Deiparae Virginis Mariae
The encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae by Pope Pius XII. was a request to the bishops of the world. It was published on May 1, 1946 and dealt with the possibility of a dogma of the Assumption of Mary.
One of the first goals of Pope Pius XII. was promoting Marian devotion , but the outbreak of World War II delayed his plans. When the war was over, Pius XII. in 1946 the encyclical. In this letter he looked back at how Catholics had asked the Vatican for almost 100 years to officially declare Mary's incarnation into heaven.
A request for an opinion
Pope Pius XII then asked the bishops for their opinion on the matter:
- Do you, Venerable Brothers, believe, by virtue of your excellent insight and prudence, that Mary's bodily acceptance into heaven can be presented and defined as a belief? And do you wish this with your clergy and your people?
The basis of dogma
The encyclical was not a casual invitation to the bishops to give their opinion, but the starting point of a solemn collegial process. The Pope wanted to know whether the bishops considered it appropriate to classify belief in the Assumption of Mary as the dogma of the Roman Catholic faith - an infallibly defined doctrine that Catholics must believe.