Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Holy Days of Obligation
Feast of Ascension Thursday ~ 40 days after Easter
the Feast of the Ascension is marked 40 days after Jesus rose from the
dead on Easter Sunday. It is seen as the final act of our redemption,
that Christ began on Good Friday.
Catholic belief is that the Risen
Christ ascended bodily into heaven, in the sight of his apostles. The Ascension is so
central to the Catholic faith that it is included in the Apostlesí
Creed, ďHe ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the
Father". To deny Christís Ascension is to deny his Resurrection.
Catholics believe Christís bodily Ascension to be a precursor to our own
entrance into heaven, not only our souls, but as glorified bodies, after
the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment.
Before his Ascension, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his
apostles. Their prayer for the Holy Spiritís coming began on Ascension
Thursday, and ended with the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost
Sunday, 10 days later.
The Resurrection is narrated in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and in the first
chapter of the Acts of the Apostles .
Although the place of the Ascension is not distinctly stated, it
would appear from the Acts that it was Mount Olivet. Since after the
Ascension the disciples are described as returning to Jerusalem from the
mount that is called Olivet , which is near Jerusalem, within a Sabbath
day's journey. Tradition has consecrated this site as the Mount of
Ascension and Christian piety has memorialized the event by erecting
over the site a basilica.
St. Helena built the first memorial, which was destroyed by the
Persians in 614, rebuilt in the eighth century, to be destroyed again,
but rebuilt a second time by the crusaders. The Moslems also
destroyed the memorial, leaving only the octagonal structure which encloses the stone
said to bear the imprint of the feet of Christ, that is now used as an
Not only is the fact of the Ascension related in the passages of
Scripture cited above, but it is also elsewhere predicted and spoken of
as an established fact.
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