We don’t hear much about Mary after Jesus died. How do we know what happened to her?

From Scripture, we know that Mary was cared for by the apostle John after Christ’s death (John 19:26-27).  Mary was also present at Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church (Acts 1-2).

In addition to Scripture, Catholics look to sacred Tradition, the faith handed down from the apostles and expressed in the lived worship of the Church.   As the Second Vatican Council document Dei Verbum explains, “…it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.”(DV 9)

It’s through sacred Tradition – specifically, the ancient teaching of the Assumption of Mary – that we find out more about the Blessed Mother.   The Church teaches that, at the end of Mary’ s life, she was assumed body and soul into heaven (in other words, her body was not left on earth to decay).  This event, revealing Christ’s deep love and respect for his mother, has long been part of the liturgical life of the Church.   It was pronounced a dogma of faith in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.

Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. You can visit her blog at www.blog.maryandme.org