Fast of the Ascension of Saint Mary
August 4, 2022
Onwards the death of our Holy Mother Saint Mary, the Apostles continued to be sad and sorrowful, because of her separation from them. Because they were left orphans by her; for our Lord had given them the hope of seeing her in the flesh.
Whilst John the evangelist was preaching in the country of Asia, on the sixteenth day of the month of August he was caught up in the spirit to the Garden of Delight, and he saw our Lord Jesus Christ sitting by the Tree of Life, where was the body of our Lady Mary. He then commanded His Seven Angels to summon her from earth. They said to her, “God, our Lord Jesus Christ, command that the body of His pure mother shall go forth.” Straightway the body of our Lady Mary went forth from the grave at the foot of the Tree of Life. Then, our Lord Jesus Christ comforted her and He said, “Come to Me, O My beloved mother, that you may ascend to the kingdom of heaven, to the joy which is everlasting.” Forthwith all the trees of the Garden bowed their heads. The angels and archangels took her up, and the righteous bowed low to her. David, the prophet, sang a hymn of praise, saying, “And the Queen shall stand at Thy right hand, and her apparel shall be of fine needlework with gold woven through it” (Psalm 45:9). She sat down at the right hand of the Son of God, with great glory, and she went up into the heavens sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim.
John the evangelist was blessed by her. He bowed low before her and came down from heaven where he found the Apostles gathered together and sorrowing for the body of our holy Lady, Mary the Virgin. John then told them what he had seen, and how they had taken the body of our Lady Mary up into heaven, with great joy, praise, songs and hymns. When the Apostles heard this, they were exceedingly sad and sorrowful because they had neither heard nor seen what John had heard and seen. Whilst the Apostles were sorrowing behold our Lord Jesus Christ appeared and said to them, “Peace be to you, O My children! Why are ye sad about the body of My mother Mary? Behold, I shall show her to you, and your hearts shall rejoice”; having said these words He went up into heaven with great glory. The Apostles continued (to wait) there for a full year.
On the first day of August John said to the Apostles, “Come, let us fast for two weeks, entreat God and make supplication to Him, that He will consider us worthy and will show to us the body of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son, that we may rejoice in her.” They fasted as John had said to them, and it came to pass that when the sixteenth day of August had come, as it were to-day, our Lord Jesus Christ caught all the Apostles up to heaven and they saw in her flesh our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son and God in great glory. She stretched out her hands and blessed each one of the Apostles. Then the souls of the Disciples rejoiced exceedingly. our Lord Jesus Christ served as priest in His Holy Body and Stephen the archdeacon ministered with Him, and John said, “Stand up in fear”; and all the Apostles stood up around the altar. There was great joy at that time, the like whereof before never was.
When our Lord had finished, He gave them the Holy Mysteries. then Saint Mary went up before them sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim. Our Lord Jesus Christ said to our Lady Mary, “Tell thy children, the Apostles, to preach in all the world the commemoration of your Ascension into heaven,” as it were on this day. “Whosoever shall celebrate thy commemoration, I will destroy his sins, and he shall never see the fire at all, for mercy shall find every soul who shall take heed and shall receive the Holy Mysteries on this day, which is the day of thy Ascension into heaven.” Our Lady Mary said to Him, “Behold, my sons, behold, they have seen with their eyes, they have heard with their ears, they have received with their hands, and they shall see other wonders greater than these”; As the Saint Mary was saying these words she gave the salutation of “Peace” to the Apostles, and they returned to the Mount of Olives.
It is meet for us, O beloved brethren to fast and celebrate the commemoration of the Ascension of our Lady Mary into heaven with joy and gladness, so that she may make intercession for us, at all times, with her beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
May our holy Mother Saint Mary’s intercession be with us, Amen!
Source: The Ethiopian Sxyanxarium page 702-70