Day 5: Novena in Preparation to Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption

As we prepare to celebrate our patronal feast, Mary Assumed into Heaven, each day of our novena clergy of the Archdiocese of Cape Town will offer reflections on Our Lady.

In this reflection for Wednesday, 11 August, Fr Anthony Padua CSsR,  reflects on Mary as Model of Missionaries.

This video is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please share these daily reflections on your parish WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms.

The text of the video is provided below, especially for those who are deaf.


A warm welcome to everyone who loves our Blessed Mother and who is preparing to celebrate the Feast of her Assumption into heaven.

My reflection today is entitled: Mary, Assumed into heaven, model of missionaries.

A scriptural text I love reading in Luke 1:39 is “Mary set out and went with haste to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went to Zachariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.”

A question many today ask – what is a missionary?

Who are called to be missionaries?

Like Mary, a missionary is one who goes with haste into a situation to bring God’s love and salvation into the lives of those who need the Presence of God.

Pope Francis reminds us that all of us are called to be missionaries. Pope Francis puts it beautifully when he calls the Church a “field hospital” caring for the wounded of society. His concern for ‘missionary zeal’ makes him cry out: “Let us go forth, then, to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ” 

He continues: More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures that will give us a false sense of security… while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat.” Mark 6:37. 

We are called to be missionaries like Mary and the Apostles.

I personally know of a few families in my parish who work as a team (husband, wife and children) who visit the sick and lonely, who bring comfort to the bereaved, who have turned their homes into soup kitchens for the poor. Others with the joy of the Gospel go out into the streets to feed the homeless and those in high density areas. These are the Missionaries of today, who have been inspired by our Catholic Faith and our Blessed Mother.

There are also wonderful, zealous, selfless groups of men and women, who under the patronage of Mary our Mother, are inspired by her life, who are Apostles of love today: 

To name a few:

Legion of Mary

St Vincent de Paul

Catholic Woman’s Group

Men’s Group

Neo-Catechumens and many other groups.

These men and women are not scared of embracing the poor and rejected, of loving them and touching their lives with the salvation of Jesus. They are not ‘scared of smelling like the sheep they serve’, to use Pope Francis’s words.

As we pray this Novena, let us ask Mary, Assumed into heaven to inspire us to become missionaries as she was and still is, by bringing Jesus, her son, the message of Redemption into a broken world.

May those countless men and women who follow in her footsteps continue to live as missionaries bringing into our world, acceptance, love, abundance, and plentiful redemption.

Mary Assumed into heaven and Queen of missionaries,

Pray for us. 


Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

My soul glorifies the Lord. *
My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on His servant in her lowliness; *
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

The Almighty works marvels for me. *
Holy His name!
His mercy is from age to age, *
on those who fear Him.

He puts forth His arm in strength*
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones*
and raises the lowly.

He fills the starving with good things, *
sends the rich away empty.

He protects Israel His servant, *
remembering His mercy,
The mercy promised to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his sons for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

V. O Mary, conceived without sin.
R. Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Posted in Assumption Novena.


  1. Mary assumed into heaven is our country’s Patroness, why is she not giving that honour in our very needy country, by our Catholics and all the Archdiocese’s ?

  2. Father, from an ex parishioner of the Monastery, this has been so inspirational
    Thank you
    Eileen French, nee Walsh (from 50-70s and 2006-12
    now in Cathedral parish

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