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Author Topic: Bodily assumption of Mary  (Read 4654 times) Average Rating: 0
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narrowpathplease
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« on: July 27, 2007, 06:42:20 AM »

I've heard (on Youtube, so I'm checking Tongue) that one of the two things a Roman Pope has ever claimed that has been officially infallible was the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary. There is a book available at the moment that claims the Roman Catholic Church has made efforts to suppress evidence that this doctrine is incorrect, and I expect there will be Christians who believe that. What I want to know is the Orthodox position. Have the Eastern Fathers had anything to say about it?
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2007, 08:12:59 AM »

I've heard (on Youtube, so I'm checking Tongue) that one of the two things a Roman Pope has ever claimed that has been officially infallible was the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary. There is a book available at the moment that claims the Roman Catholic Church has made efforts to suppress evidence that this doctrine is incorrect, and I expect there will be Christians who believe that. What I want to know is the Orthodox position. Have the Eastern Fathers had anything to say about it?

I do not have any quotes from Fathers at hand, but I heard about the bodily assumption of the Most Holy Theotokos from my priest during his homily on the Visitation Sunday. So yes, based on that, I can confirm that it is an Orthodox belief.
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 08:25:14 AM »

I do not have any quotes from Fathers at hand, but I heard about the bodily assumption of the Most Holy Theotokos from my priest during his homily on the Visitation Sunday. So yes, based on that, I can confirm that it is an Orthodox belief.

It is indeed, and a very old one at that. The only difference (other than the fact that we haven't dogmatised it) between the Orthodox and RC view is that we absolutely affirm that the Theotokos was assumed bodily after her death whereas the RC dogma is decidedly ambiguous and as a result it appears that RCs are free to believe that she was assumed without experiencing death.

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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 12:23:07 PM »

It is indeed, and a very old one at that. The only difference (other than the fact that we haven't dogmatised it) between the Orthodox and RC view is that we absolutely affirm that the Theotokos was assumed bodily after her death whereas the RC dogma is decidedly ambiguous and as a result it appears that RCs are free to believe that she was assumed without experiencing death.
Yes, in fact, the Dormition of the Theotokos (her death and assumption) is considered one of our twelve Great Feasts. There's no doubt to us how it happened; the icon is in every Orthodox church I've been to.
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 12:48:43 PM »

Yes, for us whether she died first or not is theologoumena. My belief is that she did.

This is the dogmatic statement from Pius XII's Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus (1950):

By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html

Both Catholics and Orthodox celebrate this feast on August 15. Eastern Catholics follow the Orthodox observance, calling it not the Assumption but the Dormition.

(Incidentally, Munificentissimus Deus is one of my favorite names of papal documents. Such a glorious-sounding name. Try to say it three times.)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 12:58:13 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Didymus
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2007, 04:40:55 AM »

Copied from the Coptic Synaxarium of Misra 16 (August 22):

[1] The Assumption of the Body of the Pure Virgin St. Mary.
____________________________________________________________
On this day, was the assumption of the body of our pure Lady St. Mary, the Mother of God. While she was keeping vigil, praying in the Holy Sepulchre, and waiting for the happy minute of her liberation from the bonds of the flesh, the Holy Spirit informed her of her forthcoming departure from this vain world. When the time drew near, the disciples and the virgins of the Mt. of Olives (Zeiton) came and the Lady was lying on her bed. Our Lord, surrounded by thousands and thousands of angels, came to Her. He consoled her, and announced her with the everlasting joy which was prepared for Her. She was happy, and she stretched out her hands, blessed the Disciples, and the Virgins. Then, she delivered up her pure soul in the hand of her Son and God, Jesus Christ, Who ascended her to the higher habitations. As of the pure body, they shrouded it and carried it to Gethsemane.

On their way, some of the Jews blocked the way in the face of the disciples to prevent the burial. One of them seized the coffin. His hands were separated from his body, and remained hanging until he believed and repented for his mischievous deed. With the prayers of the holy disciples, his hands were reattached to his body as they had been before.

