Author Topic: Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?  (Read 6999 times)

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Offline sedevacantist

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Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
« on: July 26, 2016, 02:52:17 PM »
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  • Did the Mother of God die? 
    I don't believe so. And here's why…

    Her death would have caused irreparable harm to our relationship with her. That is to say, it would have caused an unnecessary psychological break in an otherwise intimate bond – a bond that reason tells us God would wish us to enjoy with our Mother; and which would ultimately be of a greater benefit to our spiritual life.

    In short, the human mind has a tendency to perceive those who die as ultimately disconnected from the rest of us – and for good reason. In a sense, they are disconnected. They've passed over into another realm. Another dimension. They no longer live among us. They’re dead. And because of this, our psyche’s perception of them has irrevocably changed. Not only are they no longer with us here on earth – brothers and sisters under the same sky – but they are no longer even of the same nature as we are. This is an unavoidable fact, and the effect it has on the mind is irreversible. The result is a profound psychological break in an otherwise intimate bond.

    This perceived loss of connection is perfectly natural, based as it is upon truth. And even though it could be somewhat lessened, it can never be reversed altogether. This is so true that even if one were to appear in a physical form after death, our perception would change very little in regard to the fact that they are disconnected from us. Our conviction that they are alive (in a sense) would undoubtedly be strengthened. Nevertheless, they would hardly achieve the intimate connection previously enjoyed with us here on earth.

    This was one of the obstacles Christ faced after His resurrection, and I believe one of the reasons why He chose thereafter to appear numerous times in physical form to His Apostles and disciples. He was trying to bridge the gap, as it were. Remember what He said to them as He appeared in the upper room, "Spirits do not have flesh and bone as you see Me to have." No doubt He was trying to minimize the effect of His death on their psyche. He even sat down to eat in front of them in an attempt to strengthen their belief that He was real, alive, and at least to some degree still connected to them. Why else would He ask for something to eat? Certainly, His Glorified body no longer suffered from hunger. These repeated appearances in physical form following His resurrection were crucial, not only because they absolutely convinced the Apostles of His Divinity, but also because they assured them of the reality of His ongoing and intimate connection with them. It was of the utmost importance that they knew He would be right there with them, literally, until the end.

    Again, the point is that the mind has a natural tendency to perceive a disconnection with one who has died. It's perfectly normal. And we all suffer from it. So now let's apply this unfortunate consequence to God's plan in regard to the Mother of God, and see if it benefits, or harms that plan.

    Prior to The Fall, Adam and God walked and talked as friends in the Garden of Eden. Adam knew and understood God as closely as anyone could know Him. He knew God was gentle, humble, kind and infinitely generous with all that He had. The two were as close as any friends could possibly be. During this time, had someone warned Adam that he should be afraid of God, he would have laughed them to scorn. "Are you insane?", he would tell them. "Why on earth should I be afraid of God? He wants nothing but what is absolutely best for me.” And yet, after The Fall, what happened? Adam heard God walking in the Garden, and he was afraid. So much so, that he actually ran away and hid. What happened? Somehow, Adam no longer knew God as he did earlier. Now he was afraid of Him.

    Unfortunately, mankind now shares in this same fearful attitude. Because of our sinful nature, we no longer know God. We too are afraid of Him. Nor, as long as we sin against Him, are we even capable of the intimate friendship once experienced by Adam in the Garden. This misconceived sense of fear in the presence of God – and unavoidable consequence of our Fallen Nature – is precisely why He has raised up a humble and gentle woman to be our intercessor, our Mother. And not just a mother, but the most humble, gentle, merciful, kind and generous mother who has ever lived. How could anyone be afraid of her? “Go to her”, God tells us. “You’re afraid of Me… let her be your refuge. Let her be your intercessor. When you sin, turn to her for mercy.”

    Even before the creation of the world, God determined that Mary was not only going to be the Mother of His Son, but also the Mother of all the Elect as well. This has been her appointed destiny from all eternity. And not only was she to be our Mother, but also our protector, our guide, our hope, our refuge, and our greatest comfort. She is to be the dispenser of every grace we receive throughout our entire life. Moreover, she is the image of God’s Merciful Heart, and the very personification of His boundless love for man. Ultimately, she is the one person whom God has appointed as the means of consolation, sanctification, and salvation for all of His children. 

    Now we begin to understand why God would prefer we experience as intimate a connection with Mary as humanly possible – a connection that would be inevitably damaged had she died. In the end, let’s remember that everything God does is absolutely perfect. This reason alone should convince us that He would have preserved her from death. The benefits far outweigh any conceivable purpose in her dying. And even though she now resides in Heaven, and has certainly undergone a transformation in glory surpassing all the Saints and Angels combined; nonetheless, having never died, she remains intimately connected to us here on earth. In a very real sense, she is alive – and has never left us.

