During his Angelus of August 15, 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II reflected on the mystery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today the Church is celebrating the glorious Assumption into heaven of Mary Most Holy. The People of God, guided by Revelation, have always believed that the Mother of Christ was associated with her Son's victory over death, and venerate her glorious Assumption in soul and body.
Chosen by God as the purest vessel in which to "come and dwell" among men, Mary, at the end of her earthly existence, was immediately taken up into heaven. This is why the Christian community, in a renowned hymn, joyfully sings her praise and invokes her: "Hail, O steadfast foundation of faith; Hail, O shining emblem of grace.... Hail, O key to the kingdom of Christ. Hail, O Hope for the ages of bliss.... Hail, for the heavenly rejoice with the earth; Hail, for the earthly meet the heavens in song!" (Akathistos).
The feast of the Assumption, celebrated with popular festivals almost everywhere, coincides with "Ferragosto", which is synonymous with the summer holidays. I urge everyone, especially those on holiday, to rediscover the Christian meaning of today's feast by participating in the Eucharistic celebration and by praying with devotion to our heavenly Mother.
Our Lady's Assumption reminds us that our true homeland is heaven, and she offers us her motherly help to prepare for the definitive meeting with Christ at the end of our earthly pilgrimage.
May the Queen of Heaven, whom he so loved, continue to guide the earthly path of her children, especially that of the new generations, and remind everyone of the glorious goal where she has preceded us and awaits us.
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