St. Thomas was absent at the time of St. Mary's departure, but he came after the burial. On his way back to Jerusalem, St. Thomas saw angels carrying St. Mary's pure body and ascending with it to heaven, and one of the angels said to him, "Hurry and kiss the pure body of St. Mary." When he arrived to the disciples, they informed him about St. Mary's departure. He told them, "I will not believe, unless I see her body, as you all know how I did doubt the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ before." They took him to the tomb, to uncover the body but they did not find it, and they were perplexed and amazed. St. Thomas told them how he saw the pure body ascending to heaven, carried by angels.

The Holy Spirit then told them, "The Lord did not Will to leave Her Holy body on earth." The Lord had promised his pure apostles that they would see her in flesh another time. They were waiting for the fulfillment of this truthful promise, until the sixteenth day of the month of Misra, when the promise of seeing her was fulfilled. They saw her sitting on the right hand of her Son and her Lord, surrounded by the angelic Host, as David prophesied and said, "At your right hand stands the queen." (Psalm 45:9)

St. Mary's life on earth was sixty years. She spent twelve years of them in the temple, thirty years in the house of the righteous St. Joseph, and fourteen years in the care of St. John the Evangelist, as the Lord commanded her saying, "Woman behold your Son," and to St. John, "Behold your Mother."

May Her intercession be with us. Amen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Does this provide any light?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 04:43:36 AM by Didymus » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 10:50:11 PM »

Thank you very much Didymus for that because I had a lot of problems with this idea of the Theotokos (blinded by the overwhelming amount of protestants in my town I believe my mind has been poisoned in various ways) but after reading this it has made me understand this event and this beautiful story makes my heart deepen for my love for the lord and Christ's holy mother. Thank you again Didymus.
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
Didymus
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 10:33:47 AM »

Certainly prodromas Cool I especially like the part where St. Thomas says, "I will not believe, unless I see her body".

In another rendition of this story which I have heard/read (not sure?), St. Peter then says something like, "Must you always doubt? First you did not believe us when we told you the Lord is alive and now you do not believe when we tell you that we have burried His mother!"

Although I was named after St. Didymus the Blind, I can certainly relate to St. Thomas also Smiley
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 10:35:06 AM by Didymus » Logged

...because I was not with you when the Lord came aforetime.
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prodromas
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2007, 04:00:31 AM »

St Thomas is an important character and for a bit of psychology *shudders* he is almost a personification of the psyche of every Christian at one point his almost the "keeping it real" or "saying what everyone is thinking" guy. But his doubt is almost refreshing to hear that someone that was around Jesus Christ himself and all of the holy apostles still can have doubt of these things.
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
Didymus
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007, 11:56:00 AM »

prodromas, know what you mean. Have you ever read of how St. Thomas ended up going to India? If not, you may find it rather interesting also. In short, the apostle did not want to go but the Lord worked around that Wink

I don't know whether this is true or not but I have heard (albeit from a highly questionable source which distorts historical information) that St. Thomas was formerly a Sadducee- hence his doubting the Resurection. But as I say I don't know whether this is true or not.

I agree that it is nice to have somebody who says what everybody is thinking Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 11:47:17 AM »

I've heard (on Youtube, so I'm checking Tongue) that one of the two things a Roman Pope has ever claimed that has been officially infallible was the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary. There is a book available at the moment that claims the Roman Catholic Church has made efforts to suppress evidence that this doctrine is incorrect, and I expect there will be Christians who believe that. What I want to know is the Orthodox position. Have the Eastern Fathers had anything to say about it?

