for Jesus and Mary

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, Pius XII, Italian Visionary Maria Valtorta

The Assumption of Mary 2014, Pope Pius XII, and the Italian Visionary Maria Valtorta
by Fr. Jim Anderson, MSA

The Assumption of the Blessed Mother into Heaven is celebrated on 15 August each year.  We honor her on that day by joyfully participating in Holy Mass, and whenever else we pray the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary, followed by her Coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth in the Fifth Glorious Mystery.  This reality should be as precious to Catholics as the anniversaries of marriages and births in our families because Jesus gave his Mother to us for our own.  On her part Mary accepts and loves each of us as her spiritual child.  She longs for and rejoices in our return of her love.

Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth alongside her Son Jesus, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  But, as one of my 10th grade students once instructed me: “Father, Mary was not just a lucky girl…”  Mary was the very first member of the family of Adam to fulfill God’s will in creating us in his own image and likeness.  Adam and Eve’s terrible ambition, pride, lust for knowledge and power, and indifference to the Love that is God, forfeited the intended place of man in the reality of God.   But after disappointing millennia, the total humility and loving acceptance of God’s Holy Will, rather than her own will, of Mary of Nazareth made her soul a fitting temple for the Blessed Trinity, and her body a fitting ark for the Son of God in a new human nature, the God-Man, Jesus.  In effect Mary thus called down Jesus into her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the Will of the Blessed Father.

We could call this Mary’s initial act as co-redemptrix.  But when we reflect on the inter-personal relationship of this new Adam and Eve as the two hearts beat as one during Jesus ‘gestation; and thereafter as Jesus is nourished and comforted at her breast and instructed on her lap as an infant – and on into manhood, we discover a permanent relationship.  As Jesus ordained, Mary supported both his ministry to the people and his instruction and preparation of his Apostles.  Surely the jewel of His Mother’s support of her Son’s mission was during his passion and death.  And until she was assumed, body and soul, into heaven, Mary was Jesus’ partner in forming and nurturing his Mystical Body, the Church.  Was it not this permanent relationship of Mary and Jesus that was the engine of her Assumption into Heaven, and her Coronation as Jesus’ Queen Mother?

It is not a matter of faith that Mary died before her Assumption.  But some find it fitting that she would die to perfectly follow the example of Jesus.  

Pope Pius XII defined the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul, into heaven in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus dated 1 November 1950.  After recalling that the Church has always recognized God’s supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces given to Mary as Jesus’ mother,  Pius XII noted that “still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.”  The Holy Father explained that this privilege flowed from Mary’s prior privilege of having been conceived without stain of the Original Sin; the dogma of the Immaculate Conception having been proclaimed by Pius IX on 8 December 1854 in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus. (Munificentissimus Deus, Para. 3-4)

     Pius XII elaborates: “Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.”(Ibid. Para. 4-5) 

     The Holy Father then presents lengthy “proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians [that] are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation.”  He concludes: “These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.” (Ibid. Para. 38)

     The passing of the Blessed Mother from Earth to Heaven is beautifully described by the Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta, in visions given to her on 21 November and 8 December 1951 which are recorded in volume V of her collection of detailed visions of the Gospel from the birth to the Assumption of Mary: The Poem of the Man-God, or The Gospel as Revealed to Me.  An imprimatur was granted by Bishop Roman Danylak in Rome in 1998 for all the approved English translations.  It is claimed that Pius XII was given copies of The Poem in 1947, kept them for 11 months and on 26 February 1948 declared in the presence of Frs. Romualdo Migliorini, Corrado Berti and Andrea Checchin: "Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand…” (, and, both accessed 26 July 2013;).  I have read all volumes of The Poem carefully and vol. V twice and consider them spiritually enriching.  Valtorta’s Notebooks of conversations with Jesus and Mary are treasures.  Her Notebooks 1943 includes much about end times and the proximate coming of Antichrist, Notebooks 1944 includes visions of the martyrdoms of many Roman Christians, and Notebooks 1945-50 explains many mysteries.  They all are described and can be obtained from: 

His Holiness Pope Pius XII

Italian Visionary Maria Valtorta