Preparing for a feast that goes back to the 6th century, the Feast of the Dormition, of Mary the Holy Theotokos “falling asleep” in God.
Pope Pius XII, in the text Munificentissimus Deus explaining his definition of the dogma of the Assumption, refers repeatedly to the Blessed Virgin’s death before her Assumption, and the consistent tradition in both the East and the West holds that Mary did die before she was assumed into Heaven. However, since the definition of the Assumption is silent on this question, Catholics can legitimately believe that Mary did not die before the Assumption.
In this corner of the world it is cold and wintry, spring slow to arrive. A radiant heart-warming Feast for the Blessed Virgin.
From the 4th-century Account of St John the Theologian
While Peter sang a hymn, the face of the mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with her own hand, and all gave glory to God; and the Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and received her holy and blameless soul. . . . And Peter, and I John, and Paul, and Thomas, ran and wrapped up her precious feet for the consecration; and the twelve apostles put her precious and holy body upon a couch, and carried it.