Question About Mary's Assumption into Heaven

Why did Mary have to “fall asleep” before being assumed into Heaven, but not Elijah? Isn’t Mary greater than Elijah? Thanks.

Whether or not Mary died before her Assumption is for some reason a hot button issue on these forums. But regarding her “dormition,” as it is called, one comment I’ve seen from theologians is that Mary desired to follow the course of her son, who first died and rose again. I didn’t phrase that perfectly, but I hope you take my meaning. Also, in her dormition and assumption she is an archetype for the Church and all Christian believers and our hope in dying and rising again in a bodily resurrection.


If Mary did fall asleep (and as noted above, it’s not something you’re obligated to believe one way or another), it would not have been a “lesser” assumption than that of Elijah; it would have been a rewarding mercy.


Makes perfect sense. Thanks for your reply.

I see what you’re saying. In other words, Mary’s dormition before her assumption is actually evidence of her greater humility, and therefore, her greater dignity.

We don’t know for sure she did this. The Catholic Church does not take an official position on whether she died or “fell asleep” before being assumed into Heaven. It is tradition that she did die first, but that’s not part of the dogma of the Assumption, so you don’t have to believe that she did, and many Latin Catholics including priests I have met don’t believe it.

I suspect it’s because the Eastern Catholic churches do teach the Dormition of Mary, so it’s one of those East vs. West things.
I noted that when I went to the Holy Land with a group of Latin Catholics, the Church of the Dormition was not on the tour schedule. It seemed a rather glaring omission, given that we saw everything else concerned with Mary’s life.

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We don’t know if she died then was assumed or right before. But it doesn’t matter because she was able to be with Her Creator the Father, Her Savior the Son and Her spouse the Holy Spirit again and for eternity.

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We don’t know that Elijah went to Heaven directly. In fact, since only Christ opened the gates of Heaven, the ‘assumption of Elijah’ would contradict this.

It was believed that Mary was baried with john in Ephesian but her body was not found or located. Some believe she lived out her life in glasenburry. But her body was not locared

The difference between Elijah and Mary is this. Elijah was taken into heaven but his body was not resurrected. Mary however was resurrected. It is the tradition of the Eastern Churches that Mary had fallen asleep in order to give up her spirit. than after a few days her spirit returned to her body as the Lord resurrected His Mother into Heaven. Her Assumption occurred after the Lord resurrected her. This teaching was confirmed to a revelation to St. Brigitte of Sweden. The Holy Mother told the saint she freely had given up her spirit and afterwards the Lord returned her spirit to her body to be resurrected.

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