This is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the Roman Catholic Church, we are celebrating the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
Our Gospel for this day is the account of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. It includes the beautiful Magnificat of Mary, with its words of humility and trust. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour …”
Pope Pius XII exercised papal infallibility in stating this dogma, in the 1950 apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus. The New Catholic Encyclopedia explains that papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church and states that the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.