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Life of Mary after Jesus' Public Ministry

Life of Mary after Jesus' Public Ministry

Q: What is known about Mary's life after Jesus' public ministry?

A: We know from Scripture that Mary was present at Jesus' Crucifixion (cf Jn 19) and, shortly after, with the Christian community at Pentecost (cf Acts 1). She would have been about fifty years old at the time. Beyond this Scripture is silent. Tradition assures us that Mary was assumed as a whole person (i.e. body and soul) into heavenly glory at the end of her earthly pilgrimage. However, further details, such as the place and year of death, are left open. In fact, the 1950 definition left open the question of whether Mary 'died' in the same sense as other people. However, there are a number of pious accounts which claim to offer more details about the end of Mary's life. The earliest of these date from the fourth and fifth century and are considered somewhat unreliable. Also, certain people have had private revelations which seem to offer details on Mary's life after Pentecost -- Mary of Egreda, Anne Catherine Emmerich. The Catholic Church is also reserved about these accounts. In general, Ephesus or Jerusalem is considered the most likely site of Mary's "death." Also, the date of Mary's death is usually placed around the year 50 in most accounts. Since, these details are not found in Scripture, the Catholic Church is not certain about them.

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