Did our Blessed Mother really die?-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Saturday, August 24, 2013
ANNUALLY, Assumption graduates and students converge to honor her blessed Assumption. So which ever part of the Philippines and the globe you are, there is reunion to celebrate this occasion.
Celebrated every year on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven.
However, many questions have been surfacing and being studied if Mary really did die. The arguments are that: a) there is no grave that is venerated as tomb of Mary; b) there is no relic of Our Lady’s body in existence and no person or city has ever claimed such (whereas there are many of saints and martyrs as to the Blessed Mother, there are no evidences of her sacred remains); c) it was not until the 5th century of Christianity that there is legend concerning her place of burial. Some say however, that she spent the last days of her life with the monks in Mt. Carmel where as a child, St. Ann, her mother, would always bring her.
It is universally accepted by the Christian faith that Jesus arose from the tomb and ascended into heaven by his own power. Mary’s body on the other hand, body was taken up to heaven by the power of her Son. Thus, two different terms are used: the Ascension of Christ and the Assumption of Mary.
It is Christian conviction that Christ willed His Mother to participate in all His prerogatives. From her Immaculate Conception she received the fullness of grace. She was immaculate, pure and sinless. As she had no stain of sin, was she entitled to immunity from corruption?
Father Canice says: "The womb that bore Jesus Christ, the hands that caressed him, the arms that embraced him, the breasts that nourished him, the heart that so loved him -- it is impossible to think that these crumbled into dust"
Pope Pius IX in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus argued that Christ's perfect victory over Satan included victory over sin and death. Mary, the Mother of God, most intimately participated with Jesus in His victory over Satan. She not only furnished the Flesh which Christ sacrificed for our Redemption, but she also had a definitive role of cooperation in this Redemption. Mary partook in the different and all parts of His triumph. Hence, she is associated with Him in his victory over death by her anticipated Resurrection and Assumption.
When Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, this raised the possibility of a dogmatic definition of the Assumption. Both are truths not found explicitly in the Bible. The Vatican was flooded with petitions for the definition between 1849 and 1940.
It was on May 1, 1946 that Pope Pius XII sent an Encyclical Letter ("Deiparae Virginis") to all the bishops of the world asking them to make known to him the belief and devotion of themselves, their clergy, and their people regarding the Assumption. 1185 bishops answered that the dogma could safely be defined, and only 16 questioned the advisability of the proclamation at that time. It was therefore a quasi-unanimity.
On November 1st of the Holy Year, 1950, the day after the closing of the 8th International Marian Congress, held that year in Rome, Pius XII solemnly defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. The exact words of the dogma of faith definition, extracted from the Bull "Munificentissimus Deus," were: "Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."
“Did Mary really have her last breath or did she just fall asleep? Apocalypse (12,13) says about the woman who was snatched from the dragon, that Mary escaped death. “If she did die, her death was kept hidden, that people might not think too carnally about Mary."
Mary received Christ on earth, so Christ in turn received Mary in heaven. I firmly believe that He raised her to Himself in His glory. As is written, the place of the Mother of God is in the splendors of eternal glory and not in the gloom of the tomb.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 24, 2013.