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Jean-Xavier Salefran: "For Catholics, the Assumption is the culmination of Mary's life, placed under the sign of elevation"

2022-08-15T09:34:31.306Z

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - On August 15, Catholics around the world celebrate the Assumption. The vice-rector of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes explains the significance of the Virgin Mary's ascent to heaven in the Catholic religion.



Jean-Xavier Salefran is vice-rector of the Notre-Dame de Lourdes sanctuary.

In 1922, exactly a century ago, Pope Pius XI solemnly declared "

that the Virgin Mary Mother of God, under the title of her Assumption into heaven, has been regularly chosen as the principal patroness of all France before God.

".

It thus attested to the intimate link between the Mother of God and our country, as witnessed by so many cathedrals, abbeys, churches and chapels placed under the patronage of Our Lady.

In 2022, in the cities as in the villages of France, this August 15 is the occasion for festivities and celebrations.

These popular gatherings around fireworks, a ball or a country meal on the village square offer a comforting spectacle, especially in this time of crisis.

In the context of dechristianization, these persistent traditions raise questions about the meaning of the feast in general and of the Assumption in particular.

From now on, we are in a hurry to live to the rhythm of commercial, media or sporting events.

It must be said, it can entertain for a while, but leaves a big void in the hearts

Jean-Xavier Salefran

Secularization has been accompanied by a profound change in our relationship to time and celebrations.

From now on, we are in a hurry to live to the rhythm of commercial, media or sporting events.

It must be said, it can entertain for a while, but leaves a great void in hearts.

In this context, the party is most often experienced as a way of escaping from a daily life deemed too harsh.

It is a means of extracting oneself from the worrying reality of the present time, which leaves room for all attempts to access artificial paradises.

From the Christian perspective, the feast is not an escape from the world but, on the contrary, the manifestation of the presence of God in creation and in history.

Based on the memory of God's great deeds, it nourishes the hope of Christians on pilgrimage on this earth.

This is how Catholics live to the rhythm of events in the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints whose solemnities punctuate the whole year.

Today's feast celebrates the completion of the earthly pilgrimage of the Virgin Mary.

The Assumption is indeed the culmination of a life placed under the sign of elevation.

On the day of the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she would be the mother of the Saviour.

She is completely overwhelmed, testifies to the Gospel but immediately replies “

Fiat

”: “

Let everything happen to me according to your word

”.

The Immaculate Virgin is called to be a mother, to bear life.

By her unconditional yes, without delay, without hesitation, Mary becomes the Mother of God thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit.

She can then sing and rejoice: “

My soul exalts the Lord, exults my spirit in God my Savior because he leaned over his humble servant;

henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

»

The pilgrimage of the Virgin is also accomplished in the crucible of trial.

She is the strong woman who remains with her Son dying on the cross when everyone has abandoned him.

Jean-Xavier Salefran

The pilgrimage of the Virgin is also accomplished in the crucible of trial.

She is the strong woman who remains with her Son dying on the cross when everyone has abandoned him.

She collects his last words and remains united to him with a maternal heart until the last breath.

The Virgin of Sorrows grew by compassionating with her whole being for the suffering of her Son and by offering him for the salvation of the world.

Mary teaches us that humanity does not grow by hiding death, by looking away, by leaving this final stage to technique alone.

The life of the Virgin Mary exposes in its simplicity what truly elevates humanity: to welcome life at its beginning, to accompany it to its end, in joy as in trials, until the last breath.

In short, Mary reveals to us that humanity rises by lowering itself.

By her Assumption, the Virgin comes to the end of her pilgrimage.

The Mother of God is raised, to the glory of heaven, in the unity of her soul and her body.

Jean-Xavier Salefran

By her Assumption, the Virgin comes to the end of her pilgrimage.

The Mother of God is raised, to the glory of heaven, in the unity of her soul and her body.

By his passion, his death and his Resurrection, Christ opened the Gate of Heaven.

The Virgin Mary entered it first, showing the way to all humanity.

She now remains with her Son as the Queen of the universe and the Mother of all believers.

In this double capacity, she intercedes for all those who are still on the way.

The Second Vatican Council assures us that Mary's maternal love "

makes her attentive to the brothers of her Son whose pilgrimage is not complete, or who find themselves engaged in perils and trials, until they reach to the happy homeland.

»

In this hope, pilgrims converge today in Lourdes, as in all the shrines and chapels dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and entrust France to the one they warmly call Our Lady.

They take up with confidence one of the most ancient Christian prayers: “

Under the shelter of your mercy, we take refuge, Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our prayers when we are in trial, but always deliver us from all dangers, glorious and blessed Virgin”.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-08-15

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