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MARIOLOGY


 

 

 

THE ASSUMPTION (A HISTORICAL NOTE)

The traditional belief that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven is a most fitting conclusion to the story of God's love for her. As early as Apostolic times, both East and West proclaimed their belief in the Assumption of Mary; more in the East where the feast was referred to as the Dormition or Translation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Gregory of Tours attests to its universal acceptance by the 6th century. King Alfred the Great of England decreed August 15 a national holiday. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption an article of Faith.

The first three Ecumenical Councils held in the Church are: The first, Nicea (325 A.D.), which was devoted to the Father and the Son; the second, Constantinople (381 A.D.), which was devoted to the Holy Spirit; and the third, Ephesus (432 A.D.), which was devoted to Christ and His Blessed Mother.

The Council of Ephesus, the first Marian Council, proclaimed the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin. The Eastern Church was ahead of the West in the development of Marian doctrines. The feast of the Dormition was already extensively celebrated in the East prior to 500 A.D.  Emperor Maurice (582-602) decreed that  it be celebrated on August 15 . The feast was referred to as The Dormition or Falling Asleep (Koimesis) or the Removal or Translation or Departure or Assumption of the body of Mary. These are all evident in the Eastern liturgies.

The doctrine began appearing in France only in the  6th century where the feast was celebrated by the Gallican Liturgies on the 18th of January as the feast of the Assumption ; and it reached Rome at the time of Pope Sergius (687-701)

 

 

 


(12-15-03)

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