Friday, March 6, 2009

Dormition and Assumption of Mary

1st Century
East: Bishop St. Dionysius the Areopagite Martyr of Athens says [On the Divine Names 3:2 in PG 3:681CD-683A],
For, amongst our inspired hierarchs (when both we, as you know, and yourself, and many of our holy brethren, were gathered together to the depositing of the Life-springing and God-receptive body, and when there were present also James, the brother of God, and Peter, the foremost and most honored pinnacle of the Theologians, when it was determined after the depositing, that every one of the hierarchs should celebrate, as each was capable, the Omnipotent Goodness of the supremely Divine Weakness), he, after the Theologians, surpassed, as you know, all the other divine instructors, being wholly entranced, wholly raised from himself, and experiencing the pain of his fellowship with the things celebrated, and was regarded as an inspired and divine Psalmist by all, by whom he was heard and seen and known, and not known.
WRH: This early witness, if you hold fast to tradition and are not persuaded by the anti-Dionysian sophistry springing from the poisonous well of agnosticism and rationalism, clearly refutes Marian immortalism. Indeed the Θεοτόκος, in conformity with her Son the Good Shepherd, underwent bodily death, but no decay [φθορά]. Though the Doctor St. Dionysius the Great of Athens does not mention the disappearance of her most pure and virginal body, this was common knowledge and it can only mean that our Lady was assumed bodily into Heaven.4th Century

6th Century
West: Bishop St. Gregory of Tours says in 580 [Eight Books on Miracles 1:4 in PL 71:708C],
The Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones.


8th Century
East: Patriarch St. Germanus of Constantinople says before 733 [Sermon 1 in PG 98:346B],
You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the Heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life.

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