Did Our Blessed Mother Die?


Maybe someone can help me!
I had a discussion with my friend who claims that Our Blessed Mother did not have any pains during Labour (child birth), because that is a consequence of original sin, and we all know that Our Blessed Mother was born free from the stain of original sin.

Is what my friend said true? Because if it is, this raises an even bigger question for me: If Our Blessed Mother Mary was saved not only from original sin but also from it’s
consequenses (as given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3); then did Mary actually Die before being Assumed into Heaven? Because we know that death is a consequence of sin?

Yours Confusedly:hmmm:


current thread on this topic already
a search will turn up other recent threads as well
you might also want to begin by reading about Mary on the CA homepage, and then as specific questions here.


This is from an Orthodox site, but it gives a bit more defination. Also the East apporaches things just a bit different, but yet the same…
On the Feast of the Dormition…

Dormition of the Theotokos

…Once, when She went to the Mount of Olives to pray, Archangel Gabriel appeared and spoke of Her approaching departure from this world. Upon returning home, She told Apostle John all that the Archangel had said to Her and started preparing Herself for Her final day on earth. Friends and relatives gathered, and eleven of the apostles were miraculously transported from various parts of the world to Her deathbed. They were all amazed to see each other there. When Apostle John explained that the Mother of God would soon be departing this world, they understood why God had brought them together and became sad. But She comforted them, saying: “Do not cry and darken My happiness with your sadness. I am going to My Son and your God, and you will bury My body and return each to your work.” As the time of Her death neared, the room shone with a divine light, the roof disappeared, and a wondrous sight appeared before all: the Lord Jesus Christ descended from heaven surrounded by many angels. All looked upon this wondrous sight with awe and reverence, and when they approached Her bed, the holy body of the Mother of God shone radiantly, and a fragrance of incense pervaded the room.

The apostles carried the body of the Mother of God through the city to Gethsemane, to be buried at Her request in the tomb of Her family and Joseph. They buried Her body, closed the tomb with a stone and remained there at the site in prayer for three days. On the third day Apostle Thomas arrived and was very saddened that he did not find the Mother of God alive. To make him feel better, the other apostles rolled away the stone to let him pay his respects to the body. But on entering the tomb, they found that the body was not there – only the winding sheet. They returned home to partake of a communal meal at which they always left a place for the Resurrected Lord. After the meal, they raised the bread left for Christ aloft and exclaimed: “Lord, Jesus Christ, help us.” And they heard a choir of angels, and when they looked up they saw the Holy Virgin surrounded by angels. She greeted them, saying: “Rejoice, for I am with you through all the days.” Then the apostles were filled with joy, and instead of using the usual words, they exclaimed: “Most holy Mother of God, help us.” And now they understood and believed that upon the third day after Her dormition, the Mother of God had been resurrected.

													 Thus, the dormition of the Mother of God is not a sad event, but a joyous one.** Her death is but a short sleep, after which follows Her resurrection and ascension to heaven**. From the very beginning, the Church saw in the Mother of God the One who would pray for all of mankind. She is the haven of all the mothers in the world. She teaches us how to live in total faithfulness to the will of God. She, who kept in Her heart the divine words, is an example of faithfulness, love and service.




Our Blessed Mother did not suffer from labour pains as she indeed was conceived free from the stain of, and the consequences of, original sin.

Jesus was conceived and born free from sin too. Did he not suffer a physical death?

When Mary’s earthly life was over, she died. Her soul was taken immediately to Heaven and her body was not allowed to see corruption. There was a seperation of body and soul with Mary for some time. Her body was then taken to Heaven and her soul reinfused into her body in the presence of, and to the joy of, all the Angels and Saints.

In Psalm 16 verse 10 we see the basis for this truth in the line ***“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay” ***which of course refers to Jesus death. Nevertheless, it is also the basis for Mary’s incorruption during that time she lay in death and the basis for the incorruption of many Holy Men and Women.


The Blessed Virgin Mary said to St.Bridget of Sweden:

"One day when I was admiring the love of God in a spiritual ecstasy,
my soul was filled with joy that it could hardly contain itself. And during that
contemplation my soul departed from my body. You cannot imagine
what splendour my soul perceived then, and with what honour the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit welcomed it, and with what a multitude
of angels it was carried upward.

"But those persons who were in my house with me when I gave up my spirit
fully understood what divine mysteries I was then experiencing, because of the
unusual light which they saw.

"Thereafter those friends of my Son who had been brought together by
God buried my body in the Valley of Josaphat. Countless angels accompanied

"My body lay entombed in the ground. Then it was taken up to Heaven with
infinite honour and rejoicing. There is no other human body in Heaven but
the glorious body of my Son and my body.

