Saturday, August 15, 2009

On The Glorious Feast of the Assumption

The fourth glorious mystery of the rosary is an easy one for me to meditate on. I love to imagine the picture of Our Blessed Mother, after her years of service on earth, finally rising to heaven, carried by the angels, to rejoin her Beloved Son. Next to the coronation, it's the best scene for a girl to embellish with hosts of sweet angels, garlands of roses, and wisps of clouds and ribbons. I don't think it's really possible to imagine the glory and beauty of it all, but it's fun to try.

Since I'm a visual person, when I think about the Assumption, I immediately unfile the images given us by the great artists of the centuries. I'm most familiar with the paintings of Murillo, Reni, Champaigne, and Titian -- though I couldn't have told you these artists' names until this morning when I looked them up. In my research I found many other beautiful renditions of this Mystery, too. Here are a few. (Click on the images for a bigger view.) How many do you recognize?

Madonna in Glory

Bernadino Campi

No Date

Egid Q. Assam

c. 1722

The Assumption



Madonna in Glory and Saints
Ubaldo Gandolfi
The Assumption
Philippe De Champaigne
No date
The Assumption
Nicolas Poussin
The Assumption
The Assumption
Massimo Stanzione

The Assumption of the Virgin
Guido Reni

Madonna della Cintola

Francesco Granacci
no date

Kneeling in the foreground:
Left, St. Thomas the Apostle;
right, St. Michael the Archangel

The Madonna in Glory
Andrea Del Sarto
The Assumption of the Virgin with Saints:
Center Panel
Cola Dell'Amatrice

The Assumption
Annibale Carracci

The Assumption
Peter Paul Rubens
This one (above) and the next, I had saved on my computer, but I can't find the artists! I hunted and hunted. If anyone can tell me, will you? I especially love the happy expression on the Blessed Mother's face in the last painting.

* Though it had been long a pious belief of Catholics, Pope Pius XII verified and proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on November 1st, 1950. Today's feast is one of the six non-Sunday Holy Day of Obligation celebrated throughout the world.

* For more beautiful Catholic art galleries, you can go to
* For some ideas incorporating the feast in the kitchen, Catholic Cuisine is the go-to blog always.
Always a great source for Catholic customs, Fish eaters offers the following :
The giving of blessed herbs, fruit baskets, and flowers is a lovely custom of the day, and our prayer is that we emulate Mary by using the blessed herbs to bring healing to the world.
In some coastal areas, the seas are also blessed on this day, especially in fishing communties. The passages from the 21st chapter of the Gospel of St. John in which Jesus went fishing with His Apostles are read, along with sections of Luke 5. The Magnificat is prayed and then the sea is sprinkled with Holy Water and the Sign of the Cross made over it. It is believed that to swim in the waters blessed on this day is curative.
As on all Marian feasts, praying the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, the Litany of Loreto, the Akathistos Hymn to the Theotokos, etc., would be most appropriate. (you can download this Litany, in Microsoft Word .doc format, in English or in Latin).
* For coloring pages for the Feast of the Assumption, as well as other activities for the children, check out Kimberly's post from last year at Catholic Family Vignettes.


Diana said...

Very beautiful artwork Lisa. This was a very nice post!

Mama to much! said...

I really like the 1642, and 1680 renditions. Do you have a favorite?

Lisa said...

Thanks, Diana!

Ya know, Ter, I'm partial to the 1626 Poussin (except for those little "immodest angels" that really annoy Cathy and Anna. And I like the expression on the Blessed Mother's face in the Granacci (undated) and that last one there with no date or artist. Isn't that Granacci a puzzle to figure out? Why on earth is St. Thomas pictured and why is the Blessed Mother dangling her tassel to him? Is it supposed to signify her role in our life of faith? Hmmm... I don't know -- but I"m still thinking about it...

Bia said...

I like the Titian and the one by Murillo.

And it's funny . . . I was going to list the one by Poussin, but those angels annoyed me, too!