Assumption Mary

Assumption of Virgin Mary


“Who is this that rises like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as a war banner?”

In Jerusalem, the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven was celebrated on August 15 with several prayer meetings, a tradition born among early Christians in the Kidron Valley. Father Dobromir Jastal, Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, presided the solemn Mass in the Basilica of Gethsemane, along with Monsignor Cesar Franco from Spain. The homily was given by Father Ramzi Sidawi.

Fr. Ramzi Sidawi, OFM
Custody of the Holy Land
“Today is a great feast: we can regard it as the coronation of the entire life of Mary who was united with her Son from beginning to end. Today is just the crowning of this journey of Mary and her Son.”

Fr. DOBROMIR JASZTAL, OFM
Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
“The celebration of this Feast here in Jerusalem is very special. We are very close to the shrine of the Tomb of the Virgin, where, according to tradition, Mary’s body was buried and from where she was assumed into heaven.
The celebrations started last night with a procession in the Grotto of the Apostles, here in the Basilica. In the afternoon, we will recite the Second Vespers in the Grotto of the Apostles and we will descend in procession into the shrine of the Tomb of the Virgin, where we will venerate the tomb with a little prayer.”

In the afternoon, the Vespers brought the faithful together, with the participation of the Apostolic Nuncio Mons. Lazzarotto in the Grotto of the Apostles, where Jesus’ arrest took place, according to the tradition that goes back to the fourth century. A place that over the centuries has always maintained its original characteristics, despite the various transformations.

After the prayer, the pilgrimage continued with the procession to the Church of the Tomb of Mary, which is located very close to the Grotto of the Apostles. It was an intense experience for the assembly gathered in prayer: they sang Marian melodies from Western tradition, almost giving the impression of a single echo of all the incessant prayers poured out in this holy place, in the course of the centuries.

Immediately after the authorities and the Franciscans, all those present entered the sanctuary to approach the rock block: the only trace left of Mary’s empty tomb.
Latins are allowed to preside over a brief liturgy only on this day, since the Church is currently presided by Orthodox Christians, Greeks and Armenians.

Fr. DOBROMIR JASZTAL, OFM
Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
“The celebration of the Virgin Mary into heaven is very important for the Church and for each one of us. Her assumption in heaven is for us a lesson of Christian life: how to listen with docility to the Word of God, how to welcome the Word of God and how to embody it in life.”

Fr. Ramzi Sidawi, OFM
Custody of the Holy Land
“Mary is our sister and this is a strong sign for us: Mary is a human being like us and she already reached glorification. This is a strong sign, an encouragement for all of us to always remain united to her son Jesus and give Him to the world; she is an inspiration for us to continue on our paths, because one day we too can get where she already arrived.”