Where did Mary go?

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Hey, I was raised Roman Catholic since I can remember. I went to a catholic elemantry school and high school and did bible studies in class. But the one question that my friends and I ask ourselves is: Where did Mary go? Seriously, you never hear anything about her. Maybe just a few things but that's it. I've asked everyone I know who is religious and none of them know. So I'm hoping someone can answer my question. Thank you!

-- (starchick_85@hotmail.com), February 27, 2004



first, please post giving your first name, so we have a person to address this to.

Second, ignore the above anon's post. That post was made by a fundamentalist with a penchant for bashing the catholic church when she doesnt really have a clue. She has been banned from this forum under her real name and lurks here from time to time when she can on a different computer, posting under the name 'anon' which has been used by many in the past who wished to remain anonymous. This would have worked well, except when she wrote her name at the end of her message, clearly exposing herself...

finally, Mary is still an integral part in our faith as coredemtrix and mediatrix. if you never hear anything about mary, get proactive about listening. Maybe what catholics in your area need is a voice to start speaking up, so maybe you need to stop just asking and start talking about Mary. Look at this as your opportunity to spread a love for the Mother of God and deepen our understanding of Christs' relationship with humanity. Go get em.

-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), February 27, 2004.

(Anon is obviously a protestant.) "Mary is waiting for Christ's return--like the rest of us."

Wrong! Mary is with Christ in Heaven. She is reigning as Queen of Heaven and Earth. She is mysteriously with us in EVERY Eucharist because She is the Mother of the Eucharist. She is with us in every rosary prayer. She is in the Holy Catholic Church. She is constantly praying and interceding for the Church and her members.

-- LCM (LCMoore4@yahoo.com), February 27, 2004.

"Mary is with us in the Eucharist?" I never heard that before. How can that be?

Mary is the Mother of God, but in the Eucharist? Where did you hear that? I never read anything about that, never heard anything about that, ever.

The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. I do not mean to be disrespectful in any way to Mary, our Holy Mother of God, but I question that she is in the Eucharist.

-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), February 29, 2004.

With all due respect, I think it is stretch to say that Mary is with us in the Eucharist.

-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45-nospam@hotmail.com), February 29, 2004.

I don't think LCM meant it that way MaryLu, as if she was present in the Eucharist like Christ is present in the Eucharist, because that's simply not accurate; but there definitely a lot of interesting things that can be said about her relationship to that same Eucharist. That's probably what LCM meant.

Not that The Passion is a source of doctrine by any means, but remember when Mary said something to the effect of "how did it come to this? Flesh of my flesh..." and then "let me die with you". Request denied, but that's the point when Christ handed over His own mother to the Universal Church in the person of St. John at the foot of the Cross. I mean, that's pretty much giving everything away right there on Jesus' part, holding nothing back... even His own mother. Sinners killed her son and yet she has nothing but love for sinners; how many mothers could pull off that level of charity. Did you see the scene with Peter and the way she was portrayed there, extending her hand in forgiveness? That was powerful.

Look at that host and think, hey, this is the same Christ as the one portrayed in The Passion except it's of the real Passion which really happened, and that flesh is of her flesh, Mary's flesh; it's not just the result of the Last Supper, the Passion, but of everything including the Incarnation and the Fiat of Mary at the Annunciation. That's mind blowing; he's still Emmanuel, Christ with us. Therefore, in some manner so is His mother: "...Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..."

All Hail to Christ the King and to the Queen of the Angels.

-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), February 29, 2004.

Nice try, but with that logic you could say that David is part of the Eucharist too because Christ was human and a son of David. But it really is a stretch.

-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45-nospam@hotmail.com), February 29, 2004.

I really think LCM was saying at every CELEBRATION of the Eucharist, there is Mary. Not IN the Blessed Sacrament. I believe Mary is present during the celebration of the Eucharist in a mysterious way. All the Court of Heaven is present at the moment of Transubstantiation; to adore the Lamb of God universally. Mary is at the summit with us all; in the glory of God.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), February 29, 2004.

"...but with that logic you could say that David is part of the Eucharist too because Christ was human and a son of David. But it really is a stretch."

Not really; think Mystical Body of Christ... think Mysterium Fidei; think Heavenly Court. What my neotraditional friend says here is in fact the truth:

"All the Court of Heaven is present at the moment of Transubstantiation; to adore the Lamb of God universally. Mary is at the summit with us all; in the glory of God."

