DAY 17 PRAYER INTENTION: Today, pray for bachelors and spinsters who are seeking the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony (marital settlement). May they be visited, supported, enlightened, and graced by Our Lady Betrothal, that they might settle successfully and happily with the right partner, to the greater glory of God. Amen (Also add your own intention…)
Now, say the 20 decades of the Rosary…
At the end of the 20 decades, say the following Prayers:
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! St. Joseph, pray for us!
Litany of Loreto
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us (Repeat after each invocation)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
pray for us (Repeat after each invocation)
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of Mercy,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother of Hope,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Saviour,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Vessel of honour,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Tower of David,
Tower if ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Solace of Migrants,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most Holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, that we, your servants, may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body;
and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Prayer to Saint Joseph after the Rosary
To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.
O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, die a holy death, and obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
DAY 17 REFLECTION: “QUEEN ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN” (REGINA IN CAELUM ASSUMPTA)
We have arrived at the tenth of the twelve invocations in the Litany of our Lady that greets her as “Queen,” which is: “Queen Assumed into Heaven” (Latin, Regina in Caelum Assumpta). Apparently, the Assumption is the greatest solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is the celebration of her solemn entrance into the glory of heaven. It is her eternal reward for remaining perpetually a virgin, for being the Immaculate Mother of God, for the ‘Yes’ she gave in response to God’s project of salvation, and for collaborating consequently as a faithful disciple of Christ her Son till the end. Like a river, which after a long run flows into the sea; today, the Blessed Virgin Mary flows into the glory of heaven: transfigured in the Holy Spirit, poured out by Christ, she is in the glory of the Father! This is what we shall contemplate today being the seventeenth day of our October Devotion. Now, does the Bible give us a clue to Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven? How could this doctrine be understood better?
To understand the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Queen Assumed into Heaven,” it is pertinent to note that the word “assumption” comes from the Latin root “assumptio,” meaning “to be taken up”. St. Paul teaches that we will be “assumed” (‘taken up’ or ‘caught up’) into the clouds to meet Jesus at the last day (see 1Thes. 4:17). Therefore, the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary should not be likened to the popular usage of the term “assume” or “assuming” etc. On one hand, “to assume” means to act as if something were true without any proof. If we limit our understanding to this, then, we shall miss out the point. When we talk of the assumption of Mary, we refer to the belief that she was “taken up” by God to dwell with her beloved Son, Jesus Christ in heaven. This gives value to the afterlife of those who believe in God and in His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; put differently, a feast which reminds us that if we remain faithful to the end, we shall be “taken up” into the clouds to meet the Lord on the last day (cf. 1Thes. 4:17).
The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is already prefigured in the book of Psalms: “GO UP, LORD TO THE PLACE OF YOUR REST, YOU AND THE ARK OF YOUR STRENGTH…” (Ps. 132:8). In this light, the Blessed Virgin Mary could be understood as the ARK of the Lord’s strength. How could this be explained? In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with the Israelites on Mt. Sinai through Moses. This is known as “The Law” contained in two Tablets of Stones. This was usually kept in an Ark prepared for it (cf. Exd. 25:10-22). Put differently, the Ark was the dwelling place of the Covenant, (that is, its tent). Consequently, in the New Testament, we come to contemplate the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, for she was privileged to provide a fitting dwelling place for our Lord Jesus Christ (the New Covenant) in her womb (the Ark). Jesus Christ is the New Covenant at its core. He embodies everything the New Covenant is.
Being the Ark of the New Covenant, the Blessed Virgin Mary has some similarities with the Ark of the Old Covenant (containing the Law written on Tablets of Stones). When the angel Gabriel was sent by God to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he said “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will “overshadow” you (cover you with its shadow – cf. Luke 1:35). The verb “to cover” or “to overshadow” and the metaphor of a cloud are used in the Bible to represent the presence and the shekinah glory of God. Similarly, when the Ark of the Old Covenant was completed, the cloud of the Lord (the Shekinah Glory) covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (cf. Exd. 40:34-35; NM. 9:18, 22). Also, when David received the Ark of the Old Covenant, he danced for joy in the presence of the Ark; he said: “How can the Ark of God come to me?” He also left it in the hill country of Judaea for 3 months (cf. 1Sam 6:1-2; 2Sam 6:9-14). Similarly, in the today’s gospel Reading, when Elizabeth received Mary (the Ark of the New Covenant), She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the baby in her womb danced/leapt for joy; She exclaimed: “Blessed are thou among women…Why is it granted to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” (This is similar to the statement of David as stated above); and Mary stayed with her for 3 months (in the hill country of Judaea) – the same case with the Old Testament Ark as stated above.
