Did Mary die?
Death is defined as the complete separation of the immortal soul from the body. Accordingly, Virgin Mary died.
Saint Gregory of Tours, Bishop; Eight Books of Miracles (A.D. 575-593):
“The course of this life having been completed by Blessed Mary, when now she would be called from the world, all the Apostles came together from their various regions to her house. And when they had heard that she was about to be taken from the world, they kept watch together with her. And behold, the Lord Jesus came with His angels, and taking her soul, He gave it over to angel Michael and withdrew.
At daybreak, however, the Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, he commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, rejoices with the Lord’s chosen ones, and is the enjoyment of the good of an eternity that will never end.”
This account is corroborated by many mystics who actually saw (either in visions or transported to the actual scene through space-time) what happened, like Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerick.
Why did Mary die?
The “new Eve” was was like Eve before the original sin: with “immaculate nature” . Due to her Immaculate Conception, Mary deserved the Original Justice of all the preternatural gifts, like a) impassibility (not being able to suffer) and b) immortality (not being able to suffer death):
a) Like Jesus, Virgin Mary didn’t have to clothe herself with the garment of our mortal flesh. She freely chose to, in order to:
1. Be fully integrated with the fallen human race, in order to adopt us as Mother, lowered to our fallen condition to be of the same kind (to save us, she became one of us).
2. Be able to pay for our salvation, with the offering of her suffering and self-sacrifice, as Co-redeemer (Coredemptrix ).
3. Become a living Host “full of grace”, by emptying herself to the lowest condition and most complete submission to the Will of God, to be filled with grace.
The Ark was made of wood, coated in gold inside and outside: like Mary, gold-immaculate inside the wood (mortal flesh) and irradiating grace outside as well. That’s why Revelation 11:19 ends with the Ark of the Covenant and Revelation 12:1 starts with the woman clothed with the Sun.
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Another analogy is the veil before the Ark, just as her mortal flesh veiled her immaculate super-nature. Mary was an ordinary woman and THE super-woman at the same time!
Interestingly, she birthed Jesus without pain, to birth us with the pain of the Cross: birthing pain is a penalty of original sin (Gen. 3:16), proving that she took our fallen nature pain.
And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
Suiting his preternatural condition, Jesus’ birth was preternatual, as normal births would have been in Eden (possibly, he took our redeeming mortal flesh at that time and that’s why we celebrate Christmas more than the supernatural Incarnation).
b) Having no original sin, Jesus and Mary didn’t have to die like we do with our the fallen nature.
In Eden, having completed the course of life, when God would have decided to call to the person to Heaven, the person would be taken by angels in both body and spirit, without suffering the separation of body and soul (death).
As a perfect image of Jesus, Mary freely chose to offer the sacrifice of death for our redemption. That’s the reason that her soul was separated from her body and taken to Heaven before her soul.
Then, what is the dormition?
Dormition: Middle French, from Late Latin dormition-, dormitio, from Latin, act of sleeping, from dormitus
In Eden, there was no corruption (entropy), if a person would die, the body would be immediately risen to Heaven with the soul, without any decay.
The dormition is a unique term applied to Mary’s death: her soul departed her body, yet her body was completely immune to corruption (incorrupt), as if just asleep. She deserved that because, behind her mortal clothing, she was in fact immaculate, not only by not having the original sin, but also by having no sin or imperfection throughout her life.
That’s why she also deserved to be assumed to Heaven before the general resurrection at the end of the world.
Instead, our bodies will be resuscitated at the end of times because we were conceived in the original sin (chained to Satan, that’s why Baptism ritual includes an exorcism).
Why not resurrecting at death? Because our bodies are kept hostage by Satan, until all sin is destroyed, meaning all Creation is purified from evil, and this complete triumph of Jesus and Mary will only happen at the end.
Being Mary the image of Jesus, did He have a dormition?
Dormition means falling asleep … like dying while sleeping. Jesus’ body was incorrupt like Mary’s, yet He didn’t die naturally. He was violently murdered. Clearly, he wasn’t asleep nor looked like sleeping. The Holy Shroud of Turin witnesses the cruelty of His Passion.
Jesus suffered bloodily but Mary bloodlessly: Mary suffered The Passion both spiritually and physically but without external manifestation of the wounds... just as St. Faustina and other mystics had invisible stigmata. Yet, at the end of her earthly life, she died like sleeping.
Why is the term “dormition” not applied to Joseph?
Because Joseph had the original sin. His body is still with us until the resurrection of bodies. According to Emmerick, it is hidden and incorrupt (many Saint’s bodies are incorrupt, some more than others, especially, Saint Therese of Lisieux, it is one of the many scientific proofs of the true religion, Catholicism).
