Vigil Of Assumption Day in Holy See (Vatican City)

Falling on the 14th of August, the day before the Feast of the Assumption, the Vigil of the Assumption is a public holiday observed in Vatican City. This is one of the more important events in the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church for the Holy See, and it has been observed for centuries, although it did not become official dogma of the Holy Roman Catholic Church until 1950. Traditionally, this holiday was a day on which followers would fast before gathering for official services celebrating the Assumption. In Vatican City, this public holiday is observed with much enthusiasm.

The History of the Vigil of the Assumption

Vigils in the Catholic Church have been practiced for thousands of years. It was usually customary for the faithful to prepare themselves for whatever feast day they were going to celebrate the following day. They would gather, listen to sermons and Bible readings, and fast. There would usually also be a midnight Mass that began the ceremony for the feast day. This has happened not only with the Feast of the Assumption but also with other feast days.

Facts About the Assumption of Mary

Below are some important facts that we feel people should know about the Assumption of Mary and the Vigil of the Assumption that is celebrated the day before it.

  • Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary as one of the four Marian dogmas in 1950.
  • This holiday signifies the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven.
  • In Orthodox Christian tradition, the Assumption is preceded by a 15-day evening fast.

Observing the Vigil of the Assumption

This holiday is observed with religious services and by people preparing for the festivities of the Feast of the Assumption. In Vatican City, this day is a public holiday, so many businesses are closed, and people may have the day off.

Where is it celebrated?
Holy See (Vatican City) (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 14 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
August 14 Thursday
Last year (2023)
August 14 Monday