” And straightway the body of our Lady Mary went forth from the grave at the foot of the Tree of Life, and our Lord Jesus Christ comforted her, and He said unto her, “Come to Me, O My beloved mother, that thou mayest ascend to the kingdom of heaven, to the joy which is everlasting.” And straightway all the trees of the Garden bowed their heads, and the angels and archangels took her up, and the righteous bowed low to her. And David, the prophet, sang a hymn of praise, saying, “And the Queen shall stand at Thy right hand, and her apparel shall be of fine needlework with gold woven through it” (Psalm 45:9). And she sat down at the right hand of the Son of God, with great glory, and she went up into the heavens sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim. And John the evangelist was blessed by her, and he bowed low before her, and he turned and came down from heaven, and found the Apostles gathered together and sorrowing for the body of our holy Lady, Mary the Virgin. And John told them what he had seen, and how they had taken the body of our Lady Mary up into heaven, with great joy, and praise, and songs, and hymns.
And when the Apostles heard this they were exceedingly sad and sorrowful because they had neither heard nor seen what John had heard and seen. And whilst the Apostles were sorrowing behold our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto them, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you, O My children! Why are ye sad about the body of my Mother Mary? Behold, I shall show her to you, and your hearts shall rejoice”; and having said these words He went up into heaven with great glory.
And the Apostles continued [to wait] there for a full year. And on the first day of August, John said unto the Apostles, “Come, let us fast for two weeks and let us entreat God, and make supplication unto Him, that He will consider us worthy and will show unto us the body of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son, that we may rejoice in her.”
And it came to pass that when the sixteenth day of August had come, as it were to-day, our Lord Jesus Christ caught all the Apostles up to heaven, and they saw in her flesh our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, sitting on the right hand of her beloved Son and God in great glory. And she stretched out her hands, and blessed each one of the Apostles, and the souls of the Disciples rejoiced exceedingly.
Then, our Lord Jesus Christ officiated at the holy liturgy, serving as priest in His holy Body, and Stephen the archdeacon ministered with Him, and John with Him, saying, “Stand up in fear”; and all the Apostles stood up around the altar. And there was great joy at that time, the like whereof before never was. And when our Lord had finished, He gave them the Holy Mysteries. And then [Mary] went up before them sitting upon the chariot of the Cherubim.
Thereafter, our Lord Jesus Christ said unto our Lady Mary, “Tell thy children, the Apostles, to preach in all the world the commemoration of thy Ascension into heaven,” as it were on this day. “Whosoever shall celebrate thy commemoration, I will destroy his sins, and he shall never see the fire at all, for mercy shall find every soul who shall take heed and shall receive the Holy Mysteries on this day, which is the day of thy Ascension into heaven.”
And our Lady Mary said unto Him, “Behold, my sons, behold, they have seen with their eyes, and they have heard with their ears, and they have received with their hands, and they shall see other wonders greater than these”; and as the Virgin was saying these words she gave the salutation of “Peace” to the Apostles, and they returned to the Mount of Olives.
As per the order of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His holy apostles, our Ancient, Holy and Apostolic Church duly remembers the fast of the apostles and the feast or commemoration of the resurrection and ascension of the Mother of God yearly in August.
It is a manifestation of the love the faithful have for St. Mary, their Mother. They get her blessing for their unswerving commitment which they exhibit in their fasting and prayer for two weeks following the tradition of their fathers, the apostles. All sections of the believers- children, adults and the aged – observe it seriously by fasting, prayer and /or taking the Holy Communion, depending on the extent of their readiness.
The feast of the commemoration of the Ascension of our Lady Mary into heaven, which is celebrated at the end of this fast, is celebrated with much joy and gladness.
May Her intercession be with us. Amen.