Once in my younger days a question popped up in my mind: “Why do Catholics believe that Mary was assumed into heaven?”
It was a quick thought that passed in my mind while praying the Glorious mystery of the rosary, specifically the fourth Glorious mystery, which is about the Assumption of Mary. My mind freely shoves that question aside as I continued praying the rosary. Yet, when I was done and stopped praying the rosary the question stopped with it as well as I got back down to my normal day-to-day life duties.
Little did I know that in my older days, the same question would re-appear in my mind. This time, however, I have some answers to said question.
Is Assumption to Heaven of a Human Being Possible?
As I grew in my spiritual life and got more and more deeply into my Catholic faith I encountered some proof that assumption to heaven of a human being is possible. These proofs pertain to two significant characters in the Old Testament: Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).
Genesis 5:24 is part of the chapter in Genesis that enumerated Adam’s family line. Enoch was one of several family generations that came from Adam’s lineage.
The verse said, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him.”
2 Kings 2:11 on the other hand, told of the moments that occurred when God was about to take Elijah to heaven, and was about to leave his successor Elisha.
It said, “As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.”
Why did God take Enoch and Jeremiah?
These two incidents in the Old Testament may well lead us to ask why God took Enoch and Jeremiah away to heaven.
God surely has His reasons for taking them away, reasons that we may not be able to perceive. I have the feeling, however, that these two incidents are a prefigurement of man’s future resurrection, and assumption to heaven, which was going to be made possible hundreds and hundreds of years later by the finished and victorious works of Jesus on the cross.
I also believe that these two incidents happened as a means of proving the future assumption of our Blessed Mother Mary to heaven.
For if Enoch and Elijah were taken up to heaven because they were good servants of God, how much more of Mary who is the Mother of God and who have done so much to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for mankind.
Mary has no original sin, therefore, Her body is incorruptible and She cannot be subjected to ordinary human death. More than that God loves Mary so much, as Mary pleased God so much, that surely God wouldn’t allow His Mother to go through the same death that an ordinary man (in his fallen nature) go through.
The Assumption of Mary also prefigures the future of mankind, which is that of resurrection after physical death on earth, and thereafter, assumption to heaven.
The Assumption of Mary to heaven, therefore, gives mankind hope for an eternal life in heaven, after death on earth.
Her Assumption to heaven precedes us in our future eternal journey. And through Her Assumption, She opened up the door of heaven making it possible for us, Her children, to be able to enter heaven as well when our time on earth comes to an end.
Why do Catholics Believe that Mary was Assumed to Heaven?
And this is my answer to this question.
Catholics believe that Mary was assumed to heaven because the 12 Apostles who had a first-hand knowledge of Her assumption to heaven had passed this information down to all the believers and had made it sure that it would be known to all, guarded and preserved as part of the Apostolic tradition for the next generations to know of and believe.
This phenomena cannot withstand the test of time had there been no truth in it.
This Catholic dogma of Mary’s assumption to heaven would not also be in existence today if there was no factual experience that preceded it.
Maria Valtorta, an Italian mystic who lived from 1897 to 1961 had written about this experience.
St. John the beloved disciple (of Jesus) whom Jesus entrusted Mary to had the first hand experience of witnessing Mary’s assumption to heaven.
Since he lived with Mary, St. John witnessed the dormition of Mary (the falling asleep of Mary), and then the coming of angels in the little house that he and Mary lived in Gethsemane and carried Her body to heaven.
John also witnessed it when raising up his head towards the sky to further catch up with Mary’s whereabouts, he saw her rose and stood up and Jesus came down to meet Her with a crown on His hand that He put on Mary’s head.
Mary’s assumption to heaven was the second greatest phenomenon that happened after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to heaven.
The Kingdom of God is perfect, its perfection completed by the glory accorded to Mary through the beautiful way with which she passed from here on earth to heaven.
Today, August 15 is the feast of the Assumption of Mary. Let us offer our intentions to Jesus through Mary for God doesn’t refuse her anything.
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, our Blessed Mother . . . Pray for us!