I’m curious what arguments/evidence you all have supporting this doctrine.
I pull this off from a Catholic Apologetic Website and I will quote the following:
**As for the Assumption, the strongest evidence for Mary’s Assumption is, oddly enough, a complete lack of evidence.
That is to say, no early Christian ever claimed to have a bodily relic of Mary, and no city ever claimed to have Mary’s remains. And this is in STARK contrast to the early veneration of the tombs of the Apostles and the other saints of the early Church. For example, everyone knew that the graves of Peter and Paul were at Rome. Likewise, the graves of John and Timothy were at Ephesus. The grave of Luke was in Greece, whereas the grave of Mark was in Alexandria, Egypt; later being transported to Venice. Likewise, the grave of James was at Jerusalem; the grave of Mary Magdalene was at Marseille. And, even the graves of the Old Testament saints were similarly venerated – such as the graves of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at Hebron; the grave of Rachel at Bethlehem (Matt 2:18), and the grave of David in Jerusalem itself (Acts 2:29). So, why did NO early Christian ever speak about a grave of the Virgin Mary? Unless there never was one.
Indeed, in the time of St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 107), we had the heresy of the Docetists, who claimed that Jesus did not have an earthly body. St. Ignatius, a disciple of Mary’s caretaker, the Apostle John himself, speaks out against these Docetists in his Epistle to the Ephesians, citing Jesus’ relationship to Mary to prove that the Lord had a true, human body. Yet, if Mary’s grave was available, it would have been used by both Ignatius and the Docetists to support their positions. Ignatius would have argued that Jesus’ body was real because His mother’s body is with us today; and the Docetists would have argued that Jesus’ body was not real because He was not subject to death, whereas His mother’s mortal body was. Yet, we have no mention of this. Why not?
Truth be told, it seems that the earliest Christians chose to remain silent about Mary’s Assumption so that it would not take away from the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. In this, we have to remember that Christianity was still a very new thing, and the main tenets of the Gospel had to be revealed to the world first, before devotion to Mary could properly develop. So, as with the Shroud of Turin, things like Mary’s Assumption were kept as “family secrets.” Not that they were withheld from anyone, but they were simply not widely advertised.
And, as with the Immaculate Conception, the earliest evidence that we have for the Assumption comes to us from the Eastern, non-Greek-speaking Church. Around 390 AD, we have the writings of St. Epiphanius of Salamis. Now, St. Epiphanius was a native of Palestine (so he would have been familiar with all the Sacred Traditions of the original Jewish Church in Jerusalem). Yet, in around 390, St. Epiphanius moved to the Greek island of Cyprus, where he was elected to be the Bishop of Salamis. Thus, around this time, we have this Palestinian bishop writing to his Greek flock about the end of Mary’s earthly life. And, speaking very diplomatically, he writes:**
((Continue from the previous))
**“Say she died a natural death. In that case she fell asleep in glory, and departed in purity and received the crown of her virginity. Or say she was slain with the sword according to Simeon’s prophecy. There her glory is with the martyrs, and she through WHOM THE DIVINE LIGHT SHONE UPON THE WORLD IS IN THE PLACE OF BLISS WITH HER SACRED BODY. Or say she left this world without dying for God can do what He wills. Then she was simply transferred to eternal glory.” (Haer. lxxix, 11).
So, St. Ephiphanis is speaking to his Greek, Cypriot flock – a flock which apparently had no eatablished Tradition about the Assumption. Yet, even so, Epiphanius mentions his own, Palestinian Tradition of the Assumption; and, while he does not force it upon the Greeks since, at this time, it was not a dogma and one did not have to accept it to be in the Church, he does present it to the Greek-speaking world. And he was most certainly not the only one, since the mere fact that he mentions the Assumption in passing shows that it was currently known to be an established belief – an established theolegoumenon (theological opinion), even if it was not yet widely known to the Greek-speaking Church.
Indeed, a similar case comes to us from St. John Damascene. Although he wrote in the 700’s, he tells us a Tradition from his own, Jerusalem city-church about its bishop Juvenal, who represented the Church of Jerusalem at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, about 50 years after St. Epiphanius was writing. And St. John tells us …
“Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem at the Council of Chalcedon (451) made known to the Emperor Marcian and [his Empress] Pulcharia, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles and that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to Heaven.” (Homily on the Dormition, PG 96)
So, this shows us that as late as 451 the Tradition of the Assumption was not widely known within the Greek-speaking world. Indeed, the Emperor and Empresses (who would not have been the most devout of Christians anyway) didn’t know about it, and had to be informed by the Bishop of Jerusalem. So, as I’ve said, it seems that the Assumption of Mary was understood by the Church in a relatively “private” way.
