On this page, we are sharing reflections from east London Christians on the fourth joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Assumption of Mary into heaven.

Click here for an introduction to the People's Rosary Project, and links to earlier meditations.

The Assumption of Mary

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 

Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule* all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Revelation 12.1-6

Jesus came to reunite humanity to God... Mary is the first disciple to share the victory of her Son over death…
Caroline Alfred, Catholic Parish of Manor Park

As Caroline explains, Mary's Assumption is the first-fruits of God's new creation - showing the victory that Jesus has won for all his children on the Cross of Calvary.

Having meditated on this mystery in one of the neighbourhoods worst affected by the pandemic, Caroline explains how it has helped her to overcome the fear of death.

It gives me comfort to know that nobody dies alone, because God created us and at the end of our life, God receives us again - from life into new life.
Fr Ray Warren, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Tower Hill

Fr Ray Warren directs a retreat centre in east London. He explains the origin of the doctrine of the Assumption, and the hope it offers of God's new creation.

The passage from Revelation presents the vision of the struggle between the woman and the dragon. The figure of the woman, representing the Church, is, on the one hand, glorious and triumphant and yet, on the other, still in travail.

And the Church is like that: if in heaven she is already associated in some way with the glory of her Lord, in history she continually lives through the trials and challenges which the conflict between God and the evil one, the perennial enemy, brings.

And in the struggle which the disciples must confront – all of us, all the disciples of Jesus, we must face this struggle - Mary does not leave them alone: the Mother of Christ and of the Church is always with us. She walks with us always, she is with us.

In a way, Mary shares this dual condition. She has of course already entered, once and for all, into heavenly glory. But this does not mean that she is distant or detached from us; rather Mary accompanies us, struggles with us, sustains Christians in their fight against the forces of evil. 

Pope Francis, Homily, August 2013

You are invited to pray the Rosary now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus who took thee, O Virgin, up into heaven.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

If you have not prayed the Rosary before, you can read our introductory page here.

The People's Rosary is a project of the Centre for Theology and Community and De Mazenod Retreat House in east London.

We are grateful for the support of the Lady Peel Trust in developing this project.