The Summary of Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
On November 1, 1950
Peter Paul Rubens
The Summary of the Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950. In Summary, the Munificentissimus Deus, states foremost the Catholic Church is pleased with the increase of people turning towards piety, religious observance, of Mary and they have invoked the Spirit who divinely revealed that God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has 'when the fullness of time came' put the plan of his providence into effect, willing for Mary, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she has received an
eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up
from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages. While she appeared on earth, in her appearing in beauty, and your virginal body, is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that her body and soul could be assumed (raised) into heaven to be glorified, without the corruption of the grave. Just as she shared in His suffering on the cross, she shared in His resurrection from the grave, and she would share in His heavenly glorification of body and soul. Since she is free from sin, death, the law, or redemption; her body can immediately go to heaven, not needing to wait for the redemptive work of Christ, like everyone else. It was impossible to think that she would see corruption of the grave, and Jesus with His filial love, His love for His mother, for she conceived Christ, brought Him forth, nursed Him with her milk, held him in her arms, fondled Him in her lap, and clasped Him to her breast. The loving, Mother of God, as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing in His lot. Furthermore, since, she who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow, which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to Him; then it's only fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to Himself, should live in the divine mansions, because of this intimate and indissoluble bond. So, it is fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God. Thus, it can be stated, as it is, that Mary is the woman of Revelation 12 and if you disagree you will incur the wrath of Almighty God.
- Church is pleased to see increase of piety for Mary.
- 2. Since they told everyone she was united with Jesus and had tons of grace, and shared in His defeat of Satan, the people began to venerate her, instead of Jesus, and the church was pleased. For they wrote, Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent,
- 42. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others.
- Since Mary's eternal soul was put into a body and was free of original sin, she is also free from the law of the corruption of the body in death, so she can enter into heaven, outside of the binding words of the bible for all other humans. After her Son's example, she triumphed over death and was heavenly glorified; when she passed from this life to heaven, while missing the grave.
- 3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony.
- 5. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.
- 6. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.
- 12 Thus, from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that the Blessed Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven- which surely no faculty of the human mind could know by its own natural powers, as far as the heavenly glorification of the virginal body of the loving Mother of God is concerned-is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church.
- 14 In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes.
- 20. ... bringing out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
- 32. God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes.(32)
- Just as Mary shared in the Resurrection of Jesus to defeat death, Mary was triumphantly raised into heaven to be seated as Queen, at the right hand of Jesus, the Redeemer, her Spouse, the immortal King of the ages. It is imperative that Mary only be where Christ is. Mary, from all eternity is joined in a hidden way with Jesus, in one and the same decree of predestination, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin. And it is only fitting that the body and soul of a man, and a woman, should obtain heavenly glory. Mary is married to Jesus in heaven as King and Queen, even though He was her Son on earth and He drank from her breast, while she fondled Him on her lap. It would be a horror to Jesus, and us, to think that this virginal flesh, being pure and full of grace, the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of The Word of God, Jesus, the temple of the Holy Spirit could have ever gone to corruption of the grave, being only reduced to ashes. She has an eternal incorruptible body.
- 21. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."(17)
- 22. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life."(18) And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."(19)
- 28. Thus, ... Virgin Mary's flesh had remained incorrupt-for it is wrong to believe that her body has seen corruption-because it was really united again to her soul and, together with it, crowned with great glory in the heavenly courts. "For she was full of grace and blessed among women. She alone merited to conceive the true God of true God, whom as a virgin, she brought forth, to whom as a virgin she gave milk, fondling him in her lap, and in all things she waited upon him with loving care."(26)
- 31 that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul.(31)
- 33. the principal considerations which these writers of an earlier day had already expressed, but he added others of his own. The likeness between God's Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul - a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King - makes it entirely imperative that Mary "should be only where Christ is."(35) Moreover, it is reasonable and fitting that not only the soul and body of a man, but also the soul and body of a woman should have obtained heavenly glory.
- 34. "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."(37)
- 35. "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."(39)
- 39. Consequently, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and the final sign of this victory, so that struggle which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son should be brought to a close by the glorification of her virginal body, for the same Apostle says: "When this mortal thing hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."(46)
- 40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)
- In Jesus' filial love, His love for his mother, He willed her to be assumed into heaven, since He had the power to raise her and it would be a impossible for Him to think of her being apart from Him in body, even though not in soul; for she conceived Him, brought Him forth, nursed Him with her milk, held Him in her arms and clasped Him to her breast before our very eyes in the most intimately joining of a loving mother to her divine Son. She sits as Queen, with her exalted holiness: which comes from her being created without sin, having a dignity of motherhood and because of her virginity; all of which are reasons apart from the redemptive work Jesus did on the cross.
- 25. As the first element of these demonstrations, they (scholastic theologians) insist upon the fact that, out of filial love for his mother, Jesus Christ has willed that she be assumed into heaven. They base the strength of their proofs on the incomparable dignity of her divine motherhood and of all those prerogatives which follow from it. These include her exalted holiness, entirely surpassing the sanctity of all men and of the angels, the intimate union of Mary with her Son, and the affection of preeminent love which the Son has for his most worthy Mother.
- 30 the Blessed Virgin Mary's annunciation, explained the words "Hail, full of grace"-words used by the angel who addressed her-the Universal Doctor, comparing the Blessed Virgin with Eve, stated clearly and incisively that she was exempted from the fourfold curse that had been laid upon Eve.(30)
- 38. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.
- Mary is woman in Revelation 12 and the counter to Eve's disobedience.
- 27. Moreover, the scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos.(24) Similarly they have given special attention to these words of the New Testament: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women,"(25) since they saw, in the mystery of the Assumption, the fulfillment of that most perfect grace granted to the Blessed Virgin and the special blessing that countered the curse of Eve.
- They 'invoked the Spirit' to find this out, so if you don't believe, you're going to hell.
- 44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, 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.
- 45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
- 47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.