Announcement of Death to the Virgin
Parting from St. John
Parting from the Apostles
Death of Mary
Panels from the Maestà, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-11
~An excerpt from Rainer Maria Rilke's, Of Mary's Death from Life of Mary
They came with heavy hearts and entered fearfully.
There lay, in a narrow bed, the one, enigmatically
steeped in being chosen and vanishing,
unharmed, as if never used, and paid attention
to angelic chant. Now that she saw them all,
waiting behind their candles, she tore herself
from the excess of the voices and gave,
from her heart, the two dresses she still owned,
raising her face to one and another...
(O fount of nameless tear-brooks).
She however laid down into her weakness and
pulled the heavens so close to Jerusalem
that her soul, leaving, only had to stretch a little:
already he, who know everything about her,
nudged her into her divine nature.
~Translation by Gerald Augustinus Naus