I am given to understand that while some of the Apostles are in nearby
towns, there are also those whose mission has taken them far from
Jerusalem. I now am able to hear the sound as of a powerful wind, as if a
mighty storm was approaching. It is a storm, for the Power of God has sent
His holy angels to His Apostles and these angels have literally picked up
the Apostles and have brought them to Mary's house, which rests tranquilly
in the shadow of The Lord's Tomb.
All are suddenly there, and upon their faces, I see neither surprise nor
shock at their summons by God, and their heavenly transportation. As it
was with John, so it is with the Apostles, all of whom realize the purpose
of this gathering.
Our Lady rises from her chair and bowing before her Divine Son's Apostles
humbly begs each to forgive her for any failure on her part to be a true
and loving mother to them. They sputter protests, but it is Peter who
gestures them to silence.
When the Mother of God has finished speaking, it is St. Peter who steps
forward. He has changed; his build is the same, somewhat short and stocky.
His hair is quite gray, his features lined with the toil of his work, but
he speaks for all the Church in a voice of authority tempered by holy
"Holy Mother, in the name of all present and of all who embrace your Son
as the Messiah, we solemnly declare that for you no pardon or forgiveness
is necessary. Rather, we who are weak and sinners, ask you to obtain those
graces we shall need when, by God's Holy Plan, you are no longer with us,
but are with Him Whom we long to see."
"Peter, beloved rock of my Son, it shall be as you say. Always will I
intercede for you, that my Motherly help may be yours until eternity. To
your wise care, Vicar of my Divine Son, I leave these treasures, these
sacred relics of my Son'' Passion and Death. Venerate them, Treasure them.
Take great care that they are not defiled, for from them many graces will
flow forth on those whose faith believes and trusts. I have nothing else
to leave you, beloved of my Son, except my promise to constantly beseech my
Son to assist you in all things."
"O dear Holy Mother," cries St. James, "how shall we manage without you?"
"You shall have strength and courage in all things if you are of one mind
and one heart, always guided by the Holy Spirit. Let no man cause division
amongst you. Go and do as my Son has commanded you, that the Scriptures
might be fulfilled!
"You are the living witnesses of my Divine Son. Let the Holy Spirit
precede you in all that you do, for then you will speak and act not as men,
but as my Divine Son taught you."
The shadows have lengthened. There is only a faint glow in the room where
the last vestiges of light seep between the half-opened shutters.
The Apostles form a circle around the Mother of God. They bless
themselves with the Sign of the Cross, and Peter intones a psalm. One
after the other, a prayer, a psalm rises to Heaven while the Blessed
Mother, head bowed, her hands crossed upon her breast, communicates with
God as she has always done.
When the last Apostle is finished, Mary, the Mother of God, lifts her
head, gazing to Heaven. Her eyes now have a distant look. It is obvious
that she is seeing something divine which the Apostles are not privileged
to see. I, too, do not 'see', but am given to understand that angels of
every choir have come to join in these prayers, awaiting the glorious
command from the Trinity for Mary's pure and spotless soul to return home.
Our Lady begins the "Our Father." She speaks in a low voice; her words
are not rushed. Each syllable of her Divine Son's Own prayer holds a
wonder for her, who is blessed among all women. When she speaks the words,
"Thy Will be Done On earth as It Is In Heaven," there is a radiance which
emanates from her that transforms her exquisite beauty into a minute
resemblance of the glory which awaits all in Heaven.
The prayer completed, Mary rises to her feet. She goes to each Apostle
and tenderly places a motherly kiss upon the weather-worn cheek, and marks
each forehead with the sign of her Son's Cross. Only when this is finished
does she sign. It is a deep sigh, and it is as if this one long breath
releases all the breath in her body. Her face becomes a little pale, and
"I will lie down now, for the moment is at hand."
"Quick, John, light the candles. We will keep vigil as Our Lord would wish."
Mary lies down upon her small, plain bed. The mantle drapes about her
body, and the folds of her veil leave only her face exposed. Even her feet
are covered modestly by the length of her dress. She places her hands upon
her breast, in the same manner she arranged the hands of her Divine Son
when His body was hastily placed in the tomb.
