The Feast of the Assumption: August 15, 2004
According to the Christian Tradition, in the 22nd year after our Lord’s ascension into heaven, an angel appeared to Mary and told her the good news that her body would be taken to heaven where Jesus Christ, her Son, was waiting for her with the angels. Mary desired to see the Apostles of our Lord before her Assumption. The Apostles came quickly from the places where they were evangelizing. They gathered around her, praying. On the third day, Jesus appeared to Mary and the Apostles.
Mary slept. Jesus asked his Apostles to take her body to the tomb. The Apostles went into a procession with the villagers. They laid Mary’s body in a tomb. St. Thomas arrived from India after three days. He asked to see her body to pay homage to the Virgin. The tomb was opened. It was empty. The Body was not found. A beautiful perfume came out of the tomb. St. Thomas fell down on his knees. All believed that Mary was taken to heaven in Body and Soul. At the year 425, the Church of Jerusalem celebrated the memorial of Mary. At the year 550, the feast was called the Feast of Dormition. At the year 588, the Byzantine Emperor moved the Feast from January 18 to August 15. At the end of the 7th century, Pope Sergius I introduced the Feast of Dormition into Rome. He called it the Feast of the Assumption. At the year 1638, the King of France declared Mary, the protector of the kingdom. The Feast of the Assumption became a national feast day. At the year 1672, the Orthodox Church adopted the Feast on August 15. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption as a theological Dogma in the Catholic Church.
(Retrieved from an article in Arabic written by Jean Sadaka on Annahar newspaper)