“That my Assumption was not known to many persons was the will of God, my
Son, in order that faith in his Ascension might first of all be firmly established in
the hearts of men, for they were not prepared to believe in his Ascension,
especially if my Assumption had been announced in the beginning.”

One alone is my dove, my perfect one,
her mother’s chosen,
the dear one of her parent.
The daughters saw her and declared her fortunate,
the queens and concubines,
and they sang her praises.
Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,
as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun,
as awe-inspiring as bannered troops? :slight_smile:

Songs of Songs 6:9-10

pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


Thanks everyone, your replies have been helpful in clarifying these points for me. :thumbsup:

But just to make sure i’ve got it right:

Our Blessed Mother was free from original sin and the consequences of sin which include (among other things) pain during child birth and the “pain of death”?

It sounds like Our Blessed Mother’s death was something quite wonderful (and painless) according to St Bridget of Sweden.

God Bless you all! :signofcross:


Rev 12 proves that she did have labor pains. The curse on Eve is increased pains, indicating that labor pains existed before the fall.

Is what my friend said true? Because if it is, this raises an even bigger question for me: If Our Blessed Mother Mary was saved not only from original sin but also from it’s
consequenses (as given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3); then did Mary actually Die before being Assumed into Heaven? Because we know that death is a consequence of sin?

Yours Confusedly:hmmm:

Jesus knew no sin, and choose to die in our place. So, it is possible if a being is sinless they can in fact choose to die.

look for this book, he documents 60 stories in 9 languages about the end of Mary’s life. It appears that she did in fact die before being assumed to heaven.

Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption by Shoemaker, Stephen


The Blessed Virgin Mary said to Venerable Mother Mary of Agreda:

“My daughter, I wish to inform you of another privilege which was conceded to me
in the hour of my glorious Transition. It was this: that all those devoted to me
who shall call upon me at the hour of my death, making me their advocate in
memory of my happy Transition and of my desiring to imitate my divine Son in
death, shall be under my speacial protection in that hour and shall have my
intercession. And since death follows upon life and ordinarily corresponds
with it, the surest pledge of a good death is a good life, a life in which the heart
is freed and detached from earthly love.”

“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
{Luke 1:43}

“Now Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the
peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
{Luke 2:27-35}

Gratias Ago Tibi, Maria !
Good Fella :cool:


That Mary had no birth pains is pious speculation, but is not part of Church teaching. Catholics are free to hold either position.

On her death, the definition is silent as to whether she died. Catholics are free to hold either position as well. I’m of the camp that accepts that she indeed died.


I agree. There is no official teaching of the Catholic Church that said that she had suffer birth pains. I firmly believe she did. Jesus suffer the pains of the cross. He was sinless, both True God and True Man.

To say that Mary didn’t have any pain during child birth would implied that she was greater than Jesus since he suffered pains and Mary didn’t.

Wait a minute? Kinda odd right? :shrug: :eek:

I firmly believe she did suffer birth pains when she delivered Jesus, and when she died also. Pain isn’t a bad thing. Those souls in purgatory surely suffer many pains but in the end, they will be filled with joy because they will be in heaven.



with all respect if you “multiply” by zero the answer is still zero, if you multiply by something that was three in the first place, then there is an increase providing you multiply by a positive number.

As I stated before, give Shoemakers book a read it is well written.
I wish I had a copy for reference.

So, in short, Genesis 3:16 speaks of an increase in pain, pain must have existed before the fall. Feeling pain is good in that it lets you know something is wrong and needs attentsion. If one did not feel pain, they would stub their toe often and cause injury.

Rev 12 is often believed to be about Mary or the Church. If this passage is about Mary, it then proves Mary felt pain in childbirth, but it does not say she experienced great pain.

Genesis 3:16

NASB: To the woman He said, “I will **greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, **In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (NASB ©1995)

GWT: He said to the woman, “I will increase your pain and your labor when you give birth to children. Yet, you will long for your husband, and he will rule you.” (GOD’S WORD®)

KJV: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

ASV: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

BBE: To the woman he said, Great will be your pain in childbirth; in sorrow will your children come to birth; still your desire will be for your husband, but he will be your master.

DBY: To the woman he said,** I will greatly increase thy travail and thy pregnancy**; with pain thou shalt bear children; and to thy husband shall be thy desire, and he shall rule over thee.

JPS: Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’

WBS: To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

WEB: To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

YLT: Unto the woman He said, ‘Multiplying I multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow dost thou bear children, and toward thy husband is thy desire, and he doth rule over thee.’

