Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Celebrated on August 28th
The Lord who on Mt. Sinai gave the commandment to honor thy father and mother showed by his own example how one must reverence one's parents. Even while hanging in agony on the Cross He remembered His mother, and indicating the Apostle John said, "Woman, behold your son!" and to John, "Behold your mother!" With this concern for His mother, He breathed His last. John had a home on Zion in Jerusalem where he settled the Mother of God and where she passed the remaining days of her life on earth. By her prayers, her kindly advice, her meekness and patience, she was of immense help to her Son's apostles. She spent virtually the rest of her life in Jerusalem, often going round the places that reminded her of the great events and the great works associated with and performed by her Son. She especially visited Golgotha, Bethlehem and the Mount of Olives. Of her journeys farther her visit to St. Ignatius the God-bearer is recorded as are those to St. Lazarus the four-days-dead. Bishop of Cyprus, to the holy Mountain, to which she gave her blessing, and her stay in Ephesus with John during a fierce persecution of Christians in Jerusalem. In old age she often prayed to her Lord and God on the Mount of Olives on the spot from which He ascended to take her from this world.
One day the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and revealed that she would enter into rest in three days' time. The angel gave her a palm branch to be carried in her funeral procession. She returned home with great joy with the heartfelt hope that she would see Christ's apostles once more in this life. The Lord fulfilled her desire and all the apostles, brought by angels on the clouds gathered together at John's house in Zion. It was with great joy that she saw the holy apostles and she encouraged, advised and upheld them, then peacefully gave her soul into God's hands without the slightest physical pain or struggle. The apostles took the coffin containing her body, from which an aromatic fragrance arose, and accompanied by many Christians, took it to the Garden of Gethsemane to the grave of Sts. Joachim and Anna. It was left to the Apostle Thomas, who was delayed, again by God's providence, to reveal a new and glorious mystery about the Holy Mother of God. He arrived on the third day and desired to embrace the body of the holy and most pure. When the apostle opened her grave, he found only the winding sheet – the body was not in the grave.
That evening she appeared to the apostles, surrounded by a multitude of angels and said to them, "Rejoice, I will be with you always!" It is not known exactly how old the Mother of God was at the time of her falling asleep. but the prevailing belief is that she had reached the age of sixty.