August 15th is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day, the Church recognizes that Mary was taken, body and soul, from this earth into Heaven.

Venerable Pope Pius XII defined this belief as a dogma of the Catholic faith in 1950, infallibly declaring “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

Pope Pius XII cited several Catholic traditions that confirm this belief, including the image of the “woman clothed with the sun” in the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation. Mary’s Assumption is often depicted to match this description of the woman who had “the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

The feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman and Eastern-rite Catholics.