On the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, Pope Francis entrusted any person who is suffering, in mind or body, to the care of the Mother of God.
Invoking “Mary, Consoler of the afflicted,” the pope entrusted to her “the anguish and torment of those who, in so many parts of the world, suffer in body and spirit.”
“Receive our heavenly Mother for all comfort, courage and serenity,” he said Aug. 15.
Speaking after the recitation of the Angelus for the feast day, he said he was thinking, in particular, of the victims of a bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy, Tuesday, and led those present in praying a ‘Hail Mary’ together.
As of Wednesday afternoon, at least 16 people were injured and 39 confirmed dead, with more missing, after a bridge making up a part of one of Italy’s major highways collapsed in a storm Aug. 14.
According to CNN, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Aug. 14 that “structural failure” is the working theory for the cause of the collapse.
“While I entrust the people who have lost their lives to the mercy of God, I express my spiritual closeness to their families, the wounded, the displaced and all those who suffer because of this tragic event,” the pope said.
Before the Angelus, Francis reflected on Mary’s life, noting that she lived even ordinary activities in unity with her son, Jesus Christ.
“The life of the Madonna took place like that of a common woman of her time: she prayed, ran the family and the house, attended synagogue... But every daily action was carried out by her always in total union with Jesus,” he said.
He said her union with Jesus reached its pinnacle on Calvary: “in love, in compassion, and in the suffering of the heart” and for this reason, “God has given her a full participation also in the resurrection of Jesus.”
“Today the Church invites us to contemplate this mystery: it shows us that God wants to save the whole man, soul and body,” he said.
Quoting St. Irenaeus, who said, “the glory of God is the living man, and the life of man is the vision of God,” Francis noted that, one day, at the resurrection of the dead, the bodies of those who have died will be reunited with their souls, as was Mary’s.
“If we have lived this way, in the joyous service of God, which is expressed also in generous service to [our] brothers, our destiny, on the day of the resurrection, will be similar to that of our heavenly Mother,” he said.
The “resurrection of the flesh,” as it is sometimes called, which will happen at Christ’s second coming, is “a cornerstone of our faith,” Francis explained.
“The wonderful reality of the Assumption of Mary manifests and confirms the unity of the human person and reminds us that we are called to serve and glorify God with all our being, soul and body,” he said.