ASSUMPTION. A technical term indicating the glorification of the Virgin Mary, body and soul, in heaven at the end of her earthly life. For Catholics, the assumption became a Marian dogma with Pius XII's definition 1 November 1950. Between the Councils of Nicaea and Ephesus the death of the Virgin was spoken of as a natural event. Timothy the priest Leontius of Constantinople's pseudonym in the 5th c.
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Was the first to speak of Mary's nonmortality Hom. In Simeonem et Annam. The idea must not have been unique, since the priest Hesychius, who died after 451 Hom. De S. Maria Deipara, and his contemporary Chrysippus On. In S. Mariam Deiparam seem to allude to it. Epiphanius, a collector not only of heresies but of otherwise impossible-to-find information, reviewed in detail the situation current in his time in informed ecclesiastical circles: no one knew how Mary's earthly life ended Haer. 78, 24. This idea remained unchanged until the 6th c., after which date one notes the coupling of the empty tomb and the assumption into heaven of Mary's glorified body in some homilies, esp. Byzantine. The apocrypha had also stressed the importance of the correlation empty tomb assumption of Mary, elaborating certain facts transmitted only by them and proceeding to significant connections. The Transitus Mariae of ps. -Melito 17, 1 recension B links Mary's resurrection to her virginity, in line with a current already found in the 2nd c. In the assumptionist prototype of Leucius, a disciple of John the Evangelist against whom ps. -Melito argued in the 4th-5th c. The prototype exists in an Ethiopian text titled Book of Exequies, and reflects a Jewish Christian community of exemplary orthodoxy, in line with the NT data. The text documents and verifies what theologians in the 1950s called the subterranean historical tradition of the assumption that seemed to come to an end at the beginning of the 3rd c. It presents the end of Mary's earthly life in the light of the paschal mystery, on the lines of the gospel. Its salient moments are Mary's death, understood as the separation of soul from body, the immediate glorification of her soul, the burial of her body at Gethsemane, the assumption and reanimation of her body in paradise and her participation in the glory of the Son, seated at his right hand. Epiphanius, Panarion 78, 24 PG 42, 737; Timothy, Hom. In Sim. Et Annam: PG 86, 1237-1252; Hesychius, Hom. De S. Maria Deip. PG 93, 1464-1465; Chrysippus, Or. In S. Mariam Deip. PO 19, 336-343; De Transitu Mariae Apocrypha Aethiopice: CSCO vols. 342-343; Erbetta I, 2, 407-649 with bibl. ; M. Jugie, La mort et l'Assomption de la S. Vierge, ‰tude historicodoctrinale: ST 114 1944; B. Bagatti, Le origini della tomba della Vergine a Getsemani: RivBib 11 1963 38-52; Id. Le due redazioni del Transitus Mariae: Marianum 32 1970 277-287; Id. Nuove scoperte alla tomba della Vergine a Getsemani: Lib. Annuus 22 1972 236-290; Id. Ricerche sulle tradizioni della morte della Vergine: Sac. Dottr. 18 1973 185-214; Id. La morte della Vergine nel testo di Leucio: Marianum 36 1974 456-459; Id. Ricerche sull'iconografia della Koimesis o Dormitio Mariae: Lib. Annuus 25 1975 225-253; Id. La morte e la sepoltura di Maria secondo i nuovi dati, in Acts VIII Conv. Bibl. Franc. It. Assisi 1977, 261-265; L. Cignelli, Il prototipo giudeo-cristiano degli apocrifi assunzionisti, in Studia Hier. In onore di P.B. Bagatti, Jerusalem 1975, 259-277; F. Manns, Le rcit de la dormition de Marie Vatican gr. 1982, Contribution l'tude des origines de l'exg¨se chrtienne Franciscan Coll. Maior 33, Jerusalem 1989; S.C. Mimouni, Dormition et Assumption de Marie. Histoire des traditions anciennes Thol. Hist. 098, Paris 1995. Assumption of Our Lady holidaymapq
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