For a moment, her eyes remained open, gazing upward. Around her the
Apostles have gathered, each holding a candle. This illumination allows
them to see the moment when the Mother of God, eyes fixed on Heaven, smiles
in ecstasy and utters one word: "Son!"
Then, gently her eyes close, although the smile remains. It is several
long moments before the Apostles realize that Mary's soul has been taken to
Heaven. For the Mother of God, death has come gently, tenderly, without
any pain or fear. She appears to be in a most peaceful rest."
It is John who is at the head of the bed who pronounced the words; "She
has gone to her reward. May all Heaven and earth rejoice."
Peter holds his candle closer, to where any breath from her pure lips or
nostrils would cause the candle flame to waver. But the flame remains
steady, and the reality slowly sinks in: Mary, Ever-Virgin Mother of God,
has gone to be with her Son.
"She appears as a young woman in the midst of a peaceful dream," says St.
"What, then, are we to do?" asks St. Philip.
"We will gather flowers to place around her. We will keep the candle lit
and each will have his turn of watch. We will pray. The Holy Spirit will
show us that which God would have us do for His Mother. It is difficult
to…to think of placing her in a sepulcher."
All but Peter and John blow out their candles and reverently leave. They
will gather flowers. They will also notify the holy disciples and women
who are in Jerusalem that Jesus has called forth Mary's soul into Paradise.
While all of this has happened, I have been permitted to see, but for a
fleeting moment, Mary's soul leave her body. I see it as a luminous star,
brighter than any star in the canopy of the Heavens. This star is held in
the embrace of two angels who are dressed completely in white, while around
them the other angles break into glorious songs as they go at once before
the Throne of God. I see them ascend the structure of the house no
obstacle for these pure spirits. But I am not permitted to accompany the
angels to Heaven, where the Blessed Trinity awaits the Most Blessed Virgin,
Mother of the Word.
Rather, I remain in prayerful watch beside the bed where Mary's body
remains as if asleep. There is color in her face. Her body remains
supple, even though she does not breathe, nor does her heart beat.
Soon the room is filled with the scent of flowers, which the Apostles have
gathered from many parts of Jerusalem. The word has spread among all the
faithful, and in the growing darkness outside, the faithful come to kneel
and pay homage to the Mother of God, Mother of the Savior, Mary, Most Holy.
The Apostles take watches by twos. One at the head of the bed; the other
at its foot. They pray and often look upon the body of God's Own Mother
and their eyes are filled with tears of human sadness, but also spiritual joy.
How Mary has longed to be with her Son. How faithfully has she waited
these many years that she might nurture the infant Church to a fullness of
life and health.
Throughout the night, all the following day, vigil is kept. People from
the town and nearby villages also take turns keeping watch, and upon the
bed where Mary's body rests, the flowers first brought remain fresh, and
unwilted, and soon the floor beside the bed is also strewn with flowers.
Two by two, the Apostles kneel and pray, I am given to understand that all
sorrow has passed from their hearts. Guided by the grace of the Holy
Spirit, they receive Divine Knowledge that in God's Perfect Plan this
moment of natural death must occur for our Blessed Mother. They who have
seen in their lifetime witnessed the death of friends and relatives, have
seen that death of the mortal body which God had desired for all His
children. No pain. No suffering, no fear, nor anxiety. Simply, as a
little child, the person would have lain down, cradled in the embrace of
the Creator and God would have summoned the soul back to him.
Mary remains beautiful in her death-sleep. The checks are slightly
blushed, the hands so gently laid upon her breast. Her head is slightly
inclined to the right, but there is no stiffness of body. And the scent of
flowers fills the room, and noticeably, becomes stronger with each passing
hour. It is not the scent of any particular flower, nor the profusion of
aromas from the myriad of flowers strewn on the bed and floor. This aroma,
which permeates beyond the room and out into the open is noticed by all
whom are present. These people, faithful Christians of the newborn Church
recognize in it the very presence of God, and they cross themselves and
pray, while many are given to tears of joy, for there is no sadness among
them. Though bereft now of the Mother of God, their trust in Him grows.
Interiorly they know in the intellect of their soul, that Jesus will not
abandon them, as He has promised to be always with them. They understand
that His Mother shall always be a true Mother to all who seek and love her
Son. And enveloped in the beauty of this peaceful scene, the interior