The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
“God, the King of the universe, has granted you favours that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus He has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by His divine act of transferring it from the tomb.” Menaei Totius Anni, after Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus.
At the very beginning of the history of our salvation, God himself put enmities between the Evil one and Mary, the Mother of God, between Satan and her Son Jesus, who is the Lord. She crushed the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15) and death was swallowed up in victory (1 Cor 15:54).
Then, Our Lady’s victory over sin and death was gained through her intimate association with “the new Adam” – Jesus Christ. It is Christ who overcame sin and death by his own death. When we had our instructions to the faith, we were taught that through our Baptism we are born again in a supernatural way having conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, God does not grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. So the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul. However, it is not the case with Our Lady, as God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempt from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, 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. The Virgin Mother of God was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin and was bodily Assumed into heaven.
As St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church says: “Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which He, Himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust.” St Bonaventure adds: “The soul is not a person, but the soul, joined to the body, is a person. It is manifest that she is there in soul and in body. Otherwise she would not possess her complete beatitude.”
“Let death pass you by, O Mother of God, because you have brought life to men. Let the tomb pass you by, because you have been made the foundation stone of inexplicable sublimity. Let dust pass you by; for you are a new kind of formation, so that you may be mistress over those who have been corrupted in the very stuff of their potter’s clay” (St. Germain I of Constantinople, a. 733 A.D.)