God bless!+

From the Pamphlet of Minos Charitos: The Repose of our Most Holy and glorious Lady

To be sure, She was translated BODILY into the hands of her divine Son. For the Orthodox Church it is  a historical reality and an unquestionable happening. To refer to it, however using the technical term "DOGMA" is not in keeping with the Orthodox practise of dogmatizing only regards the Trinitarian, Christological, and Sacramental teachings wich bear man's Redemption.
It has been said by some that this teaching is only a pious tradition and a pious belief within orthodoxy. Such expressions can prove to be most precarious and misleading. Any Tradition or belief that can be regarded as "pious" is necessarily true annd authoritative. The Holy Fathers of the church always speak of Orthodox Doctrine as "pious", while condemming heretical teachings as "impious".
Such expressions borrowed from roman and anglican language should most discreetly be avoided by Orthodox in ascertaining the correctness of Doctrine. We need not reject the roman Dogma of the Assumption by denying the reality of the BODILY TRANSLATION of the Allholy Virgin. There are many Truths held by the Orthodox Church wich have never been crystallized into hard Dogmas.
The Holy Orthodox Church of Christ being established on the prophetic, apostolic and historical tradition as also upon the teachings of the divinly-inspired holy Fathers, has indeed accepted the doctrine concerning the Theotokos Mary's Translation to heaven and therefore chants throughout the ages praises to Her Allholy Name:

"The sleepless interceding Theotoke,
and immutable hope in protection,
THE GRAVE and DEATH did hold Her
for being the Mother of Life, She was translated unto life!,
by Him that dwelled in the Evervirgin womb!

and the Pillar of orthodoxy - St. Mark of Ephesus:

"Be thou magnified in songs of praise, O most Pure One,
be thou blessed worthily, O most blessed One,
for thou wert dead and art risen again,
as the Lord's Mother,
Fo the assurance of the last resurrection whereunto we hope!"

And again:

"The Mother of Life welcomes death,
and ahving been put in the grave , She arise for ever
gloriously on the third day,
reigning together with her Son ,
entreating for the forgiveness of our faults."

St. Nicodemus Agiorites also says:
It is to be noted here, that our Lady the Theotokos and Evervirgin Mary after her three-day sleep in the grave, not only was She translated, but also RESURRECTED from the grave and was ascended to heaven and Her allilluminating Soul was again united with Her Bodym and thus was resurrected from the grave, and thereafter She was straightway ascended with Her Body to heaven, rather above the heavens.

From the Book: The life of the Virgin Mary...
Under the presidency of the great Patriarch Dositheos, a statement was made at the Pan Orthodox Council of Jerusalem in 1672 that:
"though the immaculate Body of Mary was locked in a Tomb, yet, like Christ, She was assumed and translated into the Heavens on the third day. ( like a dogmatic expression by a panorthodox synod long befor the dogmatizing of the rcc.)

Saint Gregory Palamas writes:The Ark of Holiness was resurrected, as was Christ Who had risen from the dead on the third day. Her burial clothes afforded the Apostels a demonstration of Her resurrection from the dead. As in the case of their Master, Her burial clothes, too alone remained in the Tomb for their scruiny. (Her burial shroud exists still in georgia, there is a face miraculous imprinted and Her allholy Sash in Vatopaidi on Moun Athos- feastday on the 31 of August)

There are very good books in english on this topic:

The Assumption of our Most Holy Lady,..translated from the Menology of St. Dimitry of Rostov.
The Repose of our Most Holy Lady,....by Minos Charitos
On the Dormition of Mary, Early Patristic Homilies, by Brian E. Daley
The life of the Virgin Mary the Theotokos by the Holy Apostels convent ( very profound)
The Akathistos of the Dormition
The great Synaxarion ( 15 August)
...........

In Christ
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Christodoulos
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2007, 08:45:38 AM »

God bless !

Some Photos of the Most Holy Tomb of the Theotokos in Jerusalem:









And Her Holy Belt wich St. Thomas received and is venerated on Mount Athos in Vatopidi!


In CHRIST
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 12:00:33 PM by Christodoulos » Logged
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