary:
“When man set foot on the moon, he said a phrase that became famous: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ In essence, humanity had reached a historical goal. But today, in Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater conquest. The Madonna has set foot in paradise: she went there not only in spirit, but with her body as well, with all of herself. This step of the lowly Virgin of Nazareth was the huge leap forward for humanity. Going to the moon serves us little if we do not live as brothers and sisters on Earth. But that one of us dwells in the flesh in Heaven gives us hope: we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again. God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost! In Mary, the goal has been reached and we have before our eyes the reasons why we journey: not to gain the things here below, which vanish, but to achieve the homeland above, which is forever. And Our Lady is the star that guides us. She went there first.”
“If, like Mary, we remember the great things that the Lord does, if at least once a day we were to ‘magnify’ Him, then we would take a great step forward. One time during the day to say: ‘I praise the Lord,’ to say, ‘Blessed be the Lord,’ which is a short prayer of praise. This is praising God. With this short prayer, our hearts will expand, joy will increase.”
I hope you will be able to join us in our 54-day novena for Pope Francis, which began today. It’s never too late to join in. And even if you find 54 days to be a daunting commitment, we hope you will be able to participate as much as you are able.
Image: Accademia – Assumption of the Virgin by Palma il Vecchio
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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.