    Offline JohnAnthonyMarie

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 03:16:30 PM »
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  • Quote from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II, pp. 6-7
      Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death, nothing certain is known. Epiphanius (d. 403) acknowledged that he knew nothing definite about it (Hær., lxxix, 11). The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ's Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus; common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown [Nirschl, Haus und Grab der allerh. Jungfrau (Mainz, 1900); Mommert, Die Dormitio (Leipzig, 1900)]; but in 1906, J. Niesen brought forth new arguments in favor of Ephesus (Panagia Kapuli, Dülmen, 1906). The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem. The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise "De Obitu S. Dominæ", bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book "De Transitu Virginis", falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious. St. John of Damascus (P. G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem:

        St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven."

        Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous.
    Omnes pro Christo


    Offline songbird

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 03:19:57 PM »
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  • Why would she not have a death as Christ did?  She was buried, was she not?

    Offline Lighthouse

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 11:42:22 PM »
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  • Quote
    Did the Mother of God die?
    I don't believe so. And here's why…


    Who really gives a penny for what YOU "believe"?  The Church has decided this. I'm sorry She didn't email you for permission.  Look up the Dormition and try to figure out what it is talking about.

    Offline Johnfollower

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 09:57:30 AM »
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  • The church has not infallibly decided on whether or not Mary died. In 1950 when it was defined that Mary assumed into heaven, then question remained open as to whether or not she died. However, it has been almost the unanimous opinion among church theologians that Mary did in fact die. But there has always remained an openness to the possibility that Mary's dormition did not include physical death.

    Quote from: Lighthouse
    Quote
    Did the Mother of God die?
    I don't believe so. And here's why…


    Who really gives a penny for what YOU "believe"?  The Church has decided this. I'm sorry She didn't email you for permission.  Look up the Dormition and try to figure out what it is talking about.


    Offline OHCA

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 10:04:27 AM »
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  • Quote from: Lighthouse
    Quote
    Did the Mother of God die?
    I don't believe so. And here's why…


    Who really gives a penny for what YOU "believe"?  The Church has decided this. I'm sorry She didn't email you for permission.  Look up the Dormition and try to figure out what it is talking about.


    I agree.  The OP was about as amusing as sitting around listening to a bunch of inbred backwoods protestants trying to decide whether Jesus had a belly-button or not.

    Offline OHCA

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 10:07:22 AM »
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  • Death is a consequence of original sin.  Mary was protected from the blemish of original sin.  Of course, Christ didn't have original sin either.  But his death was a divinely planned sacrifice.

    Offline TKGS

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 10:25:02 AM »
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  • Quote from: sedevacantist
    Did the Mother of God die? 
    I don't believe so. And here's why…


    I would like to remind the membership that this is not a doctrine of sedevacantists.  This is merely the belief of a poster whose screen name is "sedevacantist".

    I thought it important to point this out because too many members seem to like to attribute to all sedevacantist every doctrine they ever hear any sedevacantist utter.


    Offline Miseremini

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 10:35:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: OHCA
    Death is a consequence of original sin.  Mary was protected from the blemish of original sin.  Of course, Christ didn't have original sin either.  But his death was a divinely planned sacrifice.


    10 thumbs up
    Mary also didn't suffer the pains of Childbirth either and the church teaches that she
    didn't need the purification after childbirth although she submitted to it as an example of obedience to the law.
    "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and them that hate Him flee from before His Holy Face"  Psalm 67:2[/b]


    Offline MyrnaM

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #9 on: July 27, 2016, 11:04:58 AM »
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  • There is no official teaching on this point by the Church.  We recently had a discussion about this at a group meeting with the priest present, and he said we are allowed at this time to think about it either way since it is not a dogma.  

    I was taught that she was given a choice and choose to experience death as her Son did, the separation of body and soul. (Again just a pious belief, not dogma)  My question is was her soul united with her body while her body was on earth separated from her soul? Or, did her soul come down, entered back into her body before the angels assumed her into Heaven or did the angels carry her dead body up to Heaven and then it was united with her soul?  I prefer to think the latter.  

    Offline cassini

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 02:46:52 PM »
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  • It seems to me that as evidence of her freedom from Original Sin, Our Lady did not actually die before being assumed into heaven.

    One also has to consider her position as the only human being (besides Christ, God Himself) without Original Sin. As another poster said, Christ chose to die when He did. Which leaves Mary. Was she to get older and older forever? Indeed did this freedom from OS prevent her body ageing? If so was she supposed to live in the same body forever on earth? Hardly.

