BY MARY SAYAD  

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    ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

    August 2011

    On August 15th, we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In the Eastern or Byzantine Rite, this special feast day is referred to as the Dormition of the Mother of God.  On August 22, we celebrate the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin MaryThis is an ideal day to enthrone her in our local parish church and our homes.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most beautiful woman ever created!  She is the mother of Jesus, our Savior and the mother of all creation.  She is the MOTHER OF THE WORLD and THE QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE!  Indeed, our eternal salvation comes through her –“to Jesus through Mary”.

    There are no words sufficient to describe her gentleness, her compassion and her ongoing love of all mankind.  Mary is the embodiment of hope and the ultimate reality of Christian faith.  She submits herself wholly to God’s Will with perfect precision and deservedly praised for her faith.

    Although born without original sin, we do not worship her.  However, we honor her deeply because she is, as described in the Eastern Rite, the Theotokos, or God bearer.    Only Jesus is Divine because he was divinely conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit and we adore Jesus because he is the Son of God.

    Jesus is the truth and the basis of our faith.  Never allow yourselves to be deceived by the dictates of the media, government or unbelievers.  There is much misinformation and attacks against Jesus and Mary and especially the Catholic Church.  As confirmed Christians, we are called to courageously defend the truth according to the Holy Bible.  Just as Our Blessed Mother’s heart accepted the Holy Spirit, we too are asked to be messengers of God’s love.

    Our Christian struggle against opposing forces is compelling.  Atheism and Communism are thriving and fierce and have contributed considerably to the disintegration of moral life worldwide.  The secular world makes no distinction between the children of God and the children of the world.  Remain alert and guard your families’ hearts and minds from the secular world’s negative influence and always bear in mind that bad shepherds scatter sheep; good shepherds, under Christ, gather sheep. We distance ourselves from the errors of the world through our daily prayers and the frequent reception of the Sacraments as we gradually become aligned to God through Jesus and Mary.   

    Our Blessed Mother was Jesus’ first and most prominent disciple.  She cooperated with the Holy Spirit every moment of her blessed life.  You too, may follow her example and give glory to God by serving Him and by living an exemplary Christian life.   I quote Mary’s Magnificate, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Practice the presence of God through prayer. 

    Pray the Rosary, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.  Meditating on the life of Jesus and Mary strengthens and protects your faith. The Rosary endears us to Jesus and Mary and it is a powerful tool against evil. 

    Your companion in prayer,

    Mary Sayad

    The above Icon was written by iconographer Andreas Ritzos in the 15th century.  Icons are written and not painted.  They tell stories of the various scenes in the lives of Jesus and Mary.   This icon portrays the death of Our Blessed as well as her body taken up into heaven.  The icon depicts the apostles, friends and angels awaiting her death.  The bright colors of the bier as well as the candles represent the light of life after death.  Also, to the right of the bier is St. Peter incensing the bier.