Wednesday 9 July 1997

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have seen that Mary
received the privilege of being assumed body and soul into heaven by virtue of her unique
sharing in the mission of her Son. The Church's Tradition has found additional reasons for
Mary's Assumption in her dignity as the Mother of God, in her life-long, loving union with her
Son, a union now continued in heaven, and in her intense sharing in Christ's Paschal Mystery.
The Second Vatican Council links the Assumption to the Immaculate Conception: Mary's
freedom from original sin and perfect holiness called for her glorification in body and soul.

After Christ, Mary is the first human creature to enjoy the eternal life promised to all the elect. As
the new Eve, seated beside Christ, the new Adam, Mary shares fully in the glory of the
Resurrection. The mystery of the Assumption helps us to appreciate the nobility and dignity of
the human body, meant to be a holy temple of God and destined one day to share in the glory of

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I extend a cordial welcome to the Venerable Dada Vaswani and the group of Hindu visitors from
Bombay, India. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims, especially the groups from England,
Scotland, Ireland, Indonesia, Canada and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of Jesus
Christ our Saviour.