Revelation 12:2

NASB: and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. (NASB ©1995)

GWT: She was pregnant. She cried out from labor pains and the agony of giving birth. (GOD’S WORD®)

KJV: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

ASV: and she was with child; and she crieth out, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered.

BBE: And she was with child; and she gave a cry, in the pains of childbirth.

DBY: and being with child she cried, being in travail, and in pain to bring forth.

WEY: and she was crying out in the pains and agony of childbirth.

WBS: And she being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

WEB: She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth.

YLT: and being with child she doth cry out, travailing and pained to bring forth.


Isn’t death there referring to spiritual death and not physical?


As a human being, Mary must have experienced pain and suffering in some form
or other. But she could not have experienced pain when giving birth to Jesus. This
particular form of physical suffering was a “curse” brought about by Eve’s disobedience
to the will of God. The pain of childbearing was exacted as a penalty of original sin.
(Cf. Gen:3-16) We must not generalise this particular painful experience. The dogma
of the Immaculate Conception of Mary presupposes that Mary felt no pain when giving birth
to Jesus, for by God’s grace she was conceived without original sin and so could not have
inherited this curse of Eve. By the time Jesus was born, our Lord’s mother had already
accepted the will of God, unlike Eve, by pronouncing her humble and pure “Fiat” thereby
undoing Eve’s disobedience. Mary is opposed to Eve and so she cannot share her cursed
fate. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is an infallible teaching to which we must
give our “sacred assent” or cease being truly Catholic. This dogma presents Mary as
the New Eve, free from original sin. Catholics cannot truly and fully accept this dogma as
true while maintaining the “pious” belief that she felt pain when bearing Jesus.

The authors of the Gospels recognized the suffering Mary did experience on earth. But the
suffering that concerned them was her spiritual or moral suffering. Likewise, the Gospel writers
were concerned with the spiritual or moral suffering of our Lord. The physical form of suffering
that lay on the surface and effected the higher form was of no spiritual significance to them.
There is no need for us to speculate on the physical nature of the pain and suffering our Lord
and Blessed mother may have experienced. The Scriptures direct our attention to the spiritual
quality of their painful experiences and suffering. On the spiritual plane, Mary could not have
suffered the pain of childbearing. The suffering she actually did experience as a human being
was the moral suffering of a mother who loves her son. Our Blessed Mother’s suffering
constitutes her Seven Sorrows.

Mary’s first sorrowful experience occurred when she presented the infant Jesus in the Temple.
Simeon announced to her that her Son would become a symbol of opposition and that her soul
would be pierced on account of him; second, we can imagine the suffering she went through when she had to get up in the middle of the night to flee with her child to a foreign land because his life was in danger; third, for three days she looked for her son in anxiety and sadness before she found him preaching in the Temple; fourth, we cannot even begin to describe the emotional pain she felt when she met her Son carrying his cross; fifth, one could not possibly have hoped to console her as she stood beneath the cross of her Son in anguish; sixth, with a grief-stricken soul she took hold of the lifeless body of her Son after he was taken down from the cross; seventh, she must have cried and sobbed like any mother at the burial of her son.

Although she was conceived free from original sin and remained sinless throughout her life,
Mary suffered like any other mother would out of love and concern for her son. The brief moment
of physical pain during childbearing cannot compare with the spiritual and moral suffering
our Blessed Mother endured in her entire motherhood. Because of a mother’s love for a son,
our Lord could not prevent how she sorrowly felt for him. A mother’s love for her son is good in whatever form it is expressed and under any circumstances. But our Lord could have prevented that she not undergo the disgraceful experience of the curse of Eve, a form of pain that lies immeasurably beneath the dignity of the sorrows she endured because of her love for Jesus.

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


I respect your religion, nevertheless I think you would kindly understand that I am free to form my own opinion. We Ahmadis believe that Maryam died a natural death, and as some say, she is buried in Muree ( perhaps named after her name) a hilly resort near Islamabad Pakistan.
It should not surprise you, as we Ahmadis believe that Jesus did not die on Cross, he was delivered in a near dead position and laid in a tomb ( not a grave ) for treatment, when he gained consciouness he went to Galilee. From Galilee alongwith his mother Mary he went in search of ten lost tribes of house of Israel who were settled in the East. Jesus himself died a natural death in SiriNagar, Kashmir, India and is buried there. His mother died in the way and both are buried a few hundred miles apart.
Please be steadfast on your faith, there is no comulsion to believe what I say. This might add a little information.


