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The Death and Burial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Death and Burial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

John Account of Mary as instructed by Jesus

John was deliberate in his account of Mary. Lets start the story of Mary to her death and burial

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:26-27)

At some point in time John made his way to Ephesus.  It was assumed by many that Mary was with him, an assumption which gave rise to the tradition that Mary died in that city. This tradition, to the best of my knowledge, dates back only to about the middle of the fourth century, whereas the tradition that Mary lived, died and was buried in Jerusalem dates back to the second or third century.

Death and burial of Mary
The Stair case to the tomb of Mary

There is both biblical and post-biblical evidence that Jerusalem was in fact the place of Mary’s death and burial.

As Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles,after the Ascension of Jesus the apostles…

…returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. (Acts 1:12-14)

Other than the eleven apostles, “Mary the mother of Jesus” is the only person named in this post-Ascension gathering of disciples, who were the first members of the Jewish Christian Church in Jerusalem. However, the bible does not provide us with any further details about the earthly life of Mary, at least not directly.

The Acts of the Apostles leaves one to infer that John remained in Jerusalem for quite some time after the Ascension, which by extension means that Mary would have remained there living in John’s home. How long did John remain in Jerusalem? Well, we know that John was in Jerusalem for the ‘Council of Jerusalem’, which convened to consider Paul’s missionary methods among the Gentiles (Acts 15:1-34). Paul mentions John’s presence in his letter to the Galatians:

[W]hen they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised…and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (Galatians 2:7-9)

Death and burial of Mary
The Beautiful edifice in the tomb of Mary

An edicule over Mary’s tomb

Even if we accept the traditional dating of Jesus’ birth, Mary would have been about sixty-five years old in 50 AD. Most scholars, however, date Jesus’ birth as much as seven years earlier, which would mean that Mary was more likely around seventy years old in 50 AD. In his book, Paths of the Messiah, BargilPixner suggests that John didn’t leave for Ephesus until after the Jewish revolt began in 66 AD, and therefore:

It is not very likely that the Virgin at her advanced age could have accompanied [John] to the Gentile city of Ephesus in order to die alone, far removed from her relatives. (Pixner, 404)

The source of the tradition surrounding Mary’s death and burial is a post-biblical document known as Transitus Mariae (Latin, The Crossing Over of Mary). While this has long been considered a document composed in the fourth century (which, by the way, pre-dates the Ephesus tradition) more recent studies have identified, within the document, certain theological terminology typical of early Jewish Christians. The presence of such Jewish Christian language in the document would date it to the second or third century.

According to Transitus Mariae, Mary was surrounded by “all the apostles” when she died. Therefore, Pixner concludes that Mary died around the time of the ‘Council of Jerusalem’, as this would have ensured all the apostles would have been in Jerusalem (Pixner, 404).

It is Transitus Mariae which tells us of Mary’s burial at Gethsemane. In their report, New Discoveries at the Tomb of Virgin Mary (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1975), B. Bagatti, M. Piccirillo and A. Prodomo point out the fact that there are various versions of Transitus Mariae, and thus there are a variety of accounts about the burial of Mary. Despite the differences between the various versions, however, they all agree that Mary was buried in a tomb at Gethsemane (Bagatti, 11-13).

Death and burial of Mary
The Stone were Mary’s body was laid after her death

The stone upon which her body was supposedly laid. The tradition says that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven on the third day (the Assumption)

In a document from 451 AD, in response to a request for the relics of the Virgin Mary, the Patriarch of Jerusalem responded with his firm belief that her relics were in the “remarkable church of the Blessed Mother of God, the Virgin Mary in the place called Gethsemane. There Mary’s body was placed in a tomb” (Bagatti, 16-17). Thus we know that there was a Byzantine church on this site at some point prior to 451 AD, which means that the site was venerated by Christians previous to the construction of the church.

From my conclusion, Blessed Virgin Mary remained in Jerusalem after the Ascension of Jesus, that she lived in the house of John until her death, and that she was buried in the tomb at Gethsemane which bears her name to this day.

Where is the mother of Jesus buried?

Where is the mother of Jesus buried?


Our Lady’s Burial

Before reaching the grotto, the litter was set down. Four of the Apostles bore the coffin in, and placed it in the hollow of the tomb. All went, one by one, into the grotto where they knelt in prayer before the holy body, honoring it and taking leave of it. Then the tomb was shut in by a wicker screen that extended from the front edge of the tomb to the top of the vaulted wall above. Before the entrance of the grotto, they made a trench which they planted so thickly with blooming flowers and bushes covered with berries that one could gain access to it only from the side, and that only by making his way through the under-wood.

    On the night following the burial, took place the bodily assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven. I saw on this night several of the Apostles and holy women in the little garden, praying and singing Psalms before the grotto. I saw a broad pathway of light descend from heaven and rest upon the tomb. In it were circles of glory full of angels, in the midst of whom the resplendent soul of the Blessed Virgin came floating down.

Before her went her Divine Son, the marks of His Wounds flashing with light. In the innermost circle, that which surrounded the holy soul of Mary, the angels appeared like the faces of very young children; in the second circle, they were like those of children from six to eight years old; and in the outermost, like the faces of youths, I could clearly distinguish only the face, the rest of the figure consisting of perfectly transparent light. Encircling the head of the Blessed Virgin like a crown, was a choir of blessed spirits. I know not what those present saw of all this.

