On the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

The sinless Ark of the New Covenant which carried the Incarnate Word in her womb would not become food for worms.

The Deposit of Faith

The Deposit of Faith is a 3 legged stool comprised of Tradition, Holy Scripture and the Teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.

In the following writings, we discuss in detail the fact that the Holy Bible was defined by Pope St. Damassus I at the end of the 3rd century AD, and transcribed early during the 4th century AD by St. Jerome into the Holy Bible, known as the Latin Vulgate.

Further, we point out that Bibles were transcribed manually by monks each taking between 20 to 30 years to complete. Also, that the printing press was not invented until the 15th century; thereafter a relatively few books were owned by the wealthy, only; and, the population was largely illiterate until the 20th century.

Thus during such time, the Catholic Faith was being taught primarily by word of mouth and a limited number of personal writings. i.e. by preaching and teaching. Make no mistake about it; Tradition is as much a part of the Deposit of Faith as it has ever been. Evidence of this fact is present in Holy Scripture, which itself tells us that it is incomplete. See:

Scripture Alone? Is Half the Story Sufficient?

How We Know That Holy Scripture is Truly the Word of God

The Tradition of the Fathers of the Church

From the beginning, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin after her Dormition has been Catholic doctrine. Certain evidence of it can be found in the teachings of St. Gregory of Tours and St. John Damascene:

“The course of this life having been completed by Blessed Mary, when now she would be called from the world, all the Apostles came together from their various regions to her house. And when they had heard that she was about to be taken (1) from the world, they kept watch together with her. And behold, the Lord Jesus came with His angels, and taking her soul, He gave it over to the Angel Michael and withdrew. At daybreak, however, the Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord’s chosen ones, and it in the enjoyment of the good of an eternity that will never end.”

“But Mary, the glorious Mother of Christ, who is believed to be a virgin both before and after she bore Him, has, as we said above, been translated into paradise, amid the singing of the angelic choirs, whither the Lord preceded her.” St. Gregory of Tours, Eight Books of Miracles (inter ca: 575-593 AD). Cited in William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, (Collegeville, Minnesota, Liturgical Press: 1970), Vol. 3 p. 306.
(1) esset assumenda (It was assumed.)

“In the Euthymian history, book 3, chapter 40, it is written quite eloquently: “…In answer, Juvenal replied: ‘In the Holy and divinely-inspired Scripture no mention is made of anything concerning the end of Mary the Holy Mother of God (5); but we have received from ancient and most truthful tradition that at the time of her glorious repose (6), all the Holy Apostles, who then were dispersed abroad in the world for the salvation of the nations, were in but a moment of time transported through the air to Jerusalem; and when they were there an angelic vision appeared to them, and the divine chanting of the supernal powers was heard. And thus in divine and heavenly glory her holy soul was delivered in a way that no word can describe into the hands of God. And her body, which had been the Tabernacle of God (7), after the chanting of the angels and of the Apostles was finished and last respects were paid, was placed in a coffin in Gethsemani (. In that the place the chanting and choral singing of the angels continued without cease for three days. After the third day the angelic chanting ceased.

“’The Apostles were present there when Thomas, the only who had been absent arrived after the third day; and since he wanted to worship the body that had been the Tabernacle of God (9), they opened the coffin. And they were unable anywhere to find her most lauded body. When they found only her grave wrappings there, and the indescribable perfume which was borne aloft from them, they sealed the coffin. Stuck by the wonder of the mystery they could only think that He who had been pleased to become incarnate from her in His own Person and to become Man and to be born in the flesh, God the Word, the Lord of Glory, who persevered her virginity intact after her parturition, -- He was pleased even after her departure from life to honor her immaculate and undefiled body with incorruption and with translation prior to the common and universal resurrection.’” St. John Damascene, Second Homily on the Dormition of Mary, 645 AD – ca 749 AD; Cited in William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, (Collegeville, Minnesota, Liturgical Press: 1970), Vol. 3 pp. 349-50.
[footnotes in the Greek excluded]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it briefly:

#966 "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 fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." (50 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. ...”
508 LG 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950): DS 3903; cf. Rev 19:16.

The Holy Bible

Holy Scripture tells us that it is the will of Almighty God that all people seek to obtain the Truth. Make no mistake about it, God does not care about what makes man feel good (cf. Mt 22:16); but directs man to seek the Truth.

"This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth." (1 Tm 2:3-4)

And then, later in the same letter to Timothy, St. Paul tells us where to find the truth:

“…if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” (1Tm 3:15)

To reiterate: God wants all men to seek and come to the knowledge of truth, and the truth is found in the Church of the Living God. (NB: He did not say that the Holy Bible was the pillar and bulwark of truth, but the Church who wrote and defined the Holy Bible in the Decree of Pope St. Damassus I. Refer to 2nd link provided above.)

We see also that it is Jesus who is guiding His Church on earth from Heaven: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Lk 10:16).

Then in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus made it very clear how the teachings of His Church will be treated by God:

"He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church [NB: one singular church], and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’" (Mt 16:15-19)

We discuss this, ex cathedra teachings, and much more in:

Upon this Rock

Thereafter, Jesus told us to obey His Church:
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 18:15-1

Now, in the previous citation, which Church is Jesus referring to? Whatever Church it is, clearly it would have to be one of unified doctrine, purpose, teaching and guidance. Further, it would have to date back to the days of Jesus.

There is only one Church that can satisfy those requirements, and that is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

It certainly does not refer to any Protestant ecclesial community. Protestantism did not arise for another 1,500 years. If one asserts that this citation referred to one of the Protestant ecclesial communities, who could believe that Almighty God expected man to comply with Mt 18:15-18 for 1,500 years without such Protestant ecclesial community being in existence to serve as judge?

If for the simple sake of argument, we assume that Mat 18:15-18 refers to one of the Protestant ecclesial communities, which of the 40,000 – 45,000 would it be? No two of them can agree? And then how many are there within each Protestant ecclesial community who in their Sunday school, bicker on their respective personal interpretations of this verse of Scripture or that verse of Scripture? And then there are the thousands of Protestants each of whom believe they are a ‘religion of one’. Which of them would be the judge contemplated in Mt 18:15-18?

There is only one Church, and that is the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, true God and true man; founded by Jesus upon the Apostles; guided by the Holy Spirit and thus forming the ‘pillar and bulwark of truth’.

Holy Scripture is clear; all are called to obey the Church or be treated as Gentiles AND tax collectors. (NB: He said AND…i.e. a double curse.)

St. Paul added: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!” (Gal 1:8-9)

The Ark of the New Covenant

Old Testament Type:
“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. According to all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. "They shall make an ark of acacia wood; two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shall you overlay it, and you shall make upon it a molding of gold round about. And you shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. … And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you….” (Ex 25:8-21)

NB: Acacia wood is resistant to rotting and decay.

“And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there because he put forth his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the LORD had broken forth upon Uzzah; and that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" (2 Sm 6:6-9)

New Testament Antitype:

“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Lk 1:41-49)

If the OT Ark of the Covenant (type) had to be made of pure materials resistant to rotting and decay as it carried the Written Word of God, how much more purer and resistant to rotting and decay did the NT Ark of the New Covenant (antitype) have to be as she carried the Incarnate Word of God for 9 months!

Make no mistake about it, God would not allow the pure vessel which carried the Body of His Son, to rot and decay in the grave.

Refer to:
Mary, Queen and Queen Mother

Continued below