Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

Richard Salbato

 

Before Each Hail Mary

1. After the conversion of many in Jerusalem, Saint John took the Blessed Virgin Mary to Ephesus, a coastal city in what is now Turkey. There he built for Her a stone dwelling. At Her request, John carved a Crucifix for Her, and built the first Stations of the Cross. She spent the next years walking between the stations and meditating on the Passion of Her Son.

2. After three years, She visited Jerusalem for the first Council. Once there, she visited Mount Calvary, the Holy Sepulcher, and all the Holy Places around Jerusalem where Christ had suffered. She was so overcome by the memory of His suffering, she could scarcely walk. Her companions thought her dying, and the Apostles had a beautiful tomb built for Her in Jerusalem. She recovered, however, and returned to Her home in Ephesus.

3. As the Blessed Virgin felt Her death approaching, She sent out Angels to call the Apostles to come to Her for the last time. She was now in her 63rd year, 15 years after Her Sonís death, and 22 years before the destruction of Jerusalem.

4. Peter was sleeping one night near a wall in Antioch, when a resplendent youth approached him, took him by the hand, and bade him arise and hasten to Mary. Andrew Jude, Thaddeus and Simon were in Persia when they received their summons from the same Angel. Thomas was in India, John in Jericho, and Bartholome in Asia. When they were too far to walk, the Angels took them through the air to the door of Maryís home.

5. Mary sat upright in bed when the Apostles came in and knelt in turn at her side. She blessed each of them. Peter celebrated Mass and gave the Blessed Sacrament to Mary. It was Friday before the Passover. At 3:00 PM, and just after Communion, Mary closed Her eyes, blooming and smiling as in Her youth. She took Her last breath with a radiant smile on Her face.

6. A pathway of light arose from Maryís body up to the throne of the Most Holy Trinity. On either side of this pathway, clouds of light, and choirs of Angels united under the soul of Mary and soared with it into the sky. Many holy souls, among whom was Joseph, Anne, Joachim, John the Baptist, Zachary, and Elizabeth, came to meet Her. Up she soared, and Her body stayed behind for 2-1/2 days.

7. On the third day, a broad pathway of light descended again down from heaven and rested upon and around Her body. In this light were circles of angels, and in the center floated down the resplendent soul of the Blessed Virgin. In front of Her came Her Son, the marks of His Wounds flashing with light. Encircling the head of the Blessed Virgin like a crown, was a choir of blessed spirits. The blessed soul of Mary, floating before Jesus, entered Her body and rose up again. She was taken once again by her Son, body and soul, and returned in triumph into the Kingdom of Heaven.

8. Going up and up into the inner center of Heaven, Our Lady was pulled towards the Throne of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There She took Her place at the right hand of Her Son, as the daughter of the Father, the bride of the Holy Spirit and the Mother of the Son.

9. Now all the Angels, the Prophets, Patriarchs, the holy souls that had died before and after Christís resurrection, honored Her as the greatest of all Godís creation, and the first after the Trinity in glory.

10. The Apostles with tears and embraces took leave of one another after they had once more celebrated the solemn service in Mary's house. Ephesus became the site of the earliest known basilica built in the third Century in honor of the Mother of God. In this same church the Council of Ephesus (431) defined the first Marian dogma, that of the Theotokos or Divine Maternity. John also died in Ephesus. In 1891, two priests discovered the house where Mary lived and died in Ephesus.