Sunday, 15 August 2010
The Assumption of Mary
Today is the feast of the Assumption of Mary. There is no scriptural reference to Mary being assumed into Heaven as Jesus was, however Homilies can be found as far back as the 6th century referring to the event. From the personal revelation of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerick there is a story of the death and assumption of our Lady:
The funeral procession stopped at the right of the entrance to the tomb. Here [the Apostles] laid down the holy body, and then four of them carried it into the burial-chamber in the rock and laid it in the place hollowed out for it. All those present went in one by one and laid spices and flowers beside the body, kneeling down and offering up their prayers and their tears.
Many lingered there in love and sorrow, and night had fallen when the Apostles closed the entrance to the tomb. They dug a trench before the narrow entrance of the rock-tomb, and planted in it a hedge of various shrubs brought with their roots from elsewhere. Some had leaves, some blossoms, and some berries. They made the water from a near-by spring flow in front of the hedge, so that no trace of the entrance to the tomb could be seen and none could enter the cave without forcing a way round behind the hedge.
They went away in scattered groups, some remaining to pray and watch by the tomb, others stopping to pray here and there. Those who were on their way home saw from the distance a strange radiance over Mary’s tomb, which moved them to wonder, though they did not know what it really was.
It was as if a shaft of light descended from heaven towards the tomb, and in this shaft was a lovely form like the soul of the Blessed Virgin, accompanied by the form of Our Lord. Then the body of the Blessed Virgin, united to the shining soul, rose shining out of the grave and soared up to heaven with the figure of Our Lord.
I saw her soul, united to her transfigured body, rising out of the tomb far brighter and clearer, and ascending into the heavenly Jerusalem with Our Lord and with the whole glory. Thereupon all the radiance faded again, and the quiet starry sky covered the land.
I do not know whether the Apostles and holy women praying before the tomb saw all this in the same manner, but I saw them looking upwards in adoration and amazement, or throwing themselves down full of awe with their faces to the ground.
Thus I did not see the Blessed Virgin die in the usual manner, nor did I see her go up to heaven; but I saw that first her soul and then her body were taken from the earth.