    As a compromise I see Mary 'dying' or in a state or age that others of her time would die from. And that is when Her son Jesus told His angels to take her up to Him in Heaven.



    Offline klasG4e

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #11 on: July 27, 2016, 06:40:24 PM »
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  • MyrnaM
    Quote
    There is no official teaching on this point by the Church. We recently had a discussion about this at a group meeting with the priest present, and he said we are allowed at this time to think about it either way since it is not a dogma.


    Welll said!

    For whatever it may be worth -- we read this from a remarkably holy person, none other than Ven. Maria de Agreda (whose body remains incorrupt to this day) in The Mystical City of God: "She pronounced these words of her Son on the Cross: 'Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit'  Then she closed her virginal eyes and expired.  The sickness which took away her life was love, without any other weakness or accidental intervention of whatever kind.  She died at the moment when the divine power suspended the assistance, which until then had counteracted the sensible ardors of her burning love of God.  As soon as this miraculous assistance was withdrawn, the fire of her love consumed the life-humors of her heart and thus caused the cessation of her earthly existence."

    Later in the same chapter of the work we read the following reputed words of the Blessed Mother: "Hence, I chose death freely in order to imitate and follow Him, as also I did during his grievous passion.  Since I had seen my Son and true God die, I would not have satisfied the love I owed Him, if I had refused death, and I would have left a great gap in my conformity to and my imitation of my Lord the Godman, whereas He wished me to bear a great likeness to Him in his most sacred humanity."

    Offline cassini

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 06:51:29 AM »
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  • Quote from: klasG4e
    MyrnaM
    Quote
    There is no official teaching on this point by the Church. We recently had a discussion about this at a group meeting with the priest present, and he said we are allowed at this time to think about it either way since it is not a dogma.


    Welll said!

    For whatever it may be worth -- we read this from a remarkably holy person, none other than Ven. Maria de Agreda (whose body remains incorrupt to this day) in The Mystical City of God: "She pronounced these words of her Son on the Cross: 'Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit'  Then she closed her virginal eyes and expired.  The sickness which took away her life was love, without any other weakness or accidental intervention of whatever kind.  She died at the moment when the divine power suspended the assistance, which until then had counteracted the sensible ardors of her burning love of God.  As soon as this miraculous assistance was withdrawn, the fire of her love consumed the life-humors of her heart and thus caused the cessation of her earthly existence."

    Later in the same chapter of the work we read the following reputed words of the Blessed Mother: "Hence, I chose death freely in order to imitate and follow Him, as also I did during his grievous passion.  Since I had seen my Son and true God die, I would not have satisfied the love I owed Him, if I had refused death, and I would have left a great gap in my conformity to and my imitation of my Lord the Godman, whereas He wished me to bear a great likeness to Him in his most sacred humanity."


    Perfect klasG4e. I will gladly think of Mary setting the precedent for Maria de Agreda. Many thanks

    Offline snowball

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 11:46:37 AM »
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  • Quote from: cassini
    It seems to me that as evidence of her freedom from Original Sin, Our Lady did not actually die before being assumed into heaven.

    One also has to consider her position as the only human being (besides Christ, God Himself) without Original Sin. As another poster said, Christ chose to die when He did. Which leaves Mary. Was she to get older and older forever? Indeed did this freedom from OS prevent her body ageing? If so was she supposed to live in the same body forever on earth? Hardly.

    As a compromise I see Mary 'dying' or in a state or age that others of her time would die from. And that is when Her son Jesus told His angels to take her up to Him in Heaven.


    We have no evidence that Mary aged more than the point upon
    which God perfected Her.  
    To say that she aged past a certain point would suggest she
    died a natural death, which we do not have to believe.

    Once the Divine Will acted upon her, her passing can be
    thought of as a "completion" more than a real death.
    Her duty done, God just took her, like Elijah and Enoch.
     
    Still, we are also free to surmise that she died a natural death
    but was assumed into Heaven body and soul. This would
    suggest she was sacrificed, for there is no other way except
    sacrifice that a being without Original Sin may experience
    physical corruption and death.

    It's ok to conceive of one of these one day, and the other the next,
    because both views are acceptable.

    Offline sedevacantist

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    Did Mary die prior to her Assumption?
    « Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 09:04:01 PM »
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  • Quote from: snowball
    Quote from: cassini
    It seems to me that as evidence of her freedom from Original Sin, Our Lady did not actually die before being assumed into heaven.

    One also has to consider her position as the only human being (besides Christ, God Himself) without Original Sin. As another poster said, Christ chose to die when He did. Which leaves Mary. Was she to get older and older forever? Indeed did this freedom from OS prevent her body ageing? If so was she supposed to live in the same body forever on earth? Hardly.

