Pope Francis offers Mass in Gyumri, Armenia June 25, 2016. Credit: Vatican Media/CNA.
Aug. 15, 2020
Catholic News Agency
VATICAN CITY — On the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis said that Mary’s assumption into Heaven was an infinitely greater achievement than man’s first steps on the moon.
“When man set foot on the moon, he said a phrase that became famous: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ In essence, humanity had reached a historic milestone. But today, in Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater achievement. Our Lady set foot in Heaven,” Pope Francis said Aug. 15.
“This step of the little Virgin of Nazareth was the giant leap forward of mankind,” the pope added.
Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s apostolic palace to the pilgrims spread out throughout St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that in Mary’s assumption into Heaven, one sees life’s end goal: “not to gain the things here below, which are fleeting, but the patrimony above, which is forever.”
Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15. The feast commemorates the end of Mary’s earthly life when God assumed her, body and soul, into heaven.
“Our Lady set foot in Heaven: she went there not only in spirit, but with her body as well, with all of herself,” he said. “That one of us dwells in the flesh in Heaven gives us hope: we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again. God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost.”