When Mary’s soul left her body, the soft chanting of the angels seemed to withdraw slowly from the Cenacle. Peter and John must have perceived the glory of her soul in this moment of its liberation, for they both looked up, while the other apostles remained absorbed in prayer, with their heads bowed to the ground.
The Blessed Virgin’s body lay radiant with light, surrounded by her thousand invisible guardian angels. Her eyes were closed, and her hands were folded on her breast.
When at last all the apostles, disciples, and holy women present realized that their beloved spiritual Mother had indeed left them, their sorrow was so intense that only a special dispensation of divine power prevented some of them from dying of grief.
For some time they prayed and wept silently. Then they arose and sang a number of hymns in honor of their departed Queen.
Later Mary’s two devoted servant girls were told to anoint and wrap her body in a shroud with the greatest reverence and modesty. But when they entered her room, they were so blinded by the dazzling mystical light surrounding her couch that they could not even see her body. Highly excited, they hastened to notify the apostles. Peter and John then went into the room, perceived the bright light, and heard angels singing: “A Virgin before the Nativity, during the Nativity, and after the Nativity.” Kneeling down and praying for guidance, the two saints heard a Voice say: “Let not this virginal body be touched!”
They therefore brought in a plain wooden bier. And with their own hands they reverently took Mary’s robe at both ends and carefully lifted her light body onto the bier. Numerous candles were then lit and set around it, and although they burned for many hours they were not at all consumed. During all this time great numbers of the faithful quietly entered the room, prayed for a moment, and left, weeping and mourning.
On the day of the funeral, the apostles took up the bier and bore it in a solemn procession from the Cenacle to the tomb in the Valley of Josaphat, near the Garden of Gethsemane. All the Christians of Jerusalem, as well as an invisible multitude of angels, patriarchs, prophets and saints, accompanied the funeral, during which numerous miraculous cures and conversions of compassionate Jewish and Gentile spectators took place. Everyone was amazed at the delicious fragrance and heavenly music that followed the passage of Mary’s remains.
When the procession reached the prepared tomb, St. Peter and St. John reverently carried the bier into the sepulcher, which was then filled with aromatic flowers and closed with a large stone, while everyone present wept and prayed in profound sorrow. The heavenly chanting of the angels continued, and many persons noticed an extraordinary light shining around the tomb. Gradually most of the mourners returned to the city, but some of the apostles and holy women remained watching and praying before the sepulcher.
Meanwhile, immediately after Mary’s death, Our Lord had entered Heaven, conducting the pure soul of His Mother at His right hand. And presenting her before the throne of the Divinity, He said:
“Eternal Father, it is right that to My Mother be given the reward of a Mother. And since during all her life and in all her works she was as like to Me as it is possible for a creature to be, let her also be like to Me in glory and on the throne of Our Majesty.”
This decree was approved by the Father and the Holy Spirit. And Mary’s soul was immediately raised to the right hand of her divine Son and placed beside the throne of the Holy Trinity.
Later, after the funeral, the Lord descended in a dazzling beam of light to the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, accompanied by Mary’s soul and by innumerable angels. Then the holy soul of the Mother of God penetrated into her body in the sepulcher, reanimated it, and rose up again united to it, utterly radiant, gloriously attired, and indescribably beautiful.
Now amid celestial music a magnificent triumphant procession ascended from the tomb to Heaven. First came the rejoicing angels and saints, and then Christ the King with His Immaculate Mother at His side, while the souls of all the blessed in Heaven gladly welcomed and praised their new Queen and the whole universe seemed to be chanting exultantly:
“Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved?”
At the throne of the Holy Trinity the three Divine Persons received and welcomed Mary in a mystical embrace of eternal love, after she had bowed before Them in deep humility and reverence. She was attired in a marvelous sparkling robe that trail