The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 97.

Few things are more striking in the early centuries than the eager desire, sometimes leading to unedifying disputes, of local churches to obtain the Relics of the Saints. Tradition is clear as to where repose the bodies of all the Apostles excepting St. John. ( We have the tradition of the tomb of St. John, but only of his tomb, at Ephesus,) Very significant is the story of the revelation made to St. Ambrose as to the burial-place of St. Gervasius and St. Protasius, of the " translation " of their bodies made the third day after their discovery, at which St. Augustine and St. Paulinus were present, and of the numerous miracles which increased extraordinarily the devotion of the Christian people. 1 We know how St. Augustine caused portions of these Relics to be removed to Hippo, his Cathedral city, and how further miracles rewarded his faith. It is, then, simply incredible that had it been believed that our Lady's Body was perhaps upon the earth, no effort should have been made in early ages to find out where it lay, in order that it might be venerated by the Church together with the Relics of Apostles, Virgins, and Martyrs, of whom Mary is the Queen.

Were any Christian to doubt the corporal Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, we would ask him : Where does he imagine that our Lady's glorious body is at this moment ? He will hardly dare to assert that it has been corrupted, but if it were still upon the earth, the fidelity of the Faithful would beyond any doubt have guarded it with even more jealous care than that which has watched over the Relics of Peter and Paul and Andrew and Mark and countless servants of God. Mary's body is not upon the earth—then it can only be, as Catholics rejoice to know, in Heaven above.

"I beheld a great wonder in Heaven," wrote the beloved Apostle after Mary's death, " a woman clothed with the sun, crowned with a crown of twelve stars, with the moon "—that is the world—" beneath her feet." (Apoc. xii. i. See pp. 384-388.)

Mary is crowned in Heaven—Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Holy Ghost—she is the Queen of the Heavenly City. His Son has promised to all His servants: " Where the Master is, there shall the servant be." But Mary is not only His servant, she gave her Lord His Human Life. His Mother is nearer her Child than all the rest of His Court.

1 Cf. St. Ambrose, Ep. XXII. Ad Marcell. Soror. St. Augustine, De Civit. Dei, xxii., 8 ; Confes., x., 7, Serm. 76, 94, 286, 319, 320. St. Gaudent, Serm. 17, etc.