Assumption of Mary

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and parts of the Anglican churches. After Mary, the mother of Jesus died, she was resurrected, glorified and taken bodily to heaven. The word ‘assumption’ is derived from a Latin word which means ‘to take up’.

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is celebrated annually on August 15. The Assumption Day commemorates the belief that when Mary died, her body was not subjected to the normal process of physical decay but was ‘assumed’ into heaven and reunited with her soul. This commemoration has been observed since the 4th century CE. This day is also known as Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin.

According to mythology, before the establishment of the Assumption Day, celebrations were held in honour of the Goddess Isis of the Sea, whose birthday was on August 15. With the coming of Christianity, churches decided that changing this day into a Christian holiday was the easiest way to handle the pagan ritual. Hence, the Assumption Day was introduced.

The Assumption Day is a pious belief held by the Orthodox Christians and some Anglicans, who regarded this day as the principal feast day of the Virgin Mary. As for the Catholics, the Assumption Day was not an official dogma until Pope Pius XII ruled it so in 1950.