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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Virgin Mary, Mother of God
By Mrs. Cicily Sunny, M.A., B.Ed., MSE

Chapter 7: Mary's Death and Assumption

According to what Jesus instructed, John and Mary lived together. When Jesus was crucified, Mary was fifty years old. Her age at the time of her death is not known. 

When she knew that she was going to die, Mary sat down with John for a long conversation. Mary said:

"I have never felt so strong, at peace, joyful, as I do now. But I have such jubilation, such a fullness of supernatural life, that….Yes, that I think that I shall not be able to endure it while continuing to live. 

I am not eternal, on the other hand. You must understand that. My spirit is eternal. My body is not. And it is subject, like the flesh of every man, to death….

I shall not suffer the disease, the agony, the pang of death….In any case, bear in mind, son, that if I have a desire, all mine and only mine, and that lasts since He left me, it is just this one….

Everything in my life was done by the will of God and by obedience to His will. But this desire, of wanting to join Jesus, is a will entirely mine. To leave the Earth for Heaven, to be with Him for ever and continuously! My desire of so many years! 

And now I feel it is on the point of becoming reality. Do not be so upset, John! Listen instead to my last wishes. When my body, deprived of the vital spirit, will lie in peace, do not subject me to the customary embalmment of the Hebrews. Because I am no longer a Jewess, but a Christian, the first Christian, if one considers the situation properly, because I was the first to have Christ, flesh and blood in me, because I was His first disciple, because I was Co-Redeemer with Him and His continuation here, among you, His servants. 

No living being, with the exception of my father and mother, and those who assisted at my birth, has seen my body. I want only the Eternal Pontiff to see my body at the right time. So, do not touch me….I have already purified myself, and I have put on a clean dress, the dress of the eternal wedding" (V.5, Ch.645, P.929). 

John was crying at that time, but Mary encouraged him and gave confidence. John replied:

"I will remember everything. And I will do what you wish, also for you body. I understand as well that the Hebrew rites no longer serve for you, a Christian, and for you, the Most Pure Mother, who, I am sure, will not be subjected to the corruption of the flesh. 

Your body, deified as no other mortal body, both because you have been exempted from the Sin of Origin, and even more because in addition to being the full of Grace, you contained in you Grace itself, the Word, whereby you are His most true relic, your body cannot experience the decomposition, the rottenness of all dead flesh. This will be the last miracle of God on you, in you. And you will be preserved as you are…" 

Mary continued:

"Also this evening I feel the angel around me, although I do not see them. And I feel a Light, an unsustainable light, grow within me, like the light that enveloped me when I conceived the Christ, when I gave Him to the world….

Through a similar power of love, as the one that assails me this evening, I hope that Heaven will abduct me and carry me where I long to go with my spirit to sing my imperishable 'Magnificent' to God, for the things he has done to me, His maid, with the people of the saints and the choruses of the angels, for ever and ever….

The measure of my capacity of loving is full. My soul and my body are no longer able to contain it. Love overflows from it, it submerges me and raises me at the same time towards Heaven, towards God, my Son. 

And His voice says to me: "Come! Come out! Ascend to our Throne and to our Trine embrace!" The Earth, what surrounds me, disappears in the bright light that comes to me from Heaven! Noises are drowned by this celestial voice! My moment for divine embrace has come, my dear John!."

Mary's face looked pale, and John rushed towards her to support her. In the mean time he exclaimed, "You are like Jesus when He became transfigured on Tabor! Your flesh is shining like the moon, your garments are as bright as a diamond sheet placed before a very while flame! You are no longer human, Mother! The heaviness and opacity of the flesh has disappeared! You are light! But you are not Jesus, He, being God, besides being Man, could stand also by Himself, there, upon Tabor, as He did here, on the Mount of Olives, when He ascended. You cannot. You cannot stand. Come. I will help you to lay your tired blessed body on your little bed. Rest." 

Folding her arms across her breast, closing her eyelids on her kind eyes, bright with love, she said to John who was bent over her:

"I am in God. And God is in me. While I contemplate Him and feel His embrace, say the psalms, and any other pages of the Psalms, and any other pages of the Scriptures becoming me, particularly in this hour. The Spirit of Wisdom will point them out to you. Then say the prayer of my Son, repeat the words of the announcing Archangel and of Elizabeth to me, and my hymn of praise….I will follow you with what I still have of myself on the earth…"

John said the prayers according to Mary's instruction and noticed that Mary did not breathe any more, although she was still natural in her posture and appearance, smiling, peaceful, as if she had not noticed that life has stopped.

John, with a heart-rending cry threw himself on the floor against the edge of the bed, and called and called Mary. After crying for a while, he picked up the edges of her wide linen mantle, which were hanging from the sides of the little bed, and those of the veil, which were also hanging from the pillow, and he spreads the former over her body, and the latter on her head. 

After rearranging the room, he hurried down to Gethsemane to pick as many flowers as he could and some branches of olive trees with olives already on them. He arranged the flowers and the branches around Mary's body as if it were the center of a huge wreath. He was still talking to the body as if she could hear him. 

While John did vigil near her body he said, "I think that yours is only a temporary separation of your soul, without sin and full of grace, from your most pure and virginal body…..How and when the reunion will take place and life will come back to you, I do not know. But I am so certain of this that I will remain here, beside you, until God, either with His word, or with His action, show me the truth on your destiny." 

On the third day, all of a sudden a strong light filled the room, and angelic creatures appeared with more light to lift Mary's body to heaven. John was almost asleep and when he woke up with the brightness of the light, he noticed that the bed was empty and the roof was open. He ran out on the terrace and saw the angels ascending farther and farther with Mary's body singing a mighty hosanna. 

As a reward for John's love for his adoptive mother, he saw Mary becoming alive and standing on her feet without support. Another reward to that perfect loving disciple was that he saw the meeting of the Most Holy Mother with Her Most Holy Son. With indescribable beauty he descended rapidly from Heaven, arrived at His Mother, pressed Her to His heart, and together, more refulgent than two major planets, returned with Her when He came.

Next Topic: Mary's Evangelization

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