Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Tomorrow, August 15, is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  It is a Holy Day of Obligation as well as a Solemnity – the highest kind of holy day.  But why do we celebrate this feast day?  Where is it in the Bible?

The Feast of the Assumption is one of those Catholic Traditions that, while not in the Bible, the Church holds fast to because of its early and widespread belief in the Christian community.  In the sixth century, this feast became a Catholic holy day celebrated worldwide.

A document entitled, “The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” tells of Mary’s last days, death, and her assumption into Heaven.  Written from the perspective of St. John the Evangelist, to whom Jesus entrusted his mother while hanging on the cross, the document tells of how while Mary was praying at the tomb of the resurrection of her son, Gabriel the Archangel Gabriel came to her – the same Gabriel who had told Mary about becoming the mother of Christ.  Archangel Gabriel told her that she would reach the end of her life very soon and would be rejoined with her beloved Son in Heaven.

Upon hearing these words, she decided to return to Bethlehem.  Praying to the Holy Spirit, she asked that the apostles come to her.  They were caught up by the Holy Spirit in their many locations and were transported to Jerusalem in the clouds.  With much prayer, devotion, and rejoicing with the apostles, those both alive and who had died, she praised the Lord saying, “Glory to You, my God and my Lord, because there has been fulfilled in me whatsoever You promised to me before you ascended into the heavens, that when I should depart from this world You would come to me, and the multitude of Your angels, with glory.

After praying, Christ, her son, appeared to them all and spoke to them and blessed them.  The Virgin Mary’s face shown brighter than light and then Christ reached out and received her soul.

The apostles took Mary’s holy body to a tomb in the Garden of Gethsemane where they placed her.  For three days, the voices of angels were heard singing praises and glorifying God.  A sweet perfume poured forth from the tomb and after three days the heavenly voices ceased as Mary’s incorrupt body had been taken to Heaven to be reunited with her soul, as Christ had promised her.


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