The Assumption: The Loveliest of Feasts

GK Chesterton said: "I love my religion and I love especially those parts of it which are generally held to be most superstitious." Many suspect that the Assumption of Our Lady is one of those superstitious aspects - despite the fact that the observance of this feast day is universal in both eastern and western churches.
The Assumption is not mentioned in the New Testament but there are many references to it in the so-called apocryphal gospels. For example, in an early Coptic text attributed to Evodius, described as first Bishop of Antioch and said to have been among the 72 disciples who followed Christ with St Peter, there is the following account.
"The chariot of the cherubim appeared with the Virgin seated in it. There were greetings. Jesus bade the apostles go and preach in all the world. He spent all that day with us and his Mother and gave us the salutation of peace and went up to heaven in glory. Such was the death of the Virgin on 21st of the month Tobi and her Assumption on 16th of the month Mesore. I, Evodius, saw it all."
Photo: A mural behind the altar of Assumption Church in Bellevue depicts the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.