Offertory of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Genesis 3:15

I will put enmities between thee and the Woman, and between thy seed and her Seed.


Verse 15. She shall crush. Ipsa, the woman: so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz. the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head. Ch. — The Hebrew text, as Bellarmine observes, is ambiguous: He mentions one copy which had ipsa instead of ipsum; and so it is even printed in the Hebrew interlineary edition, 1572, by Plantin, under the inspection of Boderianus. Whether the Jewish editions ought to have more weight with Christians, or whether all the other MSS. conspire against this reading, let others inquire. The fathers who have cited the old Italic version, taken from the Sept. agree with the Vulgate, which is followed by almost all the Latins; and hence we may argue with probability, that the Sept. and the Hebrew formerly acknowledged ipsa, which now moves the indignation of Protestants so much, as if we intended by it to give any divine honour to the blessed Virgin. We believe, however, with S. Epiphanius, that “it is no less criminal to vilify the holy Virgin, than to glorify her above measure.” We know that all the power of the mother of God is derived from the merits of her Son. We are no otherwise concerned about the retaining of ipsa, she, in this place, that in as much as we have yet no certain reason to suspect its being genuine. As some words have been corrected in the Vulgate since the Council of Trent by Sixtus V. and others, by Clement VIII. so, if, upon stricter search, it be found that it, and not she, is the true reading, we shall not hesitate to admit the correction: but we must wait in the mean time respectfully, till our superiors determine. H. Kemnitzius certainly advanced a step too far, when he said that all the ancient fathers read ipsum. Victor, Avitus, S. Aug. S. Greg. &c. mentioned in the Douay Bible, will convict him of falsehood. Christ crushed the serpent’s head by his death, suffering himself to be wounded in the heel. His blessed mother crushed him likewise, by her co-operation in the mystery of the Incarnation; and by rejecting, with horror, the very first suggestions of the enemy, to commit even the smallest sin. S. Bern. ser. 2, on Missus est. “We crush,” says S. Greg. Mor. 1. 38, “the serpent’s head, when we extirpate from our heart the beginnings of temptation, and then he lays snares for our heel, because he opposes the end of a good action with greater craft and power.” The serpent may hiss and threaten; he cannot hurt, if we resist him. H.


909: The Effect of Extreme Unction

JULIUS III 1550-1555
SESSION XIII (Oct. II, 1551)
The Doctrine of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction 

Furthermore, the significance and effect of this sacrament are explained in these words: “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he be in sins they shall be forgiven him” [Jas. 5:15]. For the thing signified is the grace of the Holy Spirit, whose anointing wipes away sins, if there be any still to be expiated, and the remains of sin, and relieves, and strengthens the soul of the sick person [can. 2] by exciting in him great confidence in divine mercy, supported by which the sick person bears more lightly the miseries and pains of his illness, and resists more easily the temptations of the evil spirit who “lies in wait for his heel” [Gen. 3:15], and sometimes attains bodily health, when it is expedient for the salvation of the soul.

2331: The Definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the Apostolic Constitution,
"Munificentissimus Deus," 
Nov. 1, 1950

All these arguments and considerations of the Holy Fathers and of the theologians are based on the Holy Scriptures as their ultimate foundation, which indeed place before us as though before our eyes the loving Mother of God as most closely joined with her divine Son, and as ever sharing His lot. Therefore, it seems almost impossible to think of her who conceived Christ, bore Him, nourished Him with her milk, held Him in her arms, and pressed Him to her breast, as separated from Him after this earthly life in her body, even though not in soul. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, surely, as the most perfect observer of divine law, He could not refuse to honor, in addition to His Eternal Father, His most beloved Mother also. And, since He could adorn her with so great a gift as to keep her unharmed by the corruption of the tomb, it must be believed that He actually did this

But this especially must be remembered, that ever since the second century the Virgin Mary has been presented by the Holy Fathers as the new Eve, very closely connected with the new Adam, although subect to Him in that struggle with the enemy of hell, which, as is presignified in the protevangelium [Gen. 3:15] was to result in a most complete victory over sin and death, which are always joined together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles [Rom. 5:6; 1 Cor. 15:21-26; 54-57]. Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part, and the final evidence of this victory, so the Blessed Virgin’s common struggle with her Son was to be concluded with the “glorification” of her virginal body, as the same Apostle says: “When . . . this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory” [1 Cor. 15:54].

Therefore, the august Mother of God, joined in a secret manner with Jesus Christ, from all eternity “by one and the same decree''* of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most pure virgin in her divine maternity, noble ally of the divine Redeemer, who has gained full triumph over sin and its consequences, has finally attained as the highest crown of her privileges, that she should be immune from the corruption of the tomb, and that in the same manner as her Son she would overcome death and be taken away soul and body to the supernal glory of heaven, where as Queen she would shine forth at the right hand of the same Son of hers, the immortal King of Ages [1 Tim. 1:17].

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