The Assumption of Mary and Saint Joseph

Several questions from Hercules in the comments box:

“So in other words [the Assumption of Mary] a dogma based on theological reasons by a few distinguish men in the Catholic church?”

Not quite. The majority of Christians in history and most Christians today believe in the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. It’s not the opinion of a few distinguished men in the Catholic Church.

“With that same aspect, was Joseph assumed into heaven as well? It would make sense since he was the step father, nonetheless a father, chosen by God to take care and protect Jesus and Mary, worked hard to take care of the family, was obedient to Gabriel’s request, and a practicing Jew.”

There is not a dogma stating that Saint Joseph’s body was assumed into Heaven (however, Francisco Suarez, St. Bernardino of Siena, Gerson, and St. Vincent Ferrer and others have taught it). There is a very strong tradition that he died in the arms of Mary and Jesus and was buried according to Jewish law. For this reason, Saint Joseph is the patron of the dying. See painting below:

“My last question, why did Polycarp, Ignatius, Ireneus, and Justin Martyr write everything about Mary but leave the coronation and assumption out of the picture?”

If I remember correctly, St. Polycarp never mentioned the Blessed Mother. St. Ignatius mentions her virginity. St. Irenaeus and St. Justin Martyr certainly have more to say. We should be careful not make the first and second century the only eras of canonical dogma. One might ask in a similar way, “Why did Paul, John, Peter, and James write so much about Christ, but never expound the Nicene articulation of the Trinity (or define the canon of Scripture)?”

The Catholic Church is just as apostolic as she was in the first century. Dogma doesn’t fade and certain centuries are not preferred to others. It matters not to the Catholic Christian as to whether Pope Pius I (died ca. 154) or Pope Pius XII declared that the Blessed Mother of the Christ was bodily assumed into Heaven by the power of her divine Son.

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