The other mural on the north side of the choir, “The Descent of the Holy Spirit,” takes its inspiration from Acts 2: 1-12. The composition of the fresco reflects one of the earlier schemes for depicting Pentecost: the Virgin is placed in the center, surrounded by the Apostles. The dove of the Holy Spirit descends upon them and tongues of fire appear over their heads. Kneeling to the right of Mary’s throne is Saint Peter and to the left is the Beloved Disciple, Saint John.
The account of the Death and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary depends on various apocryphal books of the 2nd to 5th centuries. Though these highly imaginative accounts differ from one another in length, language, and detail, they are similar in narration: Mary’s death is foretold by an angel or Christ. Some or all of the Apostles are miraculously gathered to assist Mary and receive her blessing. Christ comes and takes Mary’s soul into heaven, and the Apostles carry her body to the valley of Josaphat for burial. The Jews plot to burn the body but are foiled by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles continue their vigil at the grave until, after a period of time, Mary’s body is assumed into paradise.