Saint John Damascene writes: Y our sacred and happy soul, as nature will have it, was separated in death from your most blessed and immaculate body; and although the body was duly interred, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay….Your most pure and sinless body was not left on earth but you were transferred to your heavenly throne, O Lady, Queen, and Mother of God in truth.

When Pope Pius XII, on November 1, 1950, solemnly announced the Assumption of Mary (in the eastern churches, the Dormition) to be a dogma of the faith, he did not establish a new doctrine, but merely confirmed the universal belief of early Christianity, declaring it to be revealed by God through the medium of apostolic tradition. 

All through the Middle Ages the days from August 15 to September 15 were called “Our Lady’s Thirty Days” (Frauendreissiger) in the German-speaking sections of Europe. Many Assumption shrines to this day surround Mary with flowers.

In art, this feast has been depicted in various ways, all of which are intended to connect Mary’s Assumption with the resurrection of Jesus and the future history of the church community whom Mary represents. Sometimes artists have portrayed her being carried to heaven by angels as the apostles look on—sometimes the apostles gaze in wonder at Mary’s empty tomb, filled with flowers.

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