To find but lilies there…

There are various traditions surrounding the where and how of Assumption of Our Lady (Feast 15th August). Even in Jerusalem, one such version has it happen at the site of the present Church of the Dormition, (the Eastern Church’s alternative name for the Assumption), south of the Old City, while another shows you the cave-church dedicated to the event, close to the Garden of Gethsemane. One such tradition says that on the day of the death (and Assumption) of Our Lady, St Thomas the Apostle was not present, just as he was at the appearance of Our Lord on Easter Sunday evening. It was said that they opened the new grave for him to gaze on her one last time…

They bore her in a reverent group To a holy place,
Left her body in the earth –
Her body, “full of grace”.

But Thomas, tardy, slow of foot, Absent when she died,
Spent with sorrow, craved to see Her of the Crucified.

There was a swift intake of breath,
A hurried silent prayer;
Startled they opened the new-made tomb To find but lilies there.

Sister M. Angeline