Thursday, August 16, 2012


"At the foot of the cross stands His mother" (Jn. 19:25)
St. James the Great Parish
Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City
August 14, 2012
8:00-9:00 P.M.

The icon of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus adored by Holy Angels

            This month’s prayer meeting of the Holy Angels of the Blessed Sacrament in St. James the Great Parish of Ayala Alabang coincided with the Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hence, I decided to give a talk on the dogma and the solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s glorious assumption into heaven.

An antique angel guarding the icon of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ

            Despite the storm, I arrived at the parish conference room in time for the group’s prayer meeting. The members of the Holy Angels group were already waiting for me. As soon as I arrived, the agape started with the blessing before meals which I led. After the sumptuous meal, the prayer meeting started.

Atty. Marwil N. Llasos leads the opening prayer

            As usual, I led the opening prayer – the Prayers of the Angel at Fatima. Thereafter, I proceeded to give my talk. First, I apprised the members of the Holy Angels about the on-going fight against the RH Bill. I asked them to continue to pray for the defeat of the Bill in the Philippine Congress. Next, I recalled the great feasts celebrated by the Church in August – the Transfiguration (August 6); St. Dominic (August 8); St. Maximilian Kolbe (August 14); the Assumption (August 15); and the Queenship of Mary (August 22).
The "Holy Angels" stand at prayer

            Since the prayer meeting of the Holy Angels was held during the feast of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe who died on the Vigil of the Assumption,[1] I briefly mentioned his holy and heroic life. I noted that among the saints, St. Maximilian Kolbe is unique because he was beatified a confessor but canonized a martyr.  He is hailed in the universal Church as a “Martyr of Charity” because he gave his life for a father of a family in Auschwitz concentration camp on August 14, 1941. I shared his last words to his brothers in Niepokalanow before his arrest by the Gestapo, “Forget not love,” and commented how St. Maximilian gave witness to love in a place full of diabolical hatred. I also quoted his words (my favorite as a Marian preacher): “Do not be afraid of giving the Immaculate Mother too much love; for you will never come to love her as Jesus did.”[2]
Atty. Marwil N. Llasos starts his talk by apprising the members of the Holy Angels group about the on-going fight against the diabolical RH Bill

            After recalling the various feasts in August, I proceeded to reflect on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heavenly glory. I noted that the feast (solemnity) of the Assumption is the greatest feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary – it is The Feast of Mary. Incidentally, it is the most ancient Marian feast – observed both in the East (Dormition) and the West (Assumption).
The "Holy Angels" listen to the report of Atty. Marwil Llasos
            I likewise mentioned that there was nearly unanimous or universal belief in the Assumption until the “Reformation.” In fact, even Martin Luther says this about Mary, “There can be no doubt that Mary is in heaven. How it happened, we do not know. And since the Holy Spirit has told us nothing about it, we can make of it no article of faith … It is enough to know that she lives in Christ” (Sermon, August 15, 1522).[3]

I then recalled that the dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was proclaimed by the Venerable Servant of God Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus:we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: 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.”[4] 

Marian preacher Marwil N. Llasos shares his reflections on the glorious Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
            I noted that the dogma of Mary’s assumption into heaven was proclaimed not on August 15 but on November 1. I stated that the Pope’s choice of date indicates that he wanted the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen Assumed into Heaven, to be seen as the Queen of All Saints.
The spouses Mike and Cristina Bichara listen to the talk of Atty. Marwil N. Llasos

            I reflected that Pope Pius XII’s proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950 was opportune. After the holocaust and the murderous Second World War, the Pope in defining the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was refuting the errors of the prevailing philosophy of the time – that the end of man is the gas chamber, the gulag, the mass grave or abortion clinics. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us of our destiny – that heaven in our true home. Like the Blessed Mother, we are destined for heaven – body and soul.

