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Where did the Assumption take place?

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Little is known about the life of the Blessed Mother after the death of Jesus. And, of course, most protestants only trot her out at Christmas time and then put her back in the box. But, of course, she raised Him from an infant and is revered as holy by not only Catholics but Muslims as well. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church teaches that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.  And, of course, the Assumption is in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Certainly, no tomb has ever been found that claimed to hold her relics.

Possible Locations of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in to Heaven:

There are two locations that vie for recognition as the place that Mary was assumed in to heaven: Jerusalem and Ephesus..  Neither one has been approved or dis-approved by the Church.

In Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, there is a cave said to be the tomb of Mary.

Location of the Assumption in Jerusalem:

The earliest known traditions of the location of the assumption was Jerusalem.  It was here that Jesus was crucified, it was her that Mary was protected by the disciples after the Resurrection, and it could be assumed that it was here that she died.

There is no mention of the tomb of Mary in Jerusalem prior to the end of the sixth century.  The Church of the Dormition on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem that claims to be the site of her death. Subsequently, her body was placed in the tomb down the hill at the foot of the Mount of Olives, and that tomb was later discovered to be empty.

And it is in Jerusalem that tradition places her tomb in the dormition abbey belonging to the Benedictine Order in Jerusalem, on Mount Zion just outside the walls of the Old City near the Zion Gate.

Location of the Assumption in Ephesus:

Another location that claims to be the actual site is Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey. The early Christians taught that the Apostle and Evangelist John lived in Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century.  It was from Ephesus that he guided the Churches of that province.

There was a centuries-old tradition that Saint John went there and took Mary in to his house.  The house was in ruins and only re-discovered in October 18, 1881, by relying on the descriptions by Anne Catherine Emmerich.   Based on those description, which proved to be accurate, a French priest, the Abbé Julien Gouyet discovered a small stone building on a mountain overlooking the Aegean in Ephesus. He believed it was the house described by Emmerich and where the Virgin Mary had lived the final years of her life.

Where is the actual site of the Assumption?

Obviously, we don’t have an answer. Since scholars disagree….and we are definitely not scholars…we have to assume that the matter lies open to debate.  We welcome your input.  Just drop us an email or comment below.


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Amazing story: Saint Christina the Astonishing

Born around 1150 AD in the small town of Sint-Truiden, in present-day Belgium, Christina Mirabilis was orphaned as a teenager and worked as a shepherdess. Then, sometime in her early 20s, she suffered from a massive seizure. When the episode passed, she was found lying on the ground completely limp. Unable to see breathing or hear a heartbeat, those with her pronounced dead.

Soon after, a funeral was held at her local parish.  During her funeral Mass in Sint-Truiden, she suddenly stood up in the open casket and levitated up to the rafters of the church  (explaining that she “could not bear the smell of the sinful people there” ).

While most of those in attendance fled in terror , the priest made Christina come down and continued celebrating Mass.

She stated that she had actually been dead; that she had gone down to Hell and there recognized many
friends, and to Purgatory, where she had seem more friends, and then to Heaven.  God offered her a choice of going to heaven or accepting severe penances on earth in reparation for sinners.  She chose the latter, and endured many sufferings, including being accused of insanity and tortured.

She dressed in rags, and behaved survived by begging and adopted a somewhat strange manner.   The last years of her life Christina passed in the convent of St. Catherine at Saint-Trond, and there she died around the age of seventy-four.

But not everyone thought she was menally ill:   the prioress of St. Catherine’s praised her obedience, Saint Lutgardis sought her advice and Blessed Mary of Oignies praised her,

Where are the relics of Saint Christina the Amazing?

We don’t have any definite information about her relics…apparently the monastery where she ended up was destroyed after her death.  We suspect it was the convent where she lived, but our research has not turned up any definite information…and the convent itself has long since been torn down.  Can you help us?  If you know where her relics are, please send us an email so we can add a page to our site.

About the canonization of Saint Christina the Amazing:

Around the time in history the Church was still forming the modern canonization process, and so she’s never been been formally canonized.  Nonetheless, she was popularly considered a saint for centuries after her death.

She is patron saint of psychiatrists, psychologists and those suffering mental illness.


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Depression, Suicide & Saint Dymphna in the age of Coronavirus

The Suicide of actor Robin Williams in 2014 made headlines around the world. Perhaps it is because, as a comedian, he always seemed to be “up” and ready to laugh.  Plus, he seemed to have all that the modern world tells us we should want:  Fame, Wealth, Acclaim.

So it is surprising to those who did not know about his inner conflict, that he suffered from depression and ended up taking his own life.

But Robin Williams was not alone:  countless people suffer silently from depression.  Although some might wish to call it a character flaw, it is actually a disease that afflicts many regardless of class or wealth.

Now that we are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic with its isolation and fear, suicide is becoming a concern among many and there are reports of people becoming so depressed that they take their own lives.  This is compounded by a sense that things are not right in this world:  assisted suicide, abortion on demand, the transgender movement, divisions within the Catholic Church itself and so much more.  When you combine all these it is difficult to feel that God is in charge.  Depression is a real illness, and yet few want to talk about it, especially those suffering from it.

As we know, good can often come out of the bad that happens. In this case, due to the enormous amount of publicity  surrounding the suicide of Robin Williams; it will hopefully create more awareness of depression, its signs and treatment.  Often times those with depression feel sadness, shame, and helplessness. No matter what a loved one or friend might to cheer up someone suffering from depression….even though they know you are speaking the truth…their illness prevents them from seeing the reality around them..As a result they are reluctant to move forward and ask for help. And those around them may not be looking for the signs of depression that could help avert tragedy.

Do you take Xanax?  Here’s a warning from the American Addiction Centers: “While it is known that these drugs are safest when used for no longer than six weeks, many doctors continue to allow patients multiple refills for far longer periods of time. The Bend Bulletin notes 1.9 million prescriptions were filled for Oregon residents in 2013, and 45 percent of them refilled their medication at least three months in a row.”

Often, symptoms of anxiety can lead to depressive symptoms, too, and Xanax may be prescribed to treat the original symptoms. Depression and anxiety are cited as primary reasons for drug abuse among 63 percent of older adults, per the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. While many may begin using these medications in a prescribed fashion to treat their symptoms, those same symptoms may resolve over time but the individuals remain medicated. When they attempt to come off the drug and familiar symptoms return, they assume they still need them, but sometimes, it’s merely that the drug itself, and dependence on it, causes feelings of depression and anxiety to manifest during withdrawal.

Did you know that Saint Dymphna is a little-known  saint who is invoked in cases of mental health issues?  Her name is  not familiar to many, yet countless miracles have been attributed to her intercession.

Her shrine is in Geel, Belgium

There is also a National Shrine of Saint Dymphna in the U.S. in Massillon, Ohio (check this page for more information on Saint Dymphna).

The Feast Day of Saint Dymphna is celebrated on May 15.

You find a great assortment of Saint Dymphna prayer cards and more here.