Surrounded by Jesus and Mary, Joseph had the most peaceful death, and that’s why he is the patron saint of the dying and of the priests' on-call emergency service ).
Where’s the “Body of Christ”?
9 he has made known to us the mystery (sacrament?) of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him
10 as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
Pope Benedict XVI said that Jesus’ Body is “cosmic”:
“From Christ’s heart, from his “Eucharistic prayer” on the eve of his passion flows that dynamism which transforms reality in its cosmic, human and historical dimensions.”
“Corpus Christi is a day that involves the cosmic dimension, the heavens and the earth … The Eucharistic Bread is thus a visible sign of the One in whom Heaven and earth, God and man, became one.”
“The Eucharist also has a cosmic property: the transformation of the bread and the wine into Christ’s Body and Blood is in fact the principle of the divinization of creation itself.”
Jesus’ Body is not over the clouds, the stratosphere or the Universe. The Eucharist isn’t a window to a cosmological space-time reality, but Jesus Himself: in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Where’s the body of Mary?
Mary is the image of Jesus. So the same answer above applies to Her. She’s spiritually and physically in the Eucharist, in body, blood, soul and divinization.
She’s not mingled with Jesus, but each person, individually, forms a perfect unity, like the Ark of the Covenant, containing “three signs of the covenant, the manna-Jesus as the New Manna, the staff of the high priest-Jesus as the High Priest and the written law-Jesus as the Word of God and law giver.”
At the end of the world, if judged worthy of Heaven, our bodies, will rise and form part of the Eucharistic communion with and in God.
But isn’t the Eucharist the “Body of Christ”?
When consecrating, the Priest doesn’t say “the body of Mary”!
Yet, it wouldn’t be wrong to call the Eucharist the body of Mary in Christ. The Word of God teaches that the Church is the “mystical body of Christ, the head”, where each faithful, living or dead, is like a cell:
22 And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
This spiritual reality will become also a physical one, when our bodies resurrect to form form part of Jesus’ Eucharistic Body, like a stone in a Temple, the branches of a wine, the body of the spouse, citizens of a city, adopted children in God’s family, wheat in the communion host, etc.:
Living stones of The Temple
1 Corinthians 3
9 For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
11 for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
21 Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
22 in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit
1 Peter 2
4 Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
5 and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Branches of The Wine
4 Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
6 Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
23 the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of man this one has been taken.”*
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
4 He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.
1 Corinthians 6
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!
16 Do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.”
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
23 For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body.
28 So husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.
31 “For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This is a great mystery (sacrament?), but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.
16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
18 He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
[through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven
21 And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds
22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him
Through marriage, a man and a woman become “one flesh”, not just at the marital act, yet each one is a separate person with different body and soul, in spite that mystically, the man is the head and the women becomes his body.
The Levirate marriage is a proof: a man should marry his brother’s widow to give him descent (only in the case of being childless), because she was still “one flesh” with the dead brother. Off the head, still his mystical body remained in the widow. Yet, the head could only be replaced by someone of the same flesh.
Why couldn't anybody else give him descent? Because children are the same one flesh of their parents, so the brother was one flesh with the parents of the dead man and also the widow was one flesh with the diseased man.
Why couldn’t the father of the dead man give the widow descent? Because incest is forbidden.
Considering that, spiritually, a wedding means all become one family, would the widow and brother be incest? That spiritual bond lasts until the death of one of the spouses, otherwise if the widow marries a non-family, it wouldn’t make sense out of kinship. Therefore, the “one flesh” involves only father, mother, children. That’s why the nephew of the dead man couldn’t give him descent, either.
Why couldn’t the brother give the man descent if he was still alive but infertile? The marital act with one's brother's wife were forbidden by Leviticus 18 and 20 to make clear that the “one flesh” was no excuse to violate that marriage is an exclusive covenant until death of one.
It’s interesting that the Levirate marriage was practiced in so many different cultures in the world … as if it is part of natural law.
Of course, Mary’s divinization is “in” Christ (Deus fit homo ut homo fieret Deus… Ut omnes unum sint!):
1. All saints and angels are spiritually present “in” the Eucharist because the physical and the metaphysical dimensions are indivisible:
2. Scripture explains that in the parousia (Second Coming), ALL saint’s bodies will be glorified and become one with Jesus, though keeping individuality, like branches in the vine, like stones in a building, like members of a body. This is also supported in the Eucharistic prayers (liturgy).
3. Mary’s body is the only one glorified with Jesus (dogma of the Assumption): “the Eucharistic Woman” is already one with Jesus (the “new Eve”, as named by the Church Fathers).
Vice versa, it wouldn't be wrong to call the Eucharist, the Body of Christ in Mary.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
This means that the Eucharist treasures each moment in the life of Jesus (and the Church), including Mary’s pregnancy in God’s eternal present.
