by HFH Reuvers


In numerous places and at many days, people honour virgin Mary. Ever since 1520, many Catholics use to pray the rosary or the chaplet in her honour every day. However, the most important feast days are the following:

Candlemas (2-nd of February): On this feast day, the faithful walk in a procession through the church with candles in their hands. We remember baby Jesus' presentation to God in the temple. The old priest then prayed: "Now you may let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen the light" (See the preceding section, too.)

Annunciation (25-th of March): In former days, the church bells used to toll for the Angelus at twelve o'clock. Then people would uncover their heads, kneel down, and pray in Latin: "The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Behold the Handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to Thy word. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ... "

Assumption (15-th of August): On this day, we celebrate that Mary was taken into heaven with both her body and her soul. The body which gave birth to Jesus has already been reunited with its soul. That's why Mary is able to appear with her glorified body in Lourdes and Fatima. All other people will only be reunited with their bodies after the end of the world.
Catholic tradition says Mary has been crowned in heaven. This is expressed in songs and in the litany of the holy virgin. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Apocalypse 12,1; see the picture).

Immaculate Conception (8-h of December): Many people think this is about the fact that Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jezus. However, it's about the fact Mary has been shielded from original sin ever since the moment she was conceived in the womb of her mother, Saint Anna. As to original sin, see the section about sin and guilt.