The Departure of Saint Mary
January 27, 2023
Our Lady, the all pure, Virgin Saint Mary, the Mother of God, departed on Tir 21 (January 29). As she was always praying in the holy sepulcher, the Holy Spirit informed her that she was about to depart from this temporal world. When the time of her departure arrived, the virgins of the Mount of Olives came to her, with the apostles, who were still alive, and they surrounded her bed. The Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom is the glory, with a host of thousands and thousands of angels came to her and comforted her. He also told her about the eternal joy that was prepared for her, and she rejoiced. Then, the apostles and the virgins asked her to bless them. She stretched her hand and blessed them all, and she gave up her pure spirit in the hand of her Son and God. He then took her spirit to the heavenly mansions.
The apostles prepared the body in a fitting manner and carried it to Gethsemane. Some of the Jews blocked their way to prevent them from burying the body. One of the Jews seized the coffin with his hands, which were separated instantly from his body and they remained attached to the coffin. He regretted his evil deed and wept bitterly. Through the supplications of the saintly apostles, his hands were reattached to his body, and he believed in the Lord Christ. When they placed the body in the tomb, the Lord hid it from them.
Saint Thomas the Apostle was not present at the time of Saint Mary’s departure. He wanted to go to Jerusalem and a cloud carried him there. On his way, he saw the pure body of Saint Mary carried by the angels and ascended to heaven with it. One of the angels told him, “Make haste and kiss the pure body of Saint Mary,” and he did.
When Saint Thomas arrived where the disciples were, they told him about Saint Mary’s departure and he said to them, “You know how I conducted myself at the resurrection of the Lord Christ, and I will not believe unless I see her body.” They went with him to the tomb, and uncovered the place of the body but they did not find it. Everyone was perplexed and surprised. Saint Thomas told them how he saw the holy body and the angels that were ascending with it. They heard the Holy Spirit saying to them, “The Lord did not will to leave her body on earth.” The Lord had promised his pure apostles to let them see her in the flesh once again. They were waiting for this promise to be fulfilled, until the 16th day of the month of Nehassie (August), when the promise was fulfilled and they saw her.
The years of her life on earth were 60 years. She was 12 years old when she left the temple. She spent 34 years in Joseph’s house, until the Ascension of the Lord, and 14 years with Saint John the Evangelist, according to the commandment of the Lord which he told her at the cross, “Behold, this is your son,” and to Saint John, “Behold, this is your mother.”
May Saint Mary’s intercession and blessings be with us, Amen!
Source: Coptic Synaxarium