Ecclesiastical Octave of the Assumption

by Sister Julie Ann on August 19, 2008

feast-day-of-the-assumption-of-the-blessed-virgin-maryoil-on-canvas-30-x-24in-15-august-2008-by-stephen-b-whatley.jpgFor those who delight in the movements of a symphony, operatic soloists or personalized, high-capacity streaming internet radio,  an octave is defined as an interval of eight notes. Rooted in the same linguistical understanding, the Roman Catholic Church uses the term octave for a period of eight days beginning with a religious feast day commemorating a person or an event significant in matters of faith.

Looking closely at the calendar days of August, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on August 15, 2008. The octave concludes with another Marian feast, the Queenship of Mary on August 22, 2008. Why was it that Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954?

From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ, nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.  (Encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam)

Mary’s queenship has Scriptural origin.

  • Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would be given “the throne of David…and his reign will be without end.”
  • At the time of the Visitation Elizabeth refers to her cousin as “the mother of my Lord.”

The Franciscan Crown, a rosary unique to Franciscans remembering the joyous events of Mary’s life that dates back to 1422, also celebrates her queenship.

Fittingly during this Marian octave, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity wish to share with you a faithful friend’s portrait of the Mother of God. Stephen B. Whatley painted this tribute on the Blessed Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary 2008. He feels called to share this prayer with as many people as possible.

Care to comment on his inspiration or what these feasts of Mary mean to you?

4 thoughts on “Ecclesiastical Octave of the Assumption”

  1. Stephen, your vividly-hued representation of our regal Mother Mary expresses well her soul’s loving, shining radiance. It is more than a worthy prayer for all the days in the octave celebration of these great Marian feasts.Thank you for thinking of us. Peace and all good.

  2. I love the stars that are dancing around the image of Mary! This day of celebrating her loving queenly presnce with us in heaven and on earth is a day filled with color, comfort, and hope! She is our intercessor with Jesus when we need a special Motherly person in our lives! Thanks for sharing this beautiful image with us Stephen!

  3. Thank you so much Sister Julie Ann & Sister Mary Ann for your beautiful appreciation – & I thank God and the Bless Virgin Mary for enabling me to create this painting.I hope the other Sisters will see the painting. God Bless you all. Sincerely, Stephen

  4. The Lord bless you, Stephen, for sharing your gifts with others. If the Lord ever inspires you to create an image of St. Clare, please let us know!

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