The Assumption of the Virgin - by Domenico PIOLA - Church of Saint John the Baptist, Chiavari (Genoa)
|The image of the Assumption of the Virgin does not derive from the Bible but from an ecclesiastical tradition that took shape in the Middle Ages. By the 16th century, it had become a popular theme. The depiction of the Virgin, with her fluttering robe and swirling head-dress, is graceful and lively. She is borne up to heaven in a cloud by playful putti. The twelve apostles, assembled from around the world, stand around her sarcophagus at the bottom which is miraculously filled with fresh flowers. Her Assumption is a forshadowing of our own resurrection at the end of the world. Remember there are two bodies in Heaven, one the glorified human nature of Jesus, the other the assumed human nature of Mary. The rest of the saints in Heaven will not receive bodies until the Final Judgement.|
God's temple in heaven opened and in the temple could be seen the ark of His covenant.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Because she was with child, she wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky: it was a huge dragon, flaming red, with seven heads and ten horns; on his head were seven diadems. His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, ready to devour her child when it should be born. She gave birth to a Son -- a Boy Who is destined to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. Her Child was snatched up to God and to His throne. The woman herself fled into the desert, where a special place had been prepared for her by God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, the reign of our God and the authority of His Anointed One."
Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby stirred in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby stirred in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." Then Mary said: "My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior, for He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed. God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him. "He has shown might with His arm; He has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry He has given every good thing, while the rich He has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of His mercy; Even as He promised our fathers, promised Abraham and His descendants forever." Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home.