This faulty interpretation of Revelation 12 has been a springboard for the development of doctrines such as the Assumption of Mary, her being called the Queen of Heaven, and the Mother of the Church. It accounts for the existence of portraits with her being dressed in cosmic clothing standing over the world.
Hence, the Church of Rome literally believes the "woman" figure mentioned in Revelation 12:1-2 to be Mary. Pope Pius XII wrote in an Apostolic Constitution, “The scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos” (Munificentissimus Deus).
Note how Revelation 12:2 depicts this "woman" figure as experiencing birth pangs. Also, notice that a part of the curse of original sin is pain during childbirth (Genesis 3:16). The Roman Catholic interpretation of Revelation 12 is inconsistent because according to official Roman Catholic teaching, Mary was preserved from receiving a fallen nature:
"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (CCC # 491)
Thus, she could not experience pain when bearing children. But this is clearly not the case, according to Revelation 12:2. "She" was clearly in distress. So Roman Catholics are being theologically inconsistent when interpreting the passage of Revelation 12 as being a reference to Mary. It is counterproductive. If she was sinless, then she would not have to undergo pain in labor.
Does Mary have eagle's wings (Revelation 12:14)? Where in Scripture do we ever hear of Mary going to Egypt to be fed for 1,260 days? What about the fact that the flight of this "woman" took place after Jesus Christ's ascension to God's throne (Revelation 12:5-6)? More reasonable interpretations of this passage would identify this "woman" as either being Israel or the church. The former position is described as follows:
"John's reference to the sun, moon, and stars in his description of the woman is similar to the descriptions of Israel in Genesis 37. The 11 stars refer to the sons of Jacob, and the 12th star to whom the 11 bow is Joseph. This is a clear reference to the twelve tribes of Israel in Joseph's dream (Gen. 37:9-10). Israel is often represented as a woman (Isa. 26:18; 47:7-9; Jer. 4:31; 31:32; Ezek. 16:32; Hosea 2:16; Micah 4:9- 10). Therefore this is consistent with the woman as being Israel in Rev. 12. It is Israel, not the church that brings forth the male child who is the long awaited Messiah (verse 5) who will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:9). In Hosea, Micah, and Jeremiah, Israel is depicted as a woman in birth pains trying to bring forth a child. For centuries Israel has suffered these terrible pains awaiting the promises of the coming of Messiah, all the promises of God, way back to Genesis chapter 3 about a seed of a woman who would bless, not only the nation Israel, but all the nations. In Revelation 12, we see a woman being persecuted by Satan. Clearly, the woman cannot be Mary, because the woman lees into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years. The woman is the symbol of God's purpose for Israel."
The Roman Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition describes the latter interpretation of the "woman" mentioned in Revelation 12:
"[12:1] The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Gn 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13–17); cf. Is 50:1; 66:7; Jer 50:12."
To take the imagery of Revelation and claim that it shows Mary's assumption is really stretching the intent of the passage.