In honouring His beloved and precious Ark, after His Ascension into heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ, judged it worthy that His Blessed Mother be assumed (taken up) body and soul into heaven; that is why the book of Psalms makes the allusion “Go up, Lord to the place of your rest, you and the Ark of your strength…” (Ps. 132:8). In this verse, the Psalmist makes an allusion to the ascension of the Lord into heaven (cf. Luke 24:50-53) and subsequently, that of the Ark of the Lord’s strength, which is better understood as the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is why John sees the “Ark of the Covenant” in the vision of heaven. We are told that God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant could be seen in the temple, and immediately, a Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. We were told that she gave birth to a son, a male Child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Inasmuch as this part of the Scripture is also referred to the “Church” at war with the dragon, as in, the “Woman” representing the Church; however, an allusion to the Blessed Virgin Mary could also be drawn here. Notice that the text begins with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in heaven, and then a “Woman” crowned with twelve stars, to give birth to a Son destined to rule the nations with an iron rod. Now, Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, she gave birth to Christ the Lord and Ruler. She received the crown of “unfading glory” when she assumed into heaven, little wonder the psalmist makes an allusion to her as the Queen: “On your right stands the Queen in garments of Gold” (Ps. 45:9).
Dear friends in Christ, the dogma of the Assumption is not just for the Blessed Virgin Mary alone. First of all, it glorifies Christ, the author of our salvation, because, in Mary’s Assumption, the victory over death is revealed, which Jesus has already conquered. Secondly, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a precious anticipation of our resurrection and is based on the Resurrection of Christ, which will transform our corruptible body, making it similar to Christ’s glorious body (cf. Phil 3:21). Our Lady’s Assumption fills us with confidence and illumines our hope. Saint Josemaria Escrivá teaches: “We are still pilgrims, but our Mother has preceded us and already, indicating the end of the road: she encourages us that it is possible to get there and that we will get there if we are faithful because the Blessed Virgin is not just our example: she is the Help of Christians.” Let us, therefore, fix our gaze on Mary, already assumed into heaven! She is the certainty and proof that her children will one day have their bodies glorified with the glorious Christ. Our aspiration for eternal life concretizes when we contemplate the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; that she is up there, that she sees us and looks at us with her tender eyes, and prays for us. Hence, for us Christians, heaven is no longer a very distant and unknown sphere. In heaven, we have the Mother of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who made her our Mother when He said to the beloved disciple and to all of us: “Here is your Mother!” (Jn. 19:26-27). Thus, Heaven is open for us her children.
Above all, given the clarification above, the Church in her wisdom, and guided by the Holy Spirit affirms that Mary was taken into heaven – that is, body and soul. Even as the event (story) of Mary being taken up to heaven is not literarily contained in Scripture (since everything cannot be contained therein); however, the teaching remains deeply rooted in the Scripture as explained above. For these reasons, on November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith in his apostolic constitution “Munificentissimus Deus,” saying: “We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” This is called the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into heaven and it is celebrated every 15th day of August. It is a holy day of obligation, and Catholics are obliged to attend Mass.
Let us pray
Almighty God, as we honour the “Queen Assumed into Heaven,” may we be granted the grace to continually fight the good fight, so that after the completion of the course of our earthly lives, or at the last day, we might be “taken up” into the clouds to meet our Lord Jesus Christ, and be given the crown of unfading glory, Amen.
Oh “Queen Assumed into Heaven” (Regina in Caelum Assumpta), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen
Through the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, may Almighty God bless + you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?