Today is the Catholic Church Feast Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The belief being that after she died, the body of Mary the mother of Jesus was taken to heaven, along with her soul. ‘The Happy Priest’ Fr James writes:
The dogma of the Assumption is directly linked to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary was conceived without Original Sin. Since Mary, through a special privilege of grace did not have any sin, including Original Sin, her body did not suffer the normal consequences of death that we do. The Tradition, both of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church maintain that Mary died in the presence of the Apostles. Thomas was not present. When he did join them a few days later, they took him to her tomb. When the Apostles opened her tomb, her body was not present. Moreover, in the subsequent years of Church history, no relics of Mary’s body were ever venerated. However, it is recorded that at one time the veil and the belt of the Virgin Mary were venerated in Constantinople.
True devotion to Mary gives us the answer to all of the challenges of our times: fidelity to God’s will. There will be no solutions to the unraveling and disintegration of everything around us until we all become good disciples of the One who came to save us. Mary is that perfect disciple.
Pope Pius XII, writing Infallibly, decreed that this belief has always been accepted by the church, and:
… the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ. Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more full conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.
This is one of the most important days of the Catholic and Orthodox year, and is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation.
Should it be? My own belief and feeling is no …