Yet, by the late 5th century, all this changed. The feast of “The Dormition and Assumption of Mary” began to be widely celebrated in the East; and this feast was moved to the West in the 700’s by one of the aforementioned Syrian Popes, St. Sergius I. And, at this point, the Assumption begins to be widely publicized for the first time. Thus, we begin to see the following quotes from the Fathers:
The Pseudo-Augustine (c. 500):
“This venerable day has dawned, the day that surpasses all the festivals of the saints, this most exalted and solemn day on which the Blessed Virgin was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. On this day the queenly Virgin was exalted to the very throne of God the Father, and elevated to such a height that the angelic spirits are in admiration.”
St. Gregory, Bishop of Tours in France (594 AD)
“The Lord . . . commanded the body of Mary be taken in a cloud into paradise; where now, rejoined to the soul, Mary dwells with the chosen ones.”
St. Germaine I, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 732 AD speaking of Mary)
“Thou art . . . the dwelling place of God . . . exempt from all dissolution into dust.”
St. John Damascene [of Damascus] (c. 700)
“He who had been pleased to become Incarnate (of) her . . . was pleased . . . to honor her immaculate and undefiled body with incorruption . . . prior to the common and universal resurrection.”
And, so, the Assumption continued to be celebrated by the Church’s Liturgy until modern times when, in 1950, it was finally declared to be a dogma of Catholic Christianity.**
Thank you for the info!
Yes Manny. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing what a beautiful peace our Blessed Mother had.
Your welcome. I will also add my own personal thoughts and belief. For the Scriptural basis, I would say that Revelation 12:1-5 is evidence for it since it mention a woman appear in heaven. Many Catholic theologians believe the woman in Revelation 12:1-5 is Mary because of the woman’s relations with the male child who will rule nations with an iron rod, whom we interpret as Jesus Christ. The verse opens up with, “A great sign appear in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun.”
Many Marian icons depict Mary with the moon under her feet (example, Lady of Gatualupe of Mexico). There is also a Eastern Christian tradition called Dormition of Mary, or falling asleep of Mary. It is believed by many Catholic theologians that Mary died before she assumed into heaven. She died a normal death, only to be resurrected by God himself and was assumed body and soul into heaven.
Mary’s example is a preview of what Christians (who remain steadfast to God’s precepts and avoid sins; unrepentent sinners will not share the glory; their faith is eternal damnation) will experience in the Final Days or Judgement Day.
Just to add an aside, in the Bible, there are cases where people went with God and were seen no more, like Enoch and Elijah. Moses’s body was taken by God to be buried and no one knows where he was buried.
Hello, Nominefili. It seems to me that the Fall and the Redemption story fairly cries out for the veneration of the mother of Christ, and the Assumption is an expression of that need. So it’s not so much about “arguments/evidence.” It’s not even exclusively about scriptural support, though the sense of it does start there – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”, and Elizabeth’s “How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to visit me?”, and much more. The love and veneration of Mary takes shape very fast in the history of Christianity, as early as the 2nd and early 3rd centuries when church-goers were already singing the Sub Tuum Praesidium:
Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.
Mary is venerated in the same way today by most of Christianity – Eastern Orthodox, High Anglican, Roman Catholic. Love of Mary nurtures a tradition that lives on, except in Protestantism, where It seems mostly absent among the thousands of denominations.
I come from a Protestant (evangelical) background and converted to Catholicism a long time ago. It wasn’t easy. Even now it’s a kind of ongoing process, and that’s okay, serious doubts shift and change. But I never doubted the reality of the mother of Christ – how crucial she is to an intelligent, humane understanding of Christianity and the loving practice of it.
Also, the Mater Dei is the highest expression of the feminine element in Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican). I never knew of such a thing as a Protestant, and it seems to me now that the original Protestant inspiration must somehow have gotten lost and ended up in a collective religious left brain without the enigmas and sensuous spirituality that it abandoned. Is there argument/evidence for the Blessed Mother being bodily assumed into heaven? Most people in this Catholic forum will probably agree that “proof” of the Assumption is experienced within oneself. According to Mary’s Son, that’s where heaven is found.