-- Emerald (emerald1@cox.net), March 01, 2004.

Good point Emerald. I've always been taught that the entire Communion of Saints is present, both living and dead. Afterall, they're all part of the Body of Christ, aren't they? And who is the most revered and exalted saint of them all? Why, Mary of course!

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), March 01, 2004.

It occured to me that the original poster could be asking what happened to Mary in the physical sense after the Crucifixion. I have often wondered about this myself.

Mary is not mentioned in scripture as being at the Ascension of Our Lord. (Acts 1:9) There were some 500 in attendance that day, apostles, disciples, etc. and it would seem rational to assume she was there on that most eventful day. At Pentecost we are told she is grieving and in hiding with the apostles in fear of persecution by the authorities by reason of their association to Jesus.(Acts 2:3)

Scholars throughout the centuries have believed that Mary probably lived into her sixties and evangelized in the name of her Son until her death. Many of them believe she is buried in the Valley of Cedron, near Jerusalem. Recently scholars have begun to toy with the notion that she lived out her remaining years on earth in Ephesus, Turkey, where it is believed, she went with John the apostle to spread the Good News. There is a shrine in Ephesus dedicated to Our Lady and there are ruins in Ephesus, where it is claimed, Mary resided. To this day, you can even examine the stone bed where she was supposed to have expired and been assumed into Heaven.

You can read a bit about Mary’s life after the crucifixion here at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14774a.htm

Our Lady, most holy Mother of God, pray for us!

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), March 01, 2004.

If we are talking at the litergy of the Eucharist then I, of course, go along with what you guys are saying.

Take care,

-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45-nospam@Hotmail.com), March 01, 2004.

Mary was buried and then ascended into heaven? I have a lot to learn. I am ashamed to admit that, but it is true.

-- MaryLu (mlc327@juno.com), March 01, 2004.

" Mary was buried and then ascended to Heaven? I have a lot to learn."

The Catholic Church doesn't teach that Mary died or was buried. The Pope was very careful how he worded that M.L. You as a Catholic are free to believe that the Blessed Mother never died.

So maybe you don't have that much to learn.:-)

-- - (David@excite.com), March 01, 2004.

David, even at the risk of opening this debate yet again, I will make a few comments here concerning death and the Assumption of Mary in heaven. I am not sure what you mean by “M.L.”? Could you have been referring to Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Munificentissimus Deus (M.D.), wherein he defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - “ex cathedra”?

MaryLu, David is quite right about how Catholics are free to believe that God didn’t allow Mary to die, but rather when she was close to death, took her to heaven to be with Him. On the other hand, many Catholics including some renowned saints, side with me in believing Mary had to die in order to be assumed into heaven. We have debated this small point of Catholic theology in the past and you may be able to find some of it in our archives.

In M.D. Pope Pius makes references to certain writings from the saints and other Catholic sources which clearly show they believed that Mary must have physically expired prior to her assumption into heaven.

In paragraph 17 of M.D., the Pope makes reference to the Blessed mother “passing” from her earthly exile into heaven. Note the word used here to describe her transition. He didn’t say the God “took” Mary, but rather that she was allowed to “pass” over to the other side at which point God had her rise to the heavens. This in my opinion can only describe the process of death’s transition - allowing for this world to run its natural course.

In the same paragraph, Pope Pius quotes Pope Adrian I, wherein he said, “the holy Mother of God suffered temporal DEATH, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of DEATH,”. Pope Adrian believed Mary DIED but that God prevented her from experiencing or undergoing the full ravages of death.

The Church doesn’t believe that death is a point in time in a person’s life. It involves more than that. Death to the Church is a state where we are sent as a consequence of the sins of Adam and Eve. Dying is only one point involved with the state of death - the entering point. Death is not a point in time but rather a term, a state, assigned by God until the end of time at which time, our bodies will be reunited to our souls. This state is a penalty of sin. In the interim, death separates our bodies from our souls and the Church has pronounced that God did not want Mary to undergo the full vestiges of death, the full penalty of sin. God, through his angel proclaimed that Mary was “full of grace” - without sin. This then, tells us that God would not permit the ravages/penalty of sin to affect Mary since she was free from all sin to begin with, having been filled with grace by virtue of her goodness and selection by God. However, it does tell us that as a human she was capable of dying. Even Jesus, as a man, died. No one disputes this; and yet, God did not allow Jesus’ body to be corrupted either, did He?. He too was assumed (by ascension) into heaven.

