Skip to comments.Why Catholics Believe in the Assumption of Mary
Posted on 08/15/2005 9:01:28 AM PDT by Salvation
|Why Catholics Believe in the Assumption of Mary
|My friend Margie, who teaches two- to three-year-olds in our parish religious education program, says that the secret to teaching this age group is a healthy prayer life. The week she taught her class about the Assumption of Mary, Margie spent a long time on her knees.
She was stumped. How is it possible to explain this to a two-year-old?
Immaculate in her conception, a spotless virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble companion of the divine Redeemer Who won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, she finally obtained as the crowning glory of her privileges to be preserved from the corruption of the tomb and like her Son before her, to conquer death and to be raised body and soul to the glory of heaven, to shine refulgent as Queen at the right hand of the Son, the immortal King of ages [cf. 1 Tm 1:17].Although this was the first time the doctrine was formally defined, it should be noted that belief in the Assumption of Mary has long been a part of our faith tradition. There are three strong arguments for this tradition: Scripture, the devotional practices of the early Church, and the writings of the Church Fathers.
The concept of the Assumption is not unprecedented in Scripture. The Bible gives three examples of people who did not experience death the normal way: Enoch (Gn 5:25), Elijah (2 Kgs 2:9-11), and Moses (Dt 34:5-7, Jude 1:9). Both Moses and Elijah are visible at Christs Transfiguration (see Mk 9:4-5; Mt 17:3).
There is no explicit statement in Scripture about Marys death, any more than it gives us details about the end of Josephs life or the deaths of most of the Apostles. These things have been preserved for us through Church Tradition, and particularly through her liturgical and devotional practices.
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I guess this isn't any harder to believe than the what the LDS belief that Jesus came to the Americas and taught the indigenous people that the only way to heaven was through him.
Where is John the Baptist's and can you prove it's him? This is the dumbest reason to make up a doctrine about Mary that I've ever seen.
Wasn't a chapel recently found in Judea that was supposed to be the tomb of Mary? I seem to remember something in FR about it.
Jesus is God. God is perfect. Mary is God's mother. Mary is perfect. God was with Mary's body here. Mary's body is with God in Heaven. Could be nowhere else. Perfect. [However if you don't believe Mary is the mother of God like I do, you could have a problem with this, sorry for you.]
In all due respect, where does one go for Scriptural support regarding this matter?
Not sure, I seem to remember it was in the eastern desert somewhere. Seem to remember that it had a Byzantine era chapel around it. I will try to look it up.
Some of those Anglican Catholics have a love for Mary that puts a lot of the AmChurch to shame.
The tomb of the Blessed Virgin is venerated in the Valley of Cedron, near Jerusalem. Modern writers hold, however, that Mary died and was buried at Ephesus. The main points of the question to be taken into consideration are as follows.
Testimony in favor of Jerusalem
The apocryphal works of the second to the fourth century are all favourable to the Jerusalem tradition. According to the "Acts of St. John by Prochurus", written (160-70) by Lencius, the Evangelist went to Ephesus accompanied by Prochurus alone and at a very advanced age, i.e. after Mary's death. The two letters "B. Inatii missa S. Joanni", written about 370, show that the Blessed Virgin passed the remainder of her days at Jerusalem. That of Dionysius the Areopagite to the Bishop Titus (363), the "Joannis liber de Dormitione Mariae" (third to fourth century), and the treatise "De transitu B.M. Virginis" (fourth century) place her tomb at Gethsemane. From an historical standpoint these works, although apocryphal, have a real value, reflecting as they do the tradition of the early centuries. At the beginning of the fifth century a pilgrim from Armenia visited "the tomb of the Virgin in the valley of Josaphat", and about 431 the "Breviarius de Hierusalem" mentions in that valley "the basilica of Holy Mary, which contains her sepulchre". Thenceforth pilgrims of various rites repaired thither to venerate the empty tomb of Mary. St. Gregory of Tours, St. Modestus, St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Andrew, bishop of Crete, John of Thessalonica, Hippolytus of Thebes, and Venerable Bede teach this same fact and bear witness that this tradition was accepted by all the Churches of East and West. St. John Damascene, preaching on the feast of the Assumption at Gethsemane, recalls that, according to the "Euthymian History", III, xl (written probably by Cyril of Scythopolis in the fifth century), Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem, sent to Constantinople in 452 at the command of the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, his wife, the Shroud of the Blessed Virgin preserved in the church of Gethsemane (P.G., XCVI, 747-51). The relic has since been venerated in that city at the Church of Our Lady of Blachernae.
Testimony in favor of Ephesus
There was never any tradition connecting Mary's death and burial with the city of Ephesus. Not a single writer or pilgrim speaks of her tomb as being there; and in the thirteenth century Perdicas, prothonotary of Ephesus, visited "the glorious tomb of the Virgin at Gethsemane", and describes it in his poem (P.G., CXXXIII, 969). In a letter sent in 431 by the members of the Council of Ephesus to the clergy of Constantinople we read that Nestorius "reached the city of Ephesus where John the Theologian and the Mother of God, the Holy Virgin, were separated from the assembly of the holy Fathers", etc. Tillemont has completed the elliptical phrase by adding arbitrarily, "have their tombs". He is followed by a few writers. According to the meditations of Sister Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824), compiled and published in 1852, the Blessed Virgin died and was buried not at Ephesus but three or four leagues south of the city. She is followed by those who accept her visions or meditations as Divine revelations. However, St. Brigid relates that at the time of her visit to the church of Gethsemane the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and spoke to her of her stay of three days in that place and of her Assumption into Heaven. The revelations of Ven. Maria d'Agreda do not contradict those of Catherine Emmerich.
The Church of the Sepulchre of Mary
As the soil is considerably raised in the Valley of the Cedron, the ancient Church of the Sepulchre of Mary is completely covered and hidden. A score of steps descend from the road into the court (see Plan: B), at the back of which is a beautiful twelfth century porch (C). It opens on a monumental stairway of forty-eight steps. The twentieth step leads into the Church built in the fifth century, to a great extent cut from the rock. It forms a cross of unequal arms (D). In the centre of the eastern arm, 52 feet long and 20 feet wide is the glorious tomb of the Mother of Christ. It is a little room with a bench hewn from the rocky mass in imitation of the tomb of Christ. This has given it the shape of a cubical edicule, about ten feet in circumference and eight feet high. Until the fourteenth century the little monument was covered with magnificent marble slabs and the walls of the church were covered with frescoes. Since 1187 the tomb has been the property of the Muslim Government which nevertheless authorizes the Christians to officiate in it.
Here is part of it.
I can't remember, maybe it was in BAR, but there was an article about how a small chapel in the side of a mountain was found. I will keep looking.