\It is believed by many Catholic theologians that Mary died before she assumed into heaven. She died a normal death, only to be resurrected by God himself and was assumed body and soul into heaven.\
**Beloved John Paul II believed and taught this too. Quoting S. Alphonus, he said that the Virgin died not from bodily illness, but from “a transport of love”.
Her soul parted from her body–which is physical death. As was the custom, she was buried that same day. But three days later St. Thomas appeared, and the Apostles took him to behold the body of the Mother of Life, where they saw her body gone and the tomb filled with flowers.
Mariology, beyond saying that her Son is God Incarnate, is the LAST thing I would mention to someone who didn’t even know Who Jesus is.
This is because Mariology is properly a section of Christology. It’s really about who JESUS is.**
=Nominefili;5904375]I’m curious what arguments/evidence you all have supporting this doctrine.
Dear friend in Christ,
This is an especially difficult one for Protestants who despite clear Biblical evidence of One church, The Authority of Peter and subsiquent Popes, The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Seven Sacraments, Priest and the need for Confession all being explicitily, and for the most part, exceedingly clear language, that is still denied; it become a near impossibility [except for Divine intervention] for a Dogma that has a historical basis, a Divine Intervention history, but is only implied, not expressely articulated in scripture, to be understood and accepted.
First a bit of history. Human assumption itself is Biblical. Elijah in 2 Kings 2 verse 11, and a “holy man” by the name of Enoch in Gen 5: 24, Sir. 49: 14 and Sir. 44:16. So one can know that not only is Gaod able to do this, but has done to with Biblical evidence twice before.
Who and what are Mary?
One should spend a few moments in Gen. 26 and read what Yahweh God demanded for the Ark of His SPIRITUAL Presence. By doing so, one can better grasp the expetiations of the Father, for the Living Tabernacle, Living Ark for HIS SON.
Mary when she consented was a dedicated Temple Virgin, having committed her life-time virginity to God. This is why she was so well educated, having been taught by the Priest and Temple Matrons, the Jewish faith and traditions. This information plays into making her decision to accept the call to Godly Motherhood even more difficult.
Mary never sinned, always said yes to what God asked of her, which is likely more than can be said for either of the men earlier assumed bodily into heaven.
Further looking at what God asked of Mary while on earth, gives one a close glimse into her Love and Obedience to God.
- Despite [perhaps at least in part because she had?] dedicated her virginity to God
- Freely agreed with unphathomable TRUST In God, to become the Mother of the Messiah.
- Had to risk literly “Being Stones to Death” fo being pregnant outside of marriage.
- Had to leave without notice or telling anyone in her family and circle of friends, that she had to flee to PAGAN Egypt, to avoid the slaughter of the “holy Innocents” wrought by Herod.
- having sent up a home and making new friends, had to leave again to return to Nazareth to fulfill Prophsey.
- Lost Jesus for three days when they were seperated at the Temple. It was coomon for kids to be kidnapped and sold into slacery.
- Knowing FULLWELL what she was doing [sending Jesus to His soon to be death] Mary nevertheless, prevailed upon Jesus work His First Miracle and thereby introduce His Divinity.
- Mary traveled with Jesus VERY OFTEN in His Ministery, and too endured the verble abuse, threats to His Life, and skeptics, Jesus had to daily deal with.
- Mary was with Jesus for His Passion. Was in the crowd shotting “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!.” Mary was there for the Scouraging at the Pillar, and was at the Cross when He was nailed to it! Shewas there to see Her Innocent Son die!
- Tradition holds that Mary, in the arms that given Birth to the very Son of God, again held Her Son; the very Son of God in death and assisted in burying Him.
Neither Elijah nor Enoc have a resume of suffering and humple Obedience to God that comes close to this.
Most importantly Mary had to be sinless and PERFECTED by God inorder to be worthy to become the Living tabernacle, Ark and Mopther of God’s Son. God simply COULD NOT, as God MUST BE PERFECT, come into the world from anyone not completely Perfected in every way, and be the "Man-God!’
Historians have identified where Mary lived, where Mary died, the Upper room, the Cross of Christ, the Tombs of all of the Apostles; but no one has evidence of Mary’s tomb!!! And yet there is MUCH evidence of a very special reverance paid to het even in the very eary Church.