In M.D., in paragraph 20, in partly explaining the dogma of the Assumption, the Pope quoted what the Church has believed for two thousand years, “the DEAD body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of DEATH, ...” So it is clear that even the Church has referred to Mary as being DEAD at least for an instant until God raised her to prevent her from entering and experiencing the fullness of DEATH (ie. corruption of body and separation from soul, separation of body from God).

St. John Damascene speaking of Mary’s assumption wrote, “It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after DEATH.” So it is obvious he too, prescribed to the notion that Mary must have died, at least briefly, in order to make the transition from this life to the next.

In like manner St. Francis de Sales wrote, “What son would not bring his mother BACK TO LIFE and would not bring her into paradise after her DEATH if he could?” It is clear St. Francis believed Mary entered the state of DEATH.

There is no doubt the Church has allowed us to speculate on the death of Mary. I for one, cannot get pass the notion that God would end Mary’s life before it came to a natural, worldly conclusion by assuming her into heaven before her earthly time had expired. However, at the instant point of death, I can appreciate His intervening, to ensure Mary was preserved in the dignity she acquired through purity, goodness, obedience, humility and love while on this earth.

I have grown fond of the expression the Church seems to have settled on in circumventing this controversy. She leaves open the question of death at Mary’s passing. She refers to this moment in Mary’s life as the moment where Mary had come to the “end of her earthly course”. Now that seems to say it all - “at the end of her earthly course”. If that’s good enough for the Church, it’s good enough for me.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), March 02, 2004.

David, I see now where M.L. means MaryLu. Duh! Sorry for not noticing this earlier. MaryLu, I also noticed where you mentioned the word "buried". I don't believe anyone has argued that Mary was buried. What has been argued is the point of whether or not Mary died before being assumed into Heaven.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), March 02, 2004.

I am taken to agree that she died as well. The oldest mentionings of the 'assumption' come to us from the east where it is referred to as the 'Dormition' of Mary. Dormition means falling asleep. Falling asleep in the Lord is an ancient way that Christians referred to death. So here is the story as I know it: Mary went to Ephesis with John, grew old, died, then was Assumed bodily into heaven. As has already been mention, the Church says you are free to disagree onmany of these particulars.


-- Dan Garon (boethius61@yahoo.com), March 02, 2004.

I personally don't believe that Mary died before assumption. Why? it basically defeats the purpose. Assumption into heaven is reserved for those absolutely pure from the stain of sin... because it is for those who are taken into heaven WITHOUT having to pay the price of sin (death). If we are to believe Mary was absolutely sinless, then she would never have to be subject to death (ie-- the penalties of sin). Much the same way, it is interesting to think that Mary's delivery of the baby Jesus was most likely painless.

-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 02, 2004.

Being raised to heaven is not always dependent on definite immaculate conception. We know Enoch and Elias were taken up after a purification.

Mary may well have suffered death in her final hour on earth; we know only she is assumed body and soul into heaven. There has always been the tradition as Dan states, of a 'Dormition' of Mary. She is depicted with loving apostles and servants all round her deathbed in many ancient frescoes and engravings. That she was always sinless and yet could die is a mystery; not unlike other mysteries we find unexplained in the scriptures.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), March 02, 2004.

It is quite likely that a good chunk of the NT was written before she died (assuming you are not in the 'late dating crowd'). We can be certain that, at least Revalation was written after her death, hence Rev. 12.


-- Dan Garon (boethius61@yahoo.com), March 02, 2004.

Kay, you asked, “are the scriptures silent on such a seemingly important matter as the Mother of God?” The answer of course is, absolutely not. Does anyone think that for two thousand years the Church and the forefathers of the modern-day Protestant Churches have been dreaming these things up? Of course they haven’t. There is plenty of proof in Scripture AND in Sacred Tradition on any given dogma surrounding our Blessed Mother. Faith can be and is, much more than what has been written down. Every time we are forced to defend a tenet of our Catholic Faith, we are handicapped in that we are not allowed to use all that has been handed down to us through the Church and the saints. Shoot, even Martin Luther himself had a special love for the Our Blessed Mother and espoused Marian dogma.

