Evidence from Silence

Dormition of the Theotokos

Dormition of the Theotokos

“In the fourth century, bishop Epiphanius noted, cautiously, that nobody knows if or whether Mary died, nor if she was buried, nor the location of her grave.” Philip Jenkins, “Why Mary?

Several years ago, while I was still Lutheran, my pastor noted a number of interesting things about Mary. In particular, he mentioned that although there were church all over the holy land commemorating various persons and events, there were no churches where Mary died, nor was anyone claiming her gravesite, or claiming to have her bodily relics. This is so unusual that it must mean something. We cannot be dogmatic about it, but it does support the position of most of the world’s Christians that there was a miracle attached to her death, such that her body was lost. How and in what way we don’t know, except for the evidence preserved in the liturgy and in the apocryphal writings.