Munificentissimus Deus

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Munificentissimus Deus ( Latin for The Infinitely Generous God ) is the title of an Apostolic Constitution with which Pope Pius XII. on November 1, 1950, announced the dogma of the bodily acceptance of Mary into heaven .

History of origin

Assumption of the Virgin Mary (popularly also Assumption of Mary) is a solemn festival of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches , which is celebrated on August 15th. Belief in the bodily acceptance of Mary into heaven has been attested in the Church since the 6th century. However, the Bible itself does not contain any reference to an ascension of Mary.

After the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary by Pope Pius IX. on December 8, 1854 in the Papal Bull Ineffabilis Deus (Latin: The Ineffable God ) it was generally expected that the assumption of Mary into heaven would soon be dogmatized. Due to the changed theological interests after the First Vatican Council and the two world wars, however, the topic took a back seat. It was not until Pius XII. took up the question again and sent the encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae of May 1, 1946, a corresponding request to the bishops of the world. He asked for an opinion on the possibility of a dogma regarding the acceptance of Mary into heaven. The Pope received mostly positive answers.

The dogma

The constitution explains the dogma in the following words:

"We proclaim, declare and define it as a belief revealed by God that the flawless Mother of God, the always pure Virgin Mary, after completing her earthly life, was absorbed body and soul into heavenly glory."

This Constitution is followed by the corresponding definitions that deal with the meaning of Mary and her devotion . Corporal admission to heaven means that the Virgin Mary has been preserved from every stain of original sin . The completion of earthly life was followed by admission into the kingdom of heaven, Mary was raised to the side of God in order to be on an equal footing with her son. Pius XII. further declared that what would happen to all people at the consummation was anticipated in Mary. Therefore she now lives in a new, transfigured and corporeal unity in the presence of God, but the person Mary should be clearly distinguished from the Son of God. Pius XII. concluded the constitution with the following words:

"Therefore, if one deliberately denies or questions what God forbids, what we have defined, he should know that he has completely fallen away from the divine and all-embracing faith."

Individual evidence

  1. German Bishops' Conference (ed.): Catholic adult catechism. Volume 1: The Church's Creed. (1985), p. 180 [1]


  • Rudolf Fischer-Wollpert, Do You Know - Lexicon of Religious and Philosophical Questions , Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Augsburg, 3rd expanded edition 1982, ISBN 3-7917-0738-8

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