First off, although I’m curious about many things, whether Mary had pain or not, died or not, isn’t that important, her importance to me as Christ’s mother and ours is. She is not any more holy one way or the other. That said, I was surprised to hear one priest say she didn’t even have Jesus the “natural way” because that would interfere with her virgin status (?) He said he came in a more supernatural way…just appeared on her stomach? Why do some people have a hard time with her giving birth, one of the most beautiful things as a woman we have. If she didn’t, fine, but it was never alluded too that she had him differently and I think some take it too far to seperate her from the rest of us. Recently a priest on EWTN said, she suffered pain, she suffered anguish, she suffered worry, her prayers weren’t always answered quickly, she must of been praying when Jesus disappeared, etc. she is a lot like us that way, so we can pray to her knowing she understands. Her holiness, sinlessness remains, but she was able to feel pain like Jesus. Seems reasonable


Dear Pat,

It’s hard to see how her death can be disputed, considering the words of Pope Pius XII in the very document by which he dogmatically defined the Assumption.

For some reason people like to say that the Apostolic Constitution “Munificentissimus Deus” by which Pope Pius XII established the dogma of the Assumption in 1950 makes no mention of whether Mary died or did not die. Obviously they have never read Pius XII’s own words.

One only has to read the document to see that the Pope teaches, in an exercise of his ordinary Magisterium, that she died. For example, he says:

"Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: “Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself.”


“As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb.”


“They offered more profound explanations of its meaning and nature, bringing out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt…”


“she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb…”


“What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?”

Al these quotes from the papal document defining the Assumption are incontrovertible proof that the Pope taught that Mary died and was buried in a tomb and from there she was resurrected by her Son.



Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to my, what may seem like a silly, question (especially in light of official Church teaching on the matter).:thumbsup:

So our blessed Mother did in fact die, was laid in a tomb where her body was kept incorrupt, and then it was assumed to heaven to be joined with her soul!:heaven:

That’s cool, now I know!

But, does anyone know if there is any **offical teaching **on whether or not she suffered pain during childbirth?

I know good people in both camps who are trying to convince me that they are right. I know Debraran said it doesn’t matter, but, it does get a little confusing, and it would be helpful to clear it up?:juggle:

The St. Bridget of Sweden quote is good, but I know before I even start that somone will give me the “That’s private revelation. You don’t HAVE to believe it” line.

Any other thoughts would be welcome.

Thanks and God bless:signofcross:


According to Sacred Scriptures and the infallible sacred teachings of the Church, moral
pain and suffering could not have existed before the Fall. What Shoemaker erroneously
infers from Genesis 3:16 contradicts fundamental Christian belief. He is misinterpreting the
verse to begin with and so his whole argument rests on a faulty premise. Taking the verse
in isolation does not indicate that pain and suffering existed in some measure before the
Fall. The positive integer you analogously draw could just as well appear after Adam and Eve
disobey God. We must look at the entire Second Creation Story in Genesis to see how
pain and suffering could not have existed before the Fall.

Man was originally created to exist in Paradise, the Garden of Eden. A paradise with even
the faintest trace of pain and suffering would be a contradiction. Adam was created good and
in perfect friendship with God and in harmony with himself and creation around him. As long
as he and his companion, Eve, remained completely in God’s friendship they would not have
to suffer pain and death. There was no need for them to suffer for any justifiable reason, for they
were not originally created with a need for redemption. To assert that pain and suffering would
be good for them makes no sense at all. And how could they have even possibly known about
the existence of pain and suffering, let alone the merits of redemptive suffering, for they had
not yet partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. By partaking of this forbidden fruit they
disobeyed God and their eyes were open. And at this point suffering and death entered the world. (Gen 2:15-17)

Shoemaker may have the wrong idea of what we mean by suffering and death. What the Bible means occurs at the time of the Fall, not before it. For Adam and Eve are presented to have existed in a state of blissful ignorance. We are talking about suffering and death brought about by man’s free will and disobedience, a suffering that takes on a moral and spiritual character in its physical nature. It involves a historical repercussion and a perpetual intensification until the end of time, with a tension between man and woman and between them and their world. (Gen 3:16-19) The integer appears and the multiplying begins at the moment their eyes are opened after partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in disobedience to God.

I will continue with Revelation 12 in my next reply.

Pax Vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


"My body lay entombed in the ground. Then it was taken up to Heaven with
infinite honour and rejoicing. There is no other human body in Heaven but
the glorious body of my Son and my body.

Far be it from me to contradict a saint, but this is incorrect, is it not? Weren’t Elijah and Moses assumed into heaven as well?

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