So, to prove my point, for argument’s sake, let’s make the argument for Mary’s Assumption under this self-imposed handicap and let’s throw out numerous references in Sacred Tradition to it. Let’s stick solely with examining Sacred Scripture only, to deduce or surmise the Marian dogma of the Assumption that has been touched on briefly in the foregoing.

Mary was Jesus’ mother. Hopefully, this point is not in contention, “and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother”. (Lk. 2:11) Here Scripture confirms that Mary was the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God.

From all eternity, although she had freewill and could have declined the offer, Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14). “Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, And the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel...” (Mic. 5:2) Now, these two passages in scripture say a lot by themselves. They foretell the presence of Mary to come as the Mother of God! Is it logical to assume that with this position, the Mother of God, she might enjoy special privileges? Maybe, maybe not. In any event let’s continue.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk. 1:35) These words warrant our full attention. Imagine, Mary is being told she will be the first tabernacle to house the precious body of the pure, sinless, Son of God. Wouldn’t you think that you need to be very, very, holy in order to qualify for such an assignment? In fact, wouldn’t you have to be perfectly sinless, ie. full of grace, ie. holy perfection in order to be able to carry the Son of God in your womb? The Jews of the day would not even enter the Holy of Holies where God resided as they felt they weren’t worthy to be in His presence. Now Mary is being told she not only will be in His presence, but that she will be the Mother of God. It’s not really a stretch to believe that Mary was without sin. She would have had to be, in order to be considered for the role of Mother of God.

As the Mother of God, Mary was conceived without sin. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Gen. 3:15). What could this possibly mean but that Satan will have no influence over Mary - the Mother of God. Enmity - alienation will be put between the Father of lies and the Mother of God. Mary will not know sin. The Devil will not have influence over the Mother of God. The Devil’s offspring (followers) and Mary’s offspring (Jesus - Son of God) will also have enmity put between them. Jesus will not know sin.

In Scripture we are further told of this special relationship Mary has with God. “Hail favoured one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:28) If God is with Mary then isn’t it safe to assume that Satan is not? If God favours this woman isn’t it safe to assume that she is special, that she is privileged? Now, one may argue all women are special in God’s eyes, but, not all women have their existence foretold in Scripture and not all women have their relationship with God described fully in Scripture. Further, it was Mary who was told, “blessed are you among women” (Lk. 1:43). Clearly Mary has been centred out in scripture as a women befitting her impending relationship with God. She has been made holy by God, “Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified”. (Ps. 131:8)

Now, since we know Mary is “full of grace” that is, without sin, then it only flows that she should be without the consequences of sin as paul h has said in the foregoing. We know from scripture that pain and death is a consequence of sin. (Gen. 3:16-19, Wis. 1:12, 2:24, Rom. 5:12, 6:11, 1 Cor. 15:21) God cannot and will not stand in the presence of sin. (Rom. 1:18-32, 4:18, Col. 1:21, 1 Pet. 1:18). How then can we possibly even consider the notion that Mary was a normal human being who contained or even had the capacity for sin if she was to carry the Son of God in her womb? It’s impossible. God would not allow her to be the Mother of His Son if this were the case. As I have shown here, Scripture is full of the evidence for this.

St. Thomas Aquinas saw this point very clearly. He said Scripture clearly shows Mary could not have been chosen as the Mother of God if she were capable of sin. He quoted Proverbs 17:6 to prove his point, “the glory of children are their fathers”; his point being, had Mary sinned, Scripture states here, it would have reflected on her most holy Son. Again, in Scripture, Wis. 1:4 also confirms this very important point that Mary had to be free of all sin in order to birth the Son of the living God, “Wisdom will not enter a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sin”.

Given Mary’s purity-of-soul, free-from-sin, full-of-grace status it only follows that she would not have to experience any of the resultant consequences of sin. That is why paul h. speculated further above, that he doubts she even felt pain at Jesus’ birth. Scripture would seem to back him up on this. God would not permit His most holy Mother to suffer the vestiges of sin when never having committed any.

So, as you can see, Scripture is full of evidence for the Assumption of Mary into heaven. In fact, all Marian dogma the Church has seen fit to declare has been in large part substantiated in Holy Scripture.

-- Ed (catholic4444@yahoo.ca), March 02, 2004.

