We usually don’t think of Mary when we meditate upon the Mystery of the Ascension, but in Christ’s greatest moments – the institution of the Holy Eucharist, His Passion, and His victory over death – Our Lady was there; she shared in His suffering, His glory, and the redemption of man. As a result, the Church gives her names that reflect this position: Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Dispenser of all Graces. Why would Christ not honor her, His mother, at this glorious and final point of his time on earth? Venerable Mary of Agreda, in her book Mystical City of God, gives greater insight into Christ’s Ascension, focusing specifically on Our Lady.
Over the course of her life, Mary of Agreda received countless visions about the life of Mary given to her by Christ and Mary herself. Recounting one of these visions, she describes Mary’s witness to the Ascension in the following way:
Jesus, having taken leave of this holy and fortunate gathering of the faithful, his countenance beaming forth peace and majesty, joined his hands and, by his own power, began to raise Himself from the earth, leaving theron the impression of his sacred feet. In gentlest motion He was wafted toward the aerial regions, drawing after Him the eyes and hearts of those first-born children, who amid sighs and tears vented their affection.Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God
According to Mary of Agreda, Our Lady not only witnessed the Ascension, but She joined Her Son in His glorious return to heaven. She continues,
The new and mysterious sacrament, which the right hand of the Most High wrought on this occasion for his most holy Mother, was that He raised Her up with Him in order to put Her in possession of the glory, which He had assigned to Her as his true Mother and which She had by her merits prepared and earned for Herself. Of this favor the great Queen was capable even before it happened; for her divine Son had offered it to Her during the forty days which He spent in her company after his Resurrection.Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God
Christ has gathered together a select group of his followers to witness His Ascension. He then, by His own power, raises Himself from the earth, ascending into heaven. However, He wishes for His Mother to join him in His glory and He brings her up into heaven with him, but only for a short time.
In order that this sacrament might be kept secret from all other creatures at that time, and in order that the heavenly Mistress might be present in the gathering of the Apostles and the faithful in their present waiting upon the of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1,14), the divine power enabled the blessed Mother miraculously to be in two places at once; remaining with the children of the Church for their comfort during their stay in the Cenacle and at the same time ascending with the Redeemer of the world to his heavenly throne, where She remained for three days.Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God
According to Mary of Agreda, the Blessed Mother was given the gift of bi-location. This was so that She could comfort the Apostles and followers of Christ after Our Lord’s departure and that She might partake in Her rightful position as Mother of the King, beside Christ, as He ascended into glory.
Our Lord’s great entrance into heaven – His victory march if you will – would not be complete without His Mother. Our Lady, who had borne the trials of the passion and endured her seven sorrows, merited the honor of rising into heaven at the side of the Redeemer of all men. Through this singular privilege, Mary preformed two roles: that of a comforting mother to the children of the Church before Pentecost, and that of Queen of Heaven, sharing in Her Son’s glory and majesty. Christ, with His dear Mother present, then took His place at the right hand of the Father, on His rightful throne.