What is Your Belief Regarding the “Assumption of Mary”?


Let us first of all explain the Roman Catholic or Greek (Eastern) Orthodox teaching of the “Assumption of Mary.”

Quoting from christianity.about.com, we are told the following:

“The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her BODILY assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time…

“The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means ‘the falling asleep.’ The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled ‘The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God’…

“On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared… that it is a dogma of the Church ‘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.’ As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics; anyone who publicly dissents from the dogma, Pope Pius declared, ‘has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.’…

“The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Holy Day of Obligation. However, when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated…

“The earliest Latin versions of the story of the Assumption, written a couple of centuries later [than the above-quoted writing from the 4th century], differ in certain details but agree that Mary died, and Christ received her SOUL; that the apostles entombed her body; and that Mary’s BODY was taken up into Heaven from the tomb… none of these documents bear the weight of Scripture… 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…

“Pope Pius XII, in… his… 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 dogma states… that Mary was glorified in heaven and is ‘exalted by the Lord as QUEEN over all things.’ The Assumption of Mary doctrine is based solely on church tradition. The Bible does not record Mary’s death.”

An article on the Austrian website, news.at, dated August 16, 2015, explains that the “Assumption” is celebrated annually on August 15. It states: “The Catholic Church observes with the Feast ‘Mariae Himmelfahrt’ the bodily acceptance of Mary, the Mother of God (“Gottesmutter Maria”) immediately after her death. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the dogma of the ‘wholly human acceptance’ (‘ganzmenschliche Aufnahme’) of Mary into Heaven.”

The article also points out that the Feast of the Assumption is associated with the belief that Mary’s grave did not contain the remains of Mary, but that flowers and herbs were found there, and that therefore a celebration of herbs occurs on that feast day, consisting of seven herbs which are believed to symbolize Mary’s  alleged “seven dolors” or “sorrows” (another Catholic belief which has really no basis in Scripture).  These herbs are believed to grant protection against sickness and lightning. It is also believed that plants which grow within 30 days following the Feast of the Assumption are especially useful for physical healing.

Viewing these teachings from a biblical perspective, we have to point out the following:

Apart from the unbiblical superstition of magical plants and herbs, neither Elijah nor Enoch went to heaven. They died and are still dead. Jesus Christ clearly declared in John 3:13: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man…” For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

Mary did not ascend to heaven either. She died and is still dead and in her grave. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 50-54 and in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that all those who died in Christ will be resurrected at the time of Christ’s return–not before then. Apart from Christ Himself, none of those who died prior to Christ’s return have inherited the promise of eternal life (Hebrews 11:13, 39-40). The Bible speaks of the first resurrection of the saints at the time of Christ’s return (Revelation 20:4-6).

Mary is not presently in heaven, ruling as a Queen. However, the belief in a heavenly queen is derived from paganism. Ancient Israelites and Jews believed in and worshipped a queen of heaven, but this religious practice was sternly condemned by God (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:15-27). For more information, please read our Q&A on the design of the European flag.

The concept that those who died in Christ will be resurrected “bodily” and go to heaven, that is, with a physical body, is erroneous. We discussed this false idea in several Q&As about the “first resurrection”  and the “resurrection of a physical body”. They will be resurrected with a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44), and they will be ruling on the earth (Revelation 5:10). In addition, the resurrection is not a combination of body and soul. Humans do not have an immortal soul–this is another pagan concept. Rather, the human soul IS the person, and when the person dies, the soul dies. It does not continue to live at the time of a human being’s death. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?” 

Finally, the concept that Mary was a perpetual Virgin is equally wrong. Mary did have children after the birth of Jesus. Further, she was not the “Mother of God.” Rather, she was the mother of the human being Jesus Christ who had become a man, having set aside or emptied Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-7). He had been God, but He became flesh (John 1:1-2, 14). For more information, please read our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery.” 

As we can see, the concept of the Assumption of Mary is in total contradiction to biblical teaching. Catholics are not allowed to dissent from this dogma, but the Bible tells us that we must not believe it. It has been adopted from pagan worship concepts, and the Bible forbids us from incorporating those into our true worship of God (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

As the website of timeanddate.com points out:

“This holiday, which has been celebrated since the fourth century CE, is a Christianization of an earlier harvest festival and, in many parts of Europe, is known as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest. For centuries celebrations were held in the honor of the goddess Isis of the Sea, who was born on this day according to mythology. With the coming of Christianity church leaders decided that the easiest way to handle this pagan ritual was to simply change it into a Christian holiday, hence the introduction of Assumption Day came forth.”

The connection between the concept of a pagan harvest festival and the idea of “magical” herbs and plants at the time of “Mary’s Assumption” is unmistakable.

The website of Florentine.net added:

“… the August holidays in Italy, culminating on the 15th with Ferragosto, are rooted in tradition as old as the Roman Empire itself. Ferragosto is an Italian contraction of the Latin feriae augusti: literally, ‘Augustus’s holiday.’ Proclaimed by Augustus (Julius Caesar’s nephew and heir, and the first Roman Emperor), the feriae augusti were originally a full month of continuous celebration later reduced to a single day in early, and subsequently mid, August… Romans feasted and honoured diverse gods and goddesses, typically those associated with the harvest and the changing of seasons. For Roman women, the feriae augusti meant a time to worship the goddesses relevant to their own interests, deities such as Diana, the protectoress of youth and a goddess of childbirth… Thus, in addition to its status as public holiday, in time Ferragosto also became associated with principally ‘female’ matters — fertility, maternity, and children.

“Such correlations help to explain how a pagan harvest festival, one already strongly linked to sacred female figures, evolved into a feast day for the Catholic Church’s most revered female figure, the Virgin Mary. For… August 15th is also the Feast of the Assumption… One of the Church’s basic Marian dogmas, the Assumption refers to the moment Mary was taken up, or ‘assumed,’ directly into heaven… Proclaimed official dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950, it was assigned to August 15th on the liturgical calendar — and not by coincidence…

“That the Catholic Church co-opted Ferragosto as it had done with other pagan festivals seems little disputed. History is full of shifts of this kind. Throughout the whole of Europe, firmly-rooted pagan traditions never really died out, but were absorbed rather into an ever-expanding Christian world. Many Christian saints, including Mary, came to bear symbolic resemblance to prior religious figures; and even the most desultory look at the roots of Christmas and Easter quickly reveals a strong connection to ancient pagan antecedents.

“From her Greek and Roman predecessors, Mary inherited strong associations with fertility, purity, and maternal strength: Mary’s triumph over death, for instance, recalls the symbology of Ceres, who, as the goddess of corn, died each year come harvest time, but every spring was re-sowed, reborn; the flowers said to have bloomed spontaneously at Mary’s tomb (usually roses or lilies) as angels conveyed her to heaven, parallel the grain, corn husks, and other harvest flora that for ages had been associated of her forerunners; and, even today, Catholics pray to Mary for guidance and care in childbirth just as pagan women sought the aid of Juno, Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth…”

There can be no doubt that the concept of the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” is not biblical, but pagan to the core, and should not be observed by true Christians who believe in and follow the Word of God.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

©2024 Church of the Eternal God