Almost for a sense of respect and reverence for Mary, the Latin expression “Dormitio” is used instead of the term death to indicate the end of his earthly life. It is preferred to speak about “falling asleep” or “Dormitio”, because the faith professed in the Catholic Church teaches that Mary, left this earthly world, was taken up into heaven in the completeness of her person, physically and spiritually without knowing the humiliation of the body corruption after death.
The Apostolic Constitution “Munificentissimus Deus” by Pope Pius XII, (1st November 1950) irrevocably proclaims the dogma of the assumption without specifying whether Mary is dead or not. So the Pope writes: “The Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was brought, body and soul, into heavenly glory.”
The document does not support weather she died or not, but merely states: “finished the course of her earthly life” in whatever way this has happened, with or without death.
It should be stressed that in the Apostolic Constitution itself, Pope Pius XII always makes reference to Mary’s death as a universal belief of the faithful, the liturgy, the Fathers of the Church, the theologians and the Catholic iconography.
To Mary, Mother of the Son of God, a special privilege was reserved, which announces that the destiny of man has always been conceived by God as a destiny of life, where death, with its suffering characters and of humiliation, has no place.
This painting is over the presbytery and it is the next image after the Assumption painted in the apse: as if to say that Mary falls asleep to climb the glory of heaven with the angels that solemnly accompany her.
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