Assumption of Mary

The Assumption of Mary is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII defined it in 1950 in his apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus as follows:

We proclaim and define it to be a dogma revealed by God that the immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.[2]

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A famous treatment in Western art, Titian's Assumption, 1516–1518
Also called
  • The Assumption
  • Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Observed by
TypeChristian
Significancethe bodily taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus into Heaven
ObservancesAttending Mass or service
DateAugust 15
Sunday nearest to August 15 (Armenian Apostolic Church)[1]
FrequencyAnnual
Memorial in Youghal, Ireland, to the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption

The declaration was built upon the 1854 dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which declared that Mary was conceived free from original sin, and both have their foundation in the concept of Mary as the Mother of God.[3] It leaves open the question of whether Mary died or whether she was raised to eternal life without bodily death.[2]

The equivalent belief (but not held as dogma) in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the Dormition of the Mother of God or the "Falling Asleep of the Mother of God".

The word 'assumption' derives from the Latin word assūmptiō meaning "taking up".


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