Ed’s concise and detailed earlier answer, by limiting himself to God’s Holy word rather than the beliefs of his Church seems to be inviting a Protestant response. Below is my argument refuting the claims he makes in his statement. I do not intend them to be inflammatory or insulting, but merely the other side of the argument. I feel two sides of an argument is always valuable to any discussion even if you don’t believe the other person, hopefully their views will help you question and thus strengthen your own. If anyone is offended by my argument I apologise beforehand. This confutation is only my opinion and as such I welcome a reasoned response to it if anyone would like to do so.

My first point is as follows; to claim that Mary must have been sinless in order that Christ could be conceived places a limit on God’s power. The Bible clearly says, “No one is righteous, no not one.” There are no righteous human beings, only sinners. But despite that Jesus needed to be born because of God’s plan. The sin of the world did not limit the execution of God’s plan for our salvation nor has it ever done. He was born into a sinful world by a sinful woman because he needed to be and because he could. Mary would not need to be very, very holy, just as the manger Jesus was laid in would not have had to be, neither was the cross neither was the tomb. God could achieve his aims within a sinful world just as he has always done. Jesus walked in a sinful world which makes his own sinlessness even more impressive. It was not Mary’s sinlessness that qualified her for the role of Mother of God but only God’s grace, the same grace that qualifies us to be with Him when we die. The quote “full of Grace” does not mean a person is sinless but that they are being awarded some blessing that they do not deserve. That is the definition of grace.

Secondly, the women mentioned in Scripture is not necessarily Mary. The woman could be Eve. Jesus is her offspring just as much as Mary’s. As I see it, the passage is only saying that the Woman (whoever you want to interpret that as, Eve, Mary or all women) is in conflict with the devil.

Thirdly Mary is indeed called blessed among women. This is because of the honour that God, despite her sin, by his grace bestows on her. This does not imply she has been made holy because no one is holy but God. To argue that because God will not stand in the presence of sin therefore Jesus could not be born in a sinful womb is to miss a major point of the incarnation. God was made flesh and came to earth in the form of a human. Jesus was both God and Man. As God he could be sinless. As man he could be tempted and what would be the value of resisting temptation if he were naturally immune to it.

Fourthly “The glory of children are their fathers.” This is true. Of course this is why Jesus needed to be immaculately conceived, to be born without a sinful earthly father. Ed seems to be trying to twist the passage to make ‘father’ mean ‘mother’. That is obviously a wrong interpretation. In reference to Ed’s quote from Wisdom: Wisdom is not scripture despite being made so for Catholics in 1545 at the Council of Trent and this continuation of the original value of the book by the Protestant Church was probably because of such slightly wrong statements of doctrine as that quoted by Ed above.

Mary was a human; she was not God like Jesus. Jesus was perfect because of his sinlessness. To argue that another human being was without sin is to devalue Christ’s sinlessness. Jesus was only without sin because his Father was God and therefore he was not corrupted by the curse of original sin as passed down from Adam. To argue that Mary was without sin would mean that either Mary’s father was God also or that her immaculate conception was without value because it was possible to be sinless even with an earthly father. Both these arguments are obviously against Christian teaching.

Being human, with the full quota of human parents the curse of Eve was applicable to Mary and quite obviously she did experience pain in childbirth. Even when we receive Christ’s saving grace we feel pain, in fact sometimes our lives become even harder. Freedom from pain is not a blessing given to us on Earth but only in heaven.

Mary may have ascended into Heaven before death like Elijah did but I doubt it for such a thing would have almost certainly been recorded by the early Christians. If she did not ascend then she died, that is certain, for “the wages of sin are death” She wouldn’t have been risen bodily to heaven after death either because that is an event reserved for the day of judgment and a special privilege given only to Jesus himself beforehand.

Furthermore, though Jesus is mentioned in vast amounts in the Bible as befits his sinlessness, his godliness and his saving passion, Mary is hardly mentioned at all after Christ’s ministry. The apostles barely noticed her when she was alive, she did not do any evangelic ministry they felt worthy to be recorded and Jesus himself devalued her motherhood by declaring “Who is my mother,” when he was told she were outside. If not even Jesus gave her a position of honour within his followers then why do Catholics place her almost on a par with Our Lord by crowning her Queen of Heaven?

Thank you and God Bless

-- Mike (michael_hawkes@cwcom.net), March 09, 2004.

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