Assumption of the Virgin

Assumption Of The Virgin, a festival instituted in the Roman Church in commemoration of the death and pretended resurrection of the Virgin Mary, and her triumphant entry into heaven. The apocryphal tradition upon which this festival is founded is as follows: "That the Blessed Virgin died at the age of seventy-two (one hundred and fifty-nine, according to Nicephorus), and that at her death all the apostles of our Lord, except St. Thomas, were miraculously present, having been conveyed in clouds from the various countries where they were preaching; that they buried her at Gethsemane; and that St. Thomas, upon his return from Ethiopia at the end of three days, expressed such a longing desire to see her face once again, that they opened her tomb, but found there nothing but the grave-clothes, although the grave had been fastened and watched, day and night, by some of the apostles and, many other Christians." The ASSUMPTION OF MARY was not always a point of faith in the Roman Church, but is now universally received. The day of celebration is Aug. 15. It is also celebrated in the Greek Church. See Butler, Lives of the Saints, 7:367; Landon, Eccl. Dict., s.v.

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