In summary, read Gen. Chapter 26 and factor in all tnat is shared and proveable. The Assumption is the LONG Held Position of the Catholic Church, and as a matter of FAITH, is warranted by God as Son and Holy Spirit [Biblical evidence] that it is the Truth.
**John.20:  "Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” **
Luke.1:  and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”  for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,for he has visited and redeemed his people”
Love and prayers dear friend.
I don’t know about this. I would agree that Mary did truly die and was truly resurrected three days later and was truly subsequently assumed into Heaven bodily. But it sounds like an influence of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception that she did not die from the natural corruption that we are all subject to because of the Fall.
I do not deny that the Theotokos was subject to age, illness, and other limits of human infirmity.
I said that she did not DIE because of this, but because she loved her Son so much and could hardly wait to be with him when He came for her. Tradition says that she willingly and because of love yielded her soul into His arms, and for me, that suffices.
Here is the quote I have. I got it from the book itself. Two different parts
11,3 11,5 I cannot decide for certain, and am not saying that she remained immortal. But neither am I affirming that she died. For scripture went beyond man’s understanding and left it in suspense with regard to the precious and chosen vessel, so that no one would suspect carnal behavior of her. Whether she died, I don’t know; and even if she was buried, she never had carnal relations, perish the thought.
78: 23,8 The holy virgin may have died and been buried-her falling asleep was with honor, her death in purity, her crown in virginity. Or she may have been put to death-as the scripture says, “and a sword shall pierce through her soul-her frame is among the martyrs and her holy body, by which light rose on the world, rests amid blessings. Or she may have remained alive, for God is not incapable of doing whatever he wills. No one knows her end.
This to me clearly states this historian, and thats what he was, did not know. I am also very leary of this Assumption of Mary takes away from the resurrection argument. Everything that Catholics say is that Mary does not take away from Jesus but directs us to him. I do not see how you can have it both ways.
Where are you getting this?
Are you actually denying that it’s the tradition of the Church that the Theotokos voluntarily yielded her soul to her Son?
It’s not a doctrine that I support.
Agreed! It is no coincidence that the Immaculate Conception is the foundation on whichy the Assumption stands. I am probably in the minority, but I believe in the Assumption, while being doubtful of the tradition which has the Apostles at her empty grave. I am willing to be persuaded otherwise, but given the late evidence for belief in the teaching, and the ample opportunity for citing it earlier, I believe the teaching is legitimate doctrinal development.
If the bodies of mere saints who have sinned can be so redeemed in this life as to be preserved incorruptible, what should we expect with regard to one who never sinned, who bore God in her womb for nine months, and whose perfect love was refined at thje foot of the Cross and the coming of the Holy Ghost? Yeah…Our Lady is in heaven. Body and soul. Praise to the Lord. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
Questioning. Not yet denying.
I’d like to throw in a couple of thoughts.
First, God is capable of anything
Second, first the dead in Christ shall arise and then we who are alive shall be taken up
Third, the rightous who were dead were seen alive in Jerusalem when Jesus arose from the dead
fourth, Enoch and Elijah were taken up, alive and will (most likely) return to be the Two Witnesses during the time of Tribulation and then be killed and made to come alive again by God
Fifth, it is appointed onto man to die once and then the judgement
So this says , scipturally, that it is possible for both the living to be taken up (assuption/rapture/same thing) and the dead, who will be made alive again
So mary, it can be argued, although not in Scripture, could have been assumed into heaven, either dead, or made alive again and then taken up. For what God has done He can most likely do again. He has this habit of repeating.
On the subject of repeating, that is why catholics will refer to Mary as the Second Eve, as Jesus was the Second Adam
Now, have you ever considered that , as Mary is often refered to as the Ark (of the New covenant) that where she is hidden is a mystery just as the Ark of the Covenant is a mystery? And that is why there is no first hand written account of her body?
**Read the full Synaxarion for the Dormition. It says, among other things, that she was “longing to be translated to her Son.”
You can find it at anastasis.org.uk, and click around until you get to the Menaion.**
It is no coincidence that the Immaculate Conception is the foundation on whichy the Assumption stands.
Acutally, Orthodox believe in the Assumption, but deny Immaculate Conception in the form that Pius IX dogmatized it.