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Scott P. Richert

Did Mary Die?

By August 14, 2013

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Every August, as our celebration of the Assumption of Mary approaches, readers ask the same question: Did Mary die before she was assumed into Heaven? An icon of the Holy Dormition of the Mother of God, written by Fr. Thomas Loya, at the Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

In my discussions of the Assumption here on the About.com Catholicism GuideSite, I have often stated that "The Assumption reflects the honor that Christ accorded to His Mother, an honor so great that He did not allow her body to suffer decay after her death." In response, one reader has accused me of spouting heresy!

Nothing could be further from the truth. While Pope Pius XII did not directly address the question of Mary's death in his definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, the document in which he defined the dogma (Munificentissimus Deus) relies heavily on the tradition, found in both the East and the West, that Mary died before she was assumed into Heaven.

For more information on that universal tradition, see Did the Virgin Mary Die Before Her Assumption?

An icon of the Holy Dormition of the Mother of God, written by Fr. Thomas Loya, at the Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

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Comments
August 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(1) Graham says:

This is such an easy thing to clear already.

The Orthodox believes that Mary died, and was assumed into Heaven 3 days later. God did this because According to ancient Jewish laws, that on the 4th day, the body sees corruption.

On top of this, Pope Pius said “….HAVING COMPLETED THE COURSE OF HER EARTHLY LIFE…..”

What do you think that means?

November 24, 2012 at 4:33 am
(2) John says:

I read John’s so-called account of Mary’s assumption into heaven. In reading the first paragraph alone, it is nothing but fiction. Mary was NOT a virgin her entire life. The bible clearly states this. Furthermore, Mary would NOT have gone to Jesus’ tomb everyday, as she witnessed him alive after his crucifixionand resurrection, and witnessed him ascending into heaven on Pentecost. Who would attend the grave of a loved one KNOWING and WITNESSING that person was alive? No one! The account is a LIE! And believing that Mary is alive in heaven is akin to calling our Lord a liar. Shame on those that promote this heresy!

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