    As a compromise I see Mary 'dying' or in a state or age that others of her time would die from. And that is when Her son Jesus told His angels to take her up to Him in Heaven.


    We have no evidence that Mary aged more than the point upon
    which God perfected Her.  
    To say that she aged past a certain point would suggest she
    died a natural death, which we do not have to believe.

    Once the Divine Will acted upon her, her passing can be
    thought of as a "completion" more than a real death.
    Her duty done, God just took her, like Elijah and Enoch.
     
    Still, we are also free to surmise that she died a natural death
    but was assumed into Heaven body and soul. This would
    suggest she was sacrificed, for there is no other way except
    sacrifice that a being without Original Sin may experience
    physical corruption and death.

    It's ok to conceive of one of these one day, and the other the next,
    because both views are acceptable.




    When Mary reached her prime, she never aged another day. This is perfectly consistent with a nature untouched by the ravages of sin - which ultimately engenders corruption, deterioration and death. On the contrary, there was never the slightest hint of any imperfection in the body of the Mother of God - to the least molecule. She was absolutely perfect until her last moment on this earth. In this regard, it's interesting to note that the story of Mary's death originates from none other than a man who denied the incorruptibility of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His name was St. John the Theologian. As is evident from his account, he believed Mary was subject to corruption and death as any other descendant of Adam. He even describes her as laying on a deathbed, unable to walk, and only with effort able to lean up and motion with her hands. There she is... an old woman, wrinkled up, weak and dying; subject to the ravages of sin and corruption. In fact, she has to be carried by the Apostles in a litter because she's unable to walk. This is his image of the Mother of God. She's subject to corruption, just like everyone else. This is precisely why St. John the Theologian believes she died. It's nothing more than the outcome of a seriously flawed theological stance - heretical by today's standards. If nothing else, this fact alone should be enough to make us question the "official" story - majority opinion notwithstanding. After all, it's founded upon grave error.

    St. John the Theologian is said to have written his narrative toward the end of the fourth century, or possibly the beginning of the fifth. It's entitled "The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God." Not to be confused with the subject of Mary's Assumption, which was never in doubt, this story merely gives us an account of the details of her "passing". It's from this one single narration that the entire "traditional" belief in her death originates. This is where it all began. Again, this was written in the late fourth or early fifth century. Prior to its writing, there was neither a traditional belief, nor legend, nor myth, nor any story whatsoever regarding the details of Mary's departure from this earth. Nor, prior to St. John's writing, was there any tomb to be found anywhere attributed to Mary - neither in Jerusalem nor in Ephesus. In fact, no Marian tomb existed anywhere until as late as the 6th century. This, in itself, is convincing evidence that Mary never died - for who can doubt that if a burial location did exist, there would most certainly have been knowledge of it. In fact, veneration of her tomb would have been second only to the holiest sights attributed to the Son of God.

    On the contrary, writing just prior to St. John the Theologian, St. Epiphanius states in his famous Panarion (377AD.) that in his day no one knows if Mary died or not. "Did she die, we do not know ... Either the holy Virgin died and was buried ... Or she was killed ... Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and He can do whatever He desires; for her end no-one knows." St. Epiphanius, by the way, made a special pilgrimage to Jerusalem to venerate the holy shrines. If anyone was aware of a tomb in Jerusalem attributed to the Mother of God, or any burial site to speak of, certainly he would have been privy to it. And yet, nothing. He clearly states that no one knows any details of her Assumption. Incidentally, he later states in the same work that he believed Mary never died, but was taken up like Elijah.

    Nor was St. Epiphanius the only one in his day to believe that Mary never died. There is a sermon attributed to a priest named Timothy of Jerusalem, also dated to the 4th century, that speaks of her continuing "immortal". One John of Thessolonica believed the same during this period. St. Epiphanius' writings are considered the earliest and most authoritative, however, as the saint was named a Father and Teacher of the Church by the Seventh Ecumenical Council.  
     
    The point being, the account of Mary's death is not a "Traditional" belief dating back to Apostolic times. It originated in the late fourth century, or early fifth. Prior to this time, there was no historical record whatsoever involving any details of her Assumption. No legends, no stories, no accounts of any kind. Nor did a burial tomb even exist anywhere on earth prior to the 6th century. Moreover, we must keep in mind that the account of Mary's death emanated from the mind of a man who didn't believe in the incorruptibility of the Blessed Virgin. In other words, belief in Mary's death was the natural consequence of an heretical belief. Certainly, St. John the Theologian was not guilty of heresy, as the Church hadn't formally decided the matter yet. Nevertheless, his story is founded upon a serious theological error. And it is precisely because of this error that the author conceives of Mary's death.


     

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