But I saw that some gazed up in amazement and adoration, while others cast themselves prostrate in fright upon the earth. These apparitions, becoming more and more distinct as they approached nearer, floated over the grotto, and another pathway of light issued from it and arose to the heavenly Jerusalem. The blessed soul of Mary, floating before Jesus, penetrated through the rock and into the tomb, out of which she again arose radiant with light in her glorified body and, escorted by the entire multitude of celestial spirits, returned in triumph to the heavenly Jerusalem.

   He wept with an abundance of tears quite astonishing to behold, for he could not forgive himself for coming so late. Weeping bitterly he threw himself with Jonathan at his side on the spot upon which the blessed soul of Mary had left her body, and afterward knelt long before the altar. The Apostles, who had not interrupted their choir-chanting on account of his coming, now gathered around him, raised him up, embraced him, and set before him and his companions bread, honey, and some kind of beverage in little jugs.

After that they accompanied him with lights to the tomb. Two disciples bent the shrubbery to one side. Thomas, Eleanor, and John went in and prayed before the coffin. Then John loosened the three straps that bound it, for it rose high enough above the troughlike couch to admit of being opened. They stood the lid of the coffin on one side and, to their intense astonishment, beheld only the empty winding-sheets lying like a husk, or-shell, and in perfect order. The swathing-bands of the arms and hands lay separate, as if gently drawn off, but in perfect order. The Apostles gazed in amazement, their hands raised.


Who was Mary’s father the mother of Jesus?

Who was Mary’s father the mother of Jesus?

Image result for images of Mary's Parents

Is Mary from this world or Her Parent?

Mary, the mother of Jesus had a father and Mother when she was alive. This is not surprising, i want to believe that. Well, i am surprise some what. Mary to me is seen a being never from this world. But No, she was before God honoured her and raise her to the level of Angels or immortals and as a queen in the heaven and earth below. Mary was born like any other person, though without sin because God preserved her and made sure too that Her becoming God’s daughter, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and mother of Jesus. It was Her decision to accept the message from God the father via an Angel.

Early Life of Mary

According to Originally ‘Apocrypha’ meaning “secret” or “hidden”, Mary’s parents brought her to the temple where she grew up in a Godly way and righteous. i quote verbatim,”

For her parents offered her in the temple when she was three years of age.  Mary remained in the temple of the Lord for nine years. Then when the priests saw that the virgin, holy and God-fearing, was growing up, they spoke to each other, saying: Let us search out a man, righteous and pious, to whom Mary may be entrusted until the time of her marriage; ….

Mary’s Parent

Roman Catholicism assigns the names Anne and Joachim to the mother and father, respectively, of Mary. Though any stories about Mary’s father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. A legend told in a document says that after years of childlessness, an Angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah — Anne — in 1 Kings).”

Glory To Jesus; honour to Mary and Joseph

What age was Mary and Joseph when Jesus was born?

What age was Mary and Joseph when Jesus was born?

Image result for images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus
The Age of Joseph and Mary shows in the Picture. Joseph old and Mary Young Virgin

 What is the definition of Apocrypha?

If you ask any Christian what the word ‘Apocrypha’ means, they would say something along the lines, “it means it is not authentic or spurious.” In other words it is fake. This is a recent meaning. Originally ‘Apocrypha’ meant “secret” or “hidden”, this was the ancient meaning.

Interesting though is how Protestant Christians are quick to reject Apocrypha books. But when we ask them, “Why do you accept the book of Hebrews?” They have no answer. Most scholars agree that they do not know who wrote the book, yet Christians still accept the book as scripture.

Mary was 12 years old when betrothed to Joseph

‘History of Joseph the Carpenter’ confirms that Mary was 12 years old when betrothed to Joseph. Chapter 3 and 4 states:

3. Now when righteous Joseph became a widower, my mother Mary, blessed, holy, and pure, was already twelve years old. For her parents offered her in the temple when she was three years of age, and she remained in the temple of the Lord nine years. Then when the priests saw that the virgin, holy and God-fearing, was growing up, they spoke to each other, saying: Let us search out a man, righteous and pious, to whom Mary may be entrusted until the time of her marriage; ….

4. Therefore they immediately sent out, and assembled twelve old men of the tribe of Judah. And they wrote down the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. And the lot fell upon the pious old man, righteous Joseph.  Righteous Joseph therefore received my mother, and led her away to his own house. And Mary found James the Less in his father’s house, broken-hearted and sad on account of the loss of his mother, and she brought him up.

Hence Mary was called the mother of James. Luke 24:10. And after the holy virgin had spent two years in his house her age was exactly fourteen years, including the time at which he received her

3. Experts agree that Joseph was a very old man

De Robigne Mortimer Bennett says:

“The following ‘Facts about virgin Mary’ are taken from one of the Apocryphal gospels- ’ Joseph was a widower with four sons and two daughters, all married but James and Judas. Joseph was a Priest as well as a Carpenter, but lived mostly by the latter trade. So they assembled twelve old men, who raffled for Mary. But he took her to his house and kept her two years, when she became a mother by the Holy Ghost.

Mary was pregnant at the age of 14 and became Mother at the age of 14

Glory to Jesus; honour to Mary and Joseph.