The Apostles and the Assumption

Is it church teaching that the apostles were present at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary? I just heard that they were and it is the first time I have heard it.

I don’t think the Church has definitively taught whether the Apostles were present at the Assumption or not. In my missal it says that they found the tomb to be empty on the third day after her death.

All the Apostles were there, according to
The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.

Thanks for sharing this! :thumbsup:

The Church doesn’t even teach that Our Blessed Mother actually died!! Saints only give their “opinion.” It is one of God’s Beautiful Mysteries.It was a Precious Moment between Mary and Her God!!. God Bless,Memaw

This is unbelievable!! :eek:

The Holy Bible says nothing about the death of the Blessed Mother…but this "account of St. John goes on & on for pages.

Something’s wrong here! :rolleyes:

That’s why it’s called Apocrypha and isn’t in the Bible.

These sorts of apocryphal stories are supposed to read like we’d read a historical novel. The attribution of this particular one just means that it was written from John’s viewpoint. But they are also supposed to be based on historical events, as handed down in Christian tradition. Hence all the different stories which are combined into one story.

There’s another similar account that’s written from Joseph of Arimathea’s point of view, where some of the events are recounted differently and apparently come from a different strain of tradition. (Hence this author is known as Pseudo-Joseph of Arimathea.) There’s also one written from no particular point of view of a witness, but as if written by the notable bishop St. Melito of Sardis. (Hence he’s called Pseudo-Melito.) There are probably others too.

But the point is that they didn’t make things up or introduce any new material. Apocryphal historical tales were about gathering up all kinds of oral information that the readers already knew, and presenting it in an organized written way.

The Church doesn’t accept it…we can believe she died or was assumed alive.

It is only logical that at least several would have been there… She was a big deal, you know, and at least some of them would have been working in the area.

Thank you!

One can read Munificentissimus Deus as leaving open the question about whether Mary died or not when it said that Mary was taken to Heaven “having completed the course of her earthly life.” However, it does make a lot of references to and still presupposes the belief that she did die first before being assumed - which was the more ancient idea.

  1. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. 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.”(11)

…] 20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ’s faithful. They presented it more clearly. 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, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

  1. Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. “It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.”

  2. These words of St. John Damascene agree perfectly with what others have taught on this same subject. Statements no less clear and accurate are to be found in sermons delivered by Fathers of an earlier time or of the same period, particularly on the occasion of this feast. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. “You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life.” And another very ancient writer asserts: “As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him.”

…] 35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: “What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?” And St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."

Also see Pope St. John Paul II’s words here.

Concerning the end of Mary’s earthly life, the Council uses the terms of the Bull defining the dogma of the Assumption and states: “The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over” (Lumen gentium, n. 59). With this formula, the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, following my Venerable Predecessor Pius XII, made no pronouncement on the question of Mary’s death. Nevertheless, Pius XII did not intend to deny the fact of her death, but merely did not judge it opportune to affirm solemnly the death of the Mother of God as a truth to be accepted by all believers.

Some theologians have in fact maintained that the Blessed Virgin did not die and and was immediately raised from earthly life to heavenly glory. However, this opinion was unknown until the 17th century, whereas a common tradition actually exists which sees Mary’s death as her entry into heavenly glory.

Could Mary of Nazareth have experienced the drama of death in her own flesh? Reflecting on Mary’s destiny and her relationship with her divine Son, it seems legitimate to answer in the affirmative: since Christ died, it would be difficult to maintain the contrary for his Mother.

…] It is true that in Revelation death is presented as a punishment for sin. However, the fact that the Church proclaims Mary free from original sin by a unique divine privilege does not lead to the conclusion that she also received physical immortality. The Mother is not superior to the Son who underwent death, giving it a new meaning and changing it into a means of salvation.

Involved in Christ’s redemptive work and associated in his saving sacrifice, Mary was able to share in his suffering and death for the sake of humanity’s Redemption. What Severus of Antioch says about Christ also applies to her: “Without a preliminary death, how could the Resurrection have taken place?” (Antijulianistica, Beirut 1931, 194f.). To share in Christ’s Resurrection, Mary had first to share in his death.

…] The experience of death personally enriched the Blessed Virgin: by undergoing mankind’s common destiny, she can more effectively exercise her spiritual motherhood towards those approaching the last moment of their life.

Wow Patrick457…you must have a lot of time on your hands to write these essays. :eek:

Yeah, just about enough to hit CTRL+C and CTRL+V on my keyboard. :cool:

This subject has arisen before, the most ancient traditions are that she fell asleep and was then assumed. In other words that she died. At present Catholics can of course believe she did die or not due to the fact that the matter has not been absolutely settled one way or the other. However the view she did not died is of fairly recent vintage. The Church teaches that as it stands Catholics may believe shed died or did not, it does not teach that she definitely did not although the balance of evidence and commentary seems to incline to the view that she fell ‘asleep in the Lord’.

Her death was long celebrated in the liturgy of the Church before the great schism (the feast of the Dormition of Mary), so the fact of her death prior to her bodily assumtion was definitely the teaching of the Catholic Church. If it is in the liturgy, it is the teaching of the Church, no question.

Why would it be “logical” that Our Blessed Mother would have died?? She was sinless. And the Church has NEVER officially taught that she died. In my “Opinion” that moment was SO PRECIOUS to Mary and Her GOD that we are NOT privileged to it!! God Bless, Memaw

That is still NOT dogma. Just opinions. God Bless, Memaw

I certainly view her as having died myself, unfortunately in the last few centuries in the west a view that she did not has evolved and it was what I was taught growing up as was my father. My father regards the view she died as ‘wicked’ and that what he was taught is ‘how it has always been’ and that I am making up the older view. This is a view shared by a number of older relatives in fact.

This is the logical fallacy of proving a negative. It has never officially taught she did or did not die.

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