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(Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.) At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven." In the eighth century, St. You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth." All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption.

The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that "Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan.

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The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.

The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past.

Father Clifford Stevens writes from Tintern Monastery in Oakdale, Neb.

This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of "Catholic Heritage".

The prayer for the feast reads: "All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven.

May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory." In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution , Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: "The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven." With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.

For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.

After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem.

Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.

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