Daily Martyrology for August 15

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Belief in the Assumption grew by analogy to Christ’s ascension and from the stories of the translation into heaven of Old Testament saints like Enoch and Elijah. Christians thought that if because of her relation to Jesus she was preserved from sin, then she was also preserved from bodily corruption, the result of sin. Beginning in the fifth century accounts of Mary’s Assumption begin to appear, and by the ninth century there was a feast of the Assumption in the West. By the 20th century the doctrine was almost universally accepted by Catholics. Having consulted the bishops of the world, Pius XII declared Mary’s assumption a dogma in 1950.

In 430, in North Africa, St. Alypius, a lifetime friend of St. Augustine (August 28). In 393 he became bishop of Tagaste.

In 1568, in Poland, St. Stanislaus Kostka. The devout son of wealthy and influential parents, he was educated at a Jesuit school in Vienna. He joined he Jesuits in Rome, but died the next year.

In 1909, in the Congo, Blessed Isidore Bakanja. He was a devout Catholic. Isidore worked for a mining company whose manager was hostile to Catholicism because he thought it destroyed European authority over the native Africans. When Isidore would not abandon his Catholic devotions, the manager had him beaten and put in solitary confinement. He was eventually rescued, but was so exhausted from the mistreatment that he died six months later, having forgiven the manager, who was later arrested for his actions.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.