The dogma of The Feast of the Assumption

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 …

Full story: The Happy Priest on the Assumption of Mary | Catholic Online

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18 Replies to “The dogma of The Feast of the Assumption”

  1. Classic example of the theory driving the evidence: because Jesus had to be without sin, Mary had to be sinless, therefore had to be herself immaculately conceived, and thus sinless, so no longer subject to the normal consequences of sin (ie mortality and death). The real question is whether there is any real evidence to support the theory, and the answer is no. Indeed, it could be argued that setting up such a ‘special’ situation for the incarnation means that the Incarnation itself isn’t very incarnational.

  2. heresy. This whole dogma as such is heresy, and not to be believed. Scripture nowhere in the Protestant canon with its 66 books, and also the Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha nowhere that I know of, and I think the Nag Hammadi writings nowhere states or presents one shred of evidence for any assumptive doctrine. This docritne is based on an Assumption.

  3. Wouldn’t this theory then mean that Mary’s mother was conceived in such a way? I very much agree that setting up the special situation greats a problem for the Incarnation. Of course, I view the notion that the Incarnation happened several times in the OT as problematic as well.

    I believe that this doctrine originates in the Proto-Gospel of James, but I could be wrong.

  4. heresy. This whole dogma as such is heresy, and not to be believed. Scripture nowhere in the Protestant canon with its 66 books, and also the Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha nowhere that I know of, and I think the Nag Hammadi writings nowhere states or presents one shred of evidence for any assumptive doctrine. This doctrine is based on an Assumption.

  5. there is a philosophical quandry too, brother Polycarp. If Jesus was without sin because Mary was without sin, then logically Mary was without sin because her mother was without sin, and her mother was without sin, etc. The term for this idiocy is “infinite regression.” So somehow, Adam and Eve’s sin did not pass to that line of Jesus and therefore, Solomon was preserved from the original sin in Bathsheba’s womb…oh, wait a minute.

  6. Don’t you mean the Dormition of the Theotokos? 🙂

    Whether one subscribes to it or not, it makes a lot more theological sense than Darbyism/dispensationalism.

  7. “Of course, I view the notion that the Incarnation happened several times in the OT as problematic as well.”

    New one to me – care to elucidate?

  8. Rev. Buglass,

    There are those who hold that the incarnation is merely The Incarnation, with Christ having appeared several times in the OT already, such as the Christophanies.

  9. Right. I can see where that comes from. Don’t buy it meself – sounds too much like “Dr Who theology” – or more to the point, eisegesis of NT interpretations into OT texts which don’t warrant it.

  10. Three years ago I wrote a post about this subject, in which I stressed that Western Christians should be very careful not to tie the ancient Christian belief in the resurrection and assumption of the Mother of God to the novel Latin dogma of the “Immaculate Conception.” As an Orthodox Christian, I would urge the same here!

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