Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address before and after the recitation of the Angelus prayer today at noon to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
BEFORE THE ANGELUS
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! Happy Feast of the Assumption!
The reading from (Luke 1:39-56) today’s feast day describes the meeting between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, stressing that, “during those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah.” (v. 39). In those days, Mary ran to a small city on the outskirts of Jerusalem to meet Elizabeth. Today, we contemplate her on her journey to the heavenly Jerusalem, to finally see the Father’s face and to see again the face of her Son Jesus. Many times during her earthly life, she had gone to hilly areas, up to the last sorrowful stage of Calvary, associated with the mystery of Christ’s Passion. Now, we see her reaching God’s mountain, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1) — as the Book of Revelation says — and we see her crossing the threshold of the celestial homeland.
She was the first to believe in the Son of God, and she is the first to be assumed into Heaven in soul and body. First, she received Jesus and took Him in her arms when He was still a baby, and she is the first to be received by His arms to be introduced into the Eternal Kingdom of the Father. Mary, a humble and simple girl of a lost village on the fringes of the empire, precisely because she received and lived the Gospel, is admitted by God to be for eternity beside the Son’s throne. It is thus, that the Lord puts down the mighty from their thrones and exalts those of low degree (cf. Luke 1:52).
Mary’s Assumption is a great mystery that concerns each one of us; it concerns our future. Mary, in fact, precedes us on the way on which all those go that, through Baptism, have bound their life to Jesus, as Mary bound her life to Him. Today’s feast pre-announces the “new heavens and the new earth,” with the risen Christ’s victory over death and the definitive defeat of the Evil One. Therefore, the exultance of the humble girl of Galilee, expressed in the canticle of the Magnificat, becomes the song of the whole of humanity, which is pleased to see the Lord bend over all men and all women, humble creatures, and assume them with Himself into Heaven.
The Lord bends over the humble, to raise them, as the canticle of the Magnificat proclaims. The song of Mary also leads us to think about many actual sad situations, in particular those women overwhelmed by the weight of life and the drama of violence; of women who are slaves to the arrogance of the powerful; the girls forced into inhumane work; the women forced to surrender in both body and spirit to the avarice of men. May the beginning of a life of peace, of justice and of love reach them as soon as possible, in expectation of the day in which they finally feel gripped by hands that do not humiliate them, but assuage them with tenderness and lead them to Heaven. Mary, a girl, a woman who suffered so much in her life, makes us think of these women who suffer so much. Let us ask the Lord that He Himself may lead them by the hand on the way of life, freeing them from these slaveries.
And now we turn with trust to Mary, sweet Queen of Heaven, and we ask her: “Give us days of peace, watch over our path, let us see your Son, full of the joy of Heaven” (Hymn of the Second Vespers).[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
AFTER THE ANGELUS
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Once again, I would like to entrust to the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate today in heavenly glory, the anxieties and sorrows of the populations that in so many places of the world are innocent victims of persistent conflicts. My thought goes to the inhabitants of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently stricken by new massacres, which for some time have been perpetrated in shameful silence, without even drawing our attention. Unfortunately, these victims are part of the many innocents that have no weight on world opinion. . May Mary obtain for all sentiments of understanding and the desire for concord!
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from different countries! In particular, I greet the young people of Villadose, the faithful of Credaro and those of Crosara.
I wish a happy feast of the Assumption to all of you here present and to those who are in various holiday places, as well as to all those who have not been able to go on vacation, especially the sick, persons who are alone, and those that ensure indispensable services to the community during these days of celebration.
I thank you for having come and, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon![Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]