Assumption: Did Mary die?

Please I need help!! Did Mary die? And if she did, which part of the Bible can we find it?? Some of my friends are asking and want to know but I can’t prove anything to them.


First of all, we must know that we cannot find everything as they happened in the Bible.
We do not find the death of almost all the apostles, or how they died, recorded in the Bible. However, we believe they died, anyway, and oral tradition helps us to know how they died. The Bible never records the life of Jesus between the ages of 12yrs to almost 30yrs. Does it therefore mean Jesus didn’t exist between that period simply because it is not recorded in the Bible? So the question of “where is it in the Bible” is even unbiblical, because the Bible does not support “sola scriptura” (Bible alone) – 2Thes. 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.”

Now, to the substantive issue, the death of Mary is not recorded in the Bible. Neither is her assumption. What we know of it is what has been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and some extra biblical documents.

It is not difficult to accept that Mary is in heaven, and it has never been a point of debate. The question however has been whether she died or not before being assumed into heaven.

The traditional view on this issue is that Mary did die, like all other men, but not as a result of sin. This view is based on a fourth-century document called “The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” (attributed to John, to whom Jesus entrusted his mother or his disciples). This document relates the final days of Mary and how she died and was buried.

That this document and others do not bear the weight of Scripture does not matter; what matters is that they tell us what the early Christians believed had happened to Mary at the end of her life.

Unlike the Prophet Elijah, who was caught up by a fiery chariot and taken up into Heaven while still alive, the Virgin Mary (according to these traditions) died naturally, and then her soul was reunited with her body at the Assumption. (Her body, all of the documents agree, remained incorrupt between her death and her Assumption.)

Pope Pius XII, in “Munificentissimus Deus”, his November 1, 1950, declaration of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, cites ancient liturgical texts from both East and West, as well as the writings of the Church Fathers, all indicating that the Blessed Virgin had died before her body was assumed into Heaven.

Pius echoes this tradition in his own words:

“this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ . . .”

Still, the dogma, as Pius XII defined it, leaves the question of whether the Virgin Mary died open. What Catholics must believe is,

“..that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

“Having completed the course of her earthly life” is ambiguous; it allows for the possibility that Mary may not have died before her Assumption. In other words, while tradition has always indicated that Mary did die, Catholics are not bound, at least by the definition of the dogma, to believe it. What is necessary to believe is that she is in heaven. After all, what has Mary’s dying or not before going to heaven add or subtract from our salvation? She continues to intercede for us in heaven.

God bless you.

~Padre Antonio ( Whatsapp number: +233 26 504 6660)


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