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Did the Blessed Virgin Mary Die?


While theologians are still discussing it, the general opinion is that Mary died before she was transfigured into glory. It was fitting that she, who imitated Christ most perfectly and united with him in his suffering on Calvary, would also want to unite with him in his dying and going down among the dead. According to the ancient liturgies and the names for the feast of the Assumption, Transitus Virginis, Dormitio, Depositio, they seem to indicate the belief that Mary died. Sin makes death an act to be feared. Because of Mary's sinlessness, however, death was not something to be feared but a time of longing and fulfillment when she would be reunited with her Son, body and soul. 

The Church has not offered a definitive statement on this issue. Pope Pius XII did not address the question of whether or not Mary died when he proclaimed the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, in the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, on 1 November 1950.

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