Members of the Holy Angels group diligently jot down notes

            After narrating the beautiful story of the death and assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on tradition and private revelation given to mystics, I said that I visualize how the Lord called His mother to Himself using the words in the Song of Songs 2:10-13:

“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (KJV).
Atty. Marwil N. Llasos relates the pious story about Mary's death and assumption to heavenly glory
            I mentioned that the Liturgy accommodates the verses to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also talked about how the mystics describe Mary’s entry to heaven. According to the pious story, when the Virgin Mary entered heaven escorted by cherubims, all the angelic hosts exclaimed, “Who is she?” because they have never seen such beauty, holiness and grandeur in heaven among the angelic beings because the Mother of the Lord surpassed them all in beauty, excellence, holiness and grandeur. In the Liturgy of the East, the hymn Axion Estin is said of Mary:

“It is truly right to bless thee, O Theotokos,
ever blessed, and most pure, and the Mother of our God.
More honorable than the cherubim,
and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim.
Without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos, we magnify thee.”[5]

Members of the Holy Angels listen intently to Atty. Marwil Llasos

After mentioning the question of the angels, Who is she?,” I proceeded to recite the Catena Legionis of the Legion of Mary with the words taken from Song of Songs 2:10:

Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in [battle] array?” (DRV).
Atty. Marwil N. Llasos shares his reflections on the Assumption as the "Holy Angels" listen

I differentiated the Ascension of Our Lord from the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only Jesus ascended into heaven because only He came from heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ stressed: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man” (Jn. 3:13, NIV). Jesus Christ ascended to heaven by his own divine power. On the other hand, Catholic doctrine teaches that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven by the power of her Son and God. She is portrayed as being carried aloft by angels. Revelation 12:14 graphically illustrates this: “The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert …” (NIV). Wings symbolize angels (angels are depicted in Scripture as winged beings) as well as the power of God (cf. Ps. 17:8; Ps. 91:4). The desert is a Biblical metaphor for refuge or safety – and heaven is the ultimate place of refuge.

Revelation 12:1 and 12:14

I reflected on Psalm 132: 8 which says, “Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength” (NIV). I argued that the verse typologically applies to the Lord and His Ark of the Covenant – Mary His Mother. I pointed out that the Ark was seen in heaven by the Seer of Patmos in Revelation 11:19 and it turns out to be a woman in Revelation 12:1:

“Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (NIV)
Atty. Marwil N. Llasos explains the Biblical basis of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I reflected on the significance of the identification of the heavenly sign as a “woman.” I stated that the term “woman” indicates a gender dimension. I heaven, there is no gender because those who are there are spirits. “Woman” connotes bodily existence. Hence, the woman in Revelation 12:1, viewed as Mary, provides Scriptural support to Mary’s bodily existence in heaven.
Atty. Marwil N. Llasos shares his insights on the dogma and feast of the glorious Assumption into heaven of the Immaculate Virgin Mary
To draw the depth of insight from the Church’s dogma of the Assumption on the Blessed Virgin Mary, I provided the following reflections to the Holy Angels of the Blessed Sacrament:

(1)   The Assumption tells us that our destiny is heaven.
(2)   It reminds us that we will be saved in the totality of our human personhood – body and soul.
(3)   It gloriously shows forth the power of Christ’s resurrection – of his victory over sin and death – that death no longer has the final say. By Christ’s resurrection, death itself has been caught captive and thus we can even taunt death: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
An angel statue at the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration (PEA) chapel of St. James the Great Parish
(4)   Mary precedes us in grace and glory and her glorious assumption serves as a shining example of what Our Lord Jesus Christ will do for us. Thus, Mary is the loadstar or polestar for us to look up to in this valley of tears. She is the star of the sea. Where she is, we will be. What she is, we will become.
(5)   Mary’s Assumption imbues us with a special confidence in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary because of her new closeness to God.[6]  Mary is so near to God, yet so near to us. On earth, she was close only to a very few people because of limitations of space and time. In heaven, she is close to each one of us.
(6)   With Mary our mother in heaven, we can look forward to heaven as our true home. Heaven is true home because there is a mother in there. In heaven awaits a grand family reunion with God our Father, Jesus our Brother and Mary our mother and our dear loved ones. Heaven is truly a family affair!

August 15 - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

After my talk, I entertained questions from the members of the Holy Angels of the Blessed Sacrament. Before I gave the closing prayer, the members of the Holy Angels group gave me their prayer requests for the closing prayer. I entrusted the prayer requests to the Lord through the intercession of our Mother – the Queen assumed into heaven.

The Angelic Shepherd, the Servant of God, Pope Pius XII proclaims the dogma of the Assumption on November 1, 1950

[2] Rev. Alphonsus Mary Sutton, OFM Conv., trans., Our Lady’s Fool (Novaliches, QC: Order of Franciscan Minor Conventual, 1976) p. 95.
[3] Quoted from Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan, Know the Truth (Makati City: St. Pauls, 2007)  p. 13. 


[6] Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Mysteries of the Virgin Mary (Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books, 2010) p. 90.

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, OFM Conv.: He died on the Vigil of the Assumption

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