The Word of God is eternally made flesh in Mary:
1. The angel Gabriel tells Mary that she is the “full of Grace” (Gratia plena). As if that were not enough, he tells her "The Lord is with you" (Dominus te cum), which is much more than "The Lord is close to you": the Lord, source of all being, shares his Being with Mary. Nowhere else in the Bible are these expressions used.
2. When visiting Elizabeth, through the greeting of Mary, Elizabeth and John the Baptist were purified and were filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1,15; 41-44)
Mary is not only the bearer of Christ. She fully integrates the Word of God into her life. She made the Word of God flesh, in her flesh. Mary is a living Gospel!
Because, Jesus praised her:
Lk 8, 21
But he replied, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it."
3. God is an eternal present (Summa Theologica). In the Eucharist God is in his eternal present. All divine intervention in history remains alive in its eternal present, including the theandric works (of Jesus).
4. In the Eucharist is the whole life of Jesus, spiritually and physically.
5. The Blessed Virgin was, is and will forever be the Immaculate Mother of God not only physically but spiritually (Dogma).
Conclusion: in the Eucharist, the Word of God was, is and will be, incarnate in Mary.
9. Any other risen bodies?
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerick explains that, except Jesus and Mary, there are no other risen bodies:
1. Enoch is in Eden (Gn. 5:24), where Eden is presented like another dimension on Earth.
2. Elijah is in Eden (2 Kg 2:11)
3. St. Michael fought for the body of Moses against Satan (Jude 9). Moses will rise for the end of times to preach and make miracles (Exodus 7) with Elijah (Revelation 11:3–12; Matthew 17:3–4, 1 Kings 17:1; 2 Kings 1; Malachi 4:5).
4. Those who rose at the time of Jesus’ death, returned to the tomb (Matthew 27:52-53).
Where is Jesus? In the Eucharist. Where’s Mary? With Jesus… in the Eucharist!
- Did the assumed body of Mary join her soul inseparably in Heaven? Yes
- Are all those in Heaven, part of the Church? Yes
- Being in Heaven and as "Mother of the Church" is Mary part of the Church? Yes
- Is the Church the mystical Body of Christ, being Him the head? Yes
- Is the mystical Body of Christ inseparable from His real Body? Yes
- In the Eucharist, is Jesus spiritually and physically really present in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? Yes
- In the Eucharist, are all those in Heaven really present? Yes
- Is the unavoidable conclusion that Mary is spiritually and physically really present in the Eucharist? Yes
- If her presence in the Eucharist was only spiritual, wouldn't that deny the dogma of her body being inseparably joined with her soul in Heaven? Yes
- Would denying her physical presence in the Eucharist be a heresy? Yes
Plus, St. Ignatius Loyola, doctor of the Church, spiritual father of Pope Francis, wrote that he actually saw Virgin Mary being physically present in the Eucharist!
Jesus and Mary are not mingled. Each is a perfect human, with body and soul. Otherwise, it would be a heresy.
To understand the concept of mystical Body there are some imperfect analogies:
- In a digital image, there are different layers but the image is one.
- In computing there’s the concept of meta-data.
- In philosophy and theology, there’s the concept of meta-physics.
Analogies are imperfect. In God, the mystical Body of Christ is like a meta-body, but it is REALLY His Body.
Mary is already one with Jesus, she is part of the mystical body of Christ so when the priest says “this is My Body” at consecration, it is Jesus’ body, which is Mary’s body too.
No other body except Mary’s has been glorified (not even St. Joseph’s, as revealed by St. Thomas Aquinas and Bl. Anna K. Emmerick, among others) so no other saint is really physically present in the Eucharist (only spiritually).
Mary’s body is physically in the Eucharist. Many Saints and Popes have written about this mystery which is approved by the Church (nihil obstat, imprimatur).
John Paul II
Ecclesia de Eucharistia n.57:
“Experiencing the memorial of Christ's death in the Eucharist also means continually receiving this gift. It means accepting – like John – the one who is given to us anew as our Mother… Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist.“
Angelus June 5th 1983:
“And if the Body that we eat and the Blood that we drink is the inestimable gift of the Risen Lord to us travelers, it still has in itself, as fragrant Bread, the taste and aroma of the Virgin Mother… Every Mass puts us in intimate communion with her, the Mother, whose sacrifice becomes present just as the Sacrifice of her Son 'becomes present' at the words of consecration of the bread and wine pronounced by the priest.”
(note: Mary did not taste and smell like bread for sure!!!)
There are hundreds of quotes from Saints and Popes like Ignatius of Loyola and Popes like Leo XIII , John Paul II , Benedict XVI and Francis.
God willingly and through your prayers, I’ll soon write more about this.
Please pray a Hail Mary.