POPE CELEBRATES ALL SAINTS, DOGMA OF ASSUMPTION
VATICAN, Nov. 1, 00 (CWNews.com) -- On Wednesday, November 1, Pope John Paul II celebrated the feast of All Saints with
a solemn Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, and noted that the date also marks the 50th anniversary of the day when Pope Pius XII
proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
It was during a previous holy year, in 1950, that Pius XII published the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus, officially
establishing the dogma of the Assumption. In that document the Pope announced that, after proper consultation with the world's
bishops, he formally defined the truth that the Virgin Mary, "after having finished the course of her life on earth, was lifted body
and soul to the heavenly glory."
In today's ceremonies at St. Peter's Basilica, a message from Munificentissimus Deus was read, along with a commentary on the
Assumption written by the Patriarch St. Germain of Constantinople in the early 8th century. The patriarch's commentary was a
meditation on the "dormition" of the Virgin-- a theme which is a common topic of reflection for the Eastern churches.
In his homily for the celebration of All Saints' Day, the Pope spoke of all the "anonymous saints"-- that is, those who have not been
canonized formally. In particular, he recognized the "mothers and fathers of families who, by devoting themselves every day to
their children, have contributed so much to the belief of the Church and the building of society." The Pope also Christians to
remember their prayers for the deceased, especially on the feast of All Souls, November 2. He gave a particular mention to "the
victims of human violence" who have died in the past year.