Mary's assumption


This is more an apologetics question, but it didn’t seem to fit into any of the categories.

If Mary’s body was assumed into heaven then does that mean that physical matter can exist in heaven? I always thought heaven was just for the spiritual.

I believe the doctrine, but can’t wrap my brain around it.


All of our bodies will be taken either to heaven or hell after the Last Day to join our souls. Remember the creed? “We believe in the resurrection of the body”. That goes for all of us. Mary, along with Enoch and Elijah, just received the honour a little early :slight_smile:

Certainly material substance (including physical bodies) exists in heaven. But not as we know it or them.

Think in terms of Christ’s body after the resurrection - he could pass through walls and ‘disguise’ his appearance so people didn’t recognise him straight away. He still had the wounds of his crucifixion - and they were real, Thomas felt them - but apparently no lnger suffered pain from them.

Nonetheless his body was real - he ate with the Apostles and so on. He gives us a hint of what we will be like - still physical but somewhat different.


If Mary’s body was assumed into heaven then does that mean that physical matter can exist in heaven? I always thought heaven was just for the spiritual.

You’ve asked a good question, Mike.

“Resurrection” does not mean the mere physical resuscitation of a lifeless corpse which carries on as it did before (as in the case of Lazarus, who later died again). Don’t forget, that as St. Paul points out in 1 Cor 15, the QUALITY of the resurrected body is changed and glorified. This is what happened to Jesus. This is what happened to the most holy Theotokos.

And, by God’s mercy, this is what will happen to us.

Hints of what the glorfied resurrected body can do are given in the Resurrection accounts.


That goes for all of us. Mary, along with Enoch and Elijah, just received the honour a little early

Ummmmm…Unlike the Virgin, neither Enoch or Elijan never died. According to the Fathers, they are the “two witnesses” in Revelation who will be martyred by the Antichrist and be resurrected a few days later.

Do not be scandalized at the idea that the Theotokos died. Why should be different from her divine Son in this respect? But like her Son, death could not hold her. The Resurrection has in her case been anticipated and is an accomplished fact, and she lives totally in the Age to Come.


Something i found worth posting

n Byzantine icons and Western medieval art, the most common deathbed scene is that of the Virgin Mary. In her study of Marian iconography, Gertrud Schiller reproduced more than 100 images of Mary reclining in bed surrounded by the apostles who grieve, pray, and in late medieval art perform the rites for the dying. In these images, Jesus either stands at the bedside or hovers above it, and holds Mary’s soul in the form of a young child. This scene reflects the belief that Mary was the mother of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, and therefore enjoyed the privilege of an especially holy death.

Yet the Bible says nothing about Mary’s death. This silence, combined with growing devotion to Mary, allowed new material to flourish. The deathbed scene is derived from apocryphal narratives describing Mary’s last days and dying, as well as her funeral, burial, resurrection, and assumption into heaven. Versions of this story survive in Syriac and Greek texts dating from the third to the fifth centuries. Emperor Maurice (582–602) set August 15 for the feast of Mary’s Dormition (Koimesis, or “falling asleep”) throughout the Byzantine church, and since the late seventh century the Roman church has celebrated Mary’s Assumption on the same date. Once the feast was officially placed in church calendars, its narratives shaped preaching, doctrine, and art.

In the earliest surviving Greek sermon celebrating Mary’s death, the bishop John of Thessalonica (610–649) claims to have edited the different accounts of her death and to tell “only what truly happened” (Daley 1998, p. 49). An angel told Mary that she would die in three days. She summoned her relatives and friends to stay with her for two nights, and asked them to “sing praise instead of mourning.” The apostle John arrived, followed by the other apostles who had been carried on clouds from all corners of the earth. During the second night Peter preached, urging all present to “take courage” from Mary and to live virtuously in preparation for their own deaths. The next day Mary lay down in her bed, and Jesus arrived with many angels. When he and the angel Michael entered Mary’s room, “Mary brought the course of her life to its fulfillment, her face turned smilingly towards the Lord. And the Lord took her soul and placed it in the hands of Michael” (Daley 1998, p. 63). The funeral followed, but was delayed when an enraged chief priest attacked the bier; his hands stuck to the bier and were amputated until he repented, praised Mary in Hebrew, and was healed. Three days after the burial, the apostles opened Mary’s sarcophagus, “but found only her grave-garments; for she had been taken away by Christ, the God who became flesh from her, to the place of her eternal, living inheritance” (Daley 1998, p. 67).

Hope it helps


Is this the name of the book “Daley 1998”?

If not, could you post the name? Or is it online?


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