Christian beliefs regarding the home, death, burial, disappearance, assumption of St. Mary (mother of Jesus) differ from church to church and add much color and adventure to her life story.
So, where is the Virgin Mary’s tomb ?
The Orthodox Tomb of St. Mary in the Kidron Valley, Jerusalem
Virgin Mary’s Tomb (also called the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary) is across the Kidron (Cedron) Valley from St Stephen’s Gate (Lions Gate), just before Gethsemane, at the foot of Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem. According to the tradition of Eastern Christians this is the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The church is cut into the rock and has a form of a cross, with a wide staircase leading down into the church and tomb. This church belongs to the Armenian Apostolical Church of Jerusalem and Greek Orthodox Church.
The New Testament says nothing about the death and burial of Mary. Christian tradition says that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles. Her tomb, when opened on the third day after her burial was found empty. Wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.
Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was “assumed” into heaven in bodily form, however, most theologians believe that she did undergo death before her Assumption.
So did Mary die first before being assumed? Did she fall “asleep”? Was she buried? The Church does answer this directly and the tradition is not clear. According to the Transitus Mariae (The Passage of Mary) Mary died in the presence of the apostles in Jerusalem, and then depending on the story, her body just disappeared, or was buried and then disappeared.
However, according to some Catholic tradition, the crypt inside the Dormition Church on Mount Zion may holds the body of the Virgin Mary.
Catholic and Moslem Tomb in Ephesus, Turkey
The House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem ana or Meryem Ana Evi) is a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos near Ephesus, in Turkey.
- Now, there is also a belief that another tomb of the Virgin Mary is located in Mary, Turkmenistan a town originally named Mari. Proponents claim that Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary travelled to India after surviving the crucifixion, where they remained until the end of their lives.
- At least one Israeli archaeologist claimed to find the tomb of Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and Christ’s son (sic) were all buried in a family tomb in Talpiyot in Jerusalem.
- There is also a claim that Mary died at what is now the small town of Murree in Pakistan. The sepulchre is called Mai Mari da Asthan, meaning “resting place of Mother Mary”.