MAGNIFICAT IS A GOOD PRAYER FOR BAD DAYS, SAYS POPE

Speaks of Assumption as a Feast of Our Future

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 16, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Monday’s feast of the Assumption of Mary is a feast about our own future, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this before he prayed the midday Angelus with crowds that gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

The Holy Father noted that the dogma of the Assumption was defined in the Catholic Church only in 1950, but the memorial “sinks its roots in the faith of the early centuries of the Church.”

He spoke of an ancient mosaic of Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major, inspired in the icon of the “Dormition,” the Eastern tradition of the feast.

The icon depicts the apostles who are “alerted by the angels of the earthly end of the Mother of Jesus,” and gather around the Virgin’s bed. “At the center is Jesus who holds a little girl in his arms: It is Mary, become ‘little’ for the Kingdom, and led by the Lord to Heaven,” the Pontiff explained.

He continued: “Our forefathers were defeated by the Evil One; in the fullness of time, Jesus, the new Adam, and Mary, the new Eve, defeated the enemy definitively, and this is the joy of this day! With Jesus’ victory over evil, interior and physical death was also defeated. Mary was the first to take into her arms the Son of God, Jesus, who became a child; now she is the first to be next to him in the glory of Heaven.”

Thus, the Pope said, the mystery of the feast of the Assumption is “above all a mystery of hope and of joy for all of us.”

The feast “speaks of our future, it tells us that we also will be next to Jesus in the joy of God and it invites us to have courage, to believe that the power of the resurrection of Christ can operate also in us and make us men and women who every day seek to live as risen ones, taking the light of goodness to the darkness of evil that is in the world,” the Bishop of Rome stated.

After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI greeted the people in various languages. In his message to French-speakers, he encouraged praying with Our Lady’s exclamation upon seeing her cousin Elizabeth, found in Luke’s Gospel.

“On contemplating [Mary’s] face,” the Holy Father invited, “let us not hesitate to repeat our unconditional ‘yes’ to the Lord. Following her example, on happy days as well as on difficult days, let us pray the Magnificat.”

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