1950. After suffering two World Wars, soldiers from North Korea invaded the South producing fear of WWIII. Humanity had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust and the erasing of life in the flash of a light in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fear of communism was spreading throughout the Western World. This must have led to a feeling of uncertainty among the human race.
Pope Pius' Dogma
The memory of this catastrophic time was still fresh in his mind when in the late 1940’s Pope Pius XII began an in depth study of Mary in relation to Jesus and her role in salvation. Dr. Kenneth Howell states in his paper “Why did Pius XII proclaim the dogma of Mary’s Assumption?” that the Pope had hoped that by meditating on the perfect example of Mary, people would begin to realize the value of human life. On November 1, 1950, Pius XII solemnly defined the Assumption as a dogma of faith, stating that: "the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." We celebrate this feast each year on August 15.
“Munificentissimus Deus”, Latin for “Most Bountiful God”, should help us realize the value of a human life dedicated to the will of God and in caring for one another. As we look back on the uncertainty and challenges of the past two or more years, let us turn to Mary, the Mother of Christ, Handmade of the Lord, and role model for us. It is believed that when the apostles checked the tomb of Mary three days after her death, it was found empty, with only flowers growing out of it. For this reason, it is an ancient tradition to have flowers and fresh herbs blessed on this day.