One day, when the Most-holy Mary was praying thus on the Mount of Olives, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Her with a branch from a date palm in Paradise and told Her the joyful news that in three days She would finish Her earthly life, and the Lord would take Her to Himself. The Most-holy Mother of God silently rejoiced over this news. She told Her adopted son, John, and began to prepare for Her end. At that time, the other apostles were not in
Grief befell them over losing the Mother of the Lord and their own spiritual Mother when they learned why God had gathered them. But the Mother of God comforted them promising not to leave them and all Christians after Her death and promising also to pray for them. Then, She blessed them all.
At the hour of Her death, an extraordinary light shone in the room where the Mother of God lay. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, surrounded by angels, appeared and received Her pure soul.
The apostles buried the pure body of the Mother of God according to Her wishes in the
Three days after the burial of the Mother of God, the absent Apostle Thomas arrived in
The apostles exclaimed to Her in joy, "Most-holy Mother of God, help us!"
Thus the Lord Jesus Christ glorified His Most-holy Mother. He resurrected Her and took Her most holy body to Himself and set Her higher than all His angels.
Note: A full description of the Dormition of the Mother of God is found in Church Tradition and preserved by the Holy Orthodox Church.
The Dormition of our Most-holy Lady Mother of God is celebrated by the Holy Orthodox Church as one of its major feasts on the 15th of August (28th of August NS). Preceding this feast, there is a two-week fast beginning from the 1st of August. This feast is called the Dormition ("falling asleep") because the Mother of God died quietly as if She was falling asleep and, more importantly, because of the short sojourn of Her body in the grave. After three days, She was resurrected by the Lord and ascended into Heaven.
Troparion of the Feast.
In giving birth Thou didst preserve Thy virginity; in Thy dormition Thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. Thou wast translated unto life, since Thou art the Mother of Life; and by Thine intercessions dost Thou deliver our souls from death.