Mary Page News
November 16, 2001News from the ML/IMRI
News from Around the World
Mary in the Secular Press
Prayer Corner Requests
Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways
people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.
The Liturgical Season and Mary
News from the ML/IMRI
New Art Exhibit
The Marian Library (University of Dayton) owns more than 900 nativity sets
(crèches) illustrating art and culture from around the world. In the
fourth annual international crèche exhibition, numerous sets will be on display
for the first time in this year's exhibit.
The origin of the nativity goes back to St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th
century. To illustrate the Christmas narrative of God's love for all
people, he used living persons to represent the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the
Infant Jesus, angels and shepherds, along with live animals. This
realistic portrayal worked so well that its popularity spread throughout Italy
and Europe. Missionaries took the idea, together with handcrafted
representations of it, to other countries and cultures. Over time, local
features were incorporated in the statuary, landscape, and animals.
Nativity scenes exist in countries all over the world and all have their own
particular traditions for telling the Christmas story. The Marian Library
collection includes many outstanding examples.
Who: The Marian Library/University of Dayton
What: International Crèche Exhibition
When: November 20th, 2001 - January 6, 2002
Where: Marian Library
7th floor of Roesch Library
University of Dayton
Phone (937) 229-4214
Dayton Art Institute
456 Belmonte Park N.
Dayton, OH 45405
Phone (937) 223-5277
Gallery St. John/Bergamo Court Campus
440 Shakertown Road
Dayton, OH 45430
Phone (937) 320-5404
Hours: To be determined
Cost: Free of charge
Information: Kathy Kavanaugh
Phone (937) 434-6841
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Personal thoughts and reflections about Mary from
We've added a section to our Research and
Publications section showing selected personal comments from our readers about
the Virgin Mary. Click here to see comments
received within the past month. From this page, feel free to submit your own personal thoughts on
We also encourage our readers to submit their
opinions on various styles of Marian Art through an
on-line art survey.
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News from Around the
Custody of Holy Land Warns Israelis of a "State of Permanent
JERUSALEM, NOV. 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).
Excavation began this week for the foundation of what will
be a mosque in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, triggering
a protest from the Catholic Church.
In an official statement, the Custody of the Holy Land
deplored the authorization given by the government to this project and called
for the immediate withdrawal of the building permit.
The statement, signed by Franciscan Father David-Maria A.
Jaeger and distributed by the Vatican agency Fides, reads: "This activity
is taking place in total disregard of the oft-expressed feelings and pleas of
the worldwide Christian
The text emphasizes that not only Christian leaders
worldwide have repeatedly requested the Israeli government to prohibit the
construction of the mosque. This position has also been adopted by Muslim
representatives such as Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Imam Hussein
Tantawi, the Egyptian sheik of al-Azhar.
In fact, the mosque is not a necessity for the Muslim
community of Nazareth, which already has places of worship, but rather the
project of a local fundamentalist group.
On April 4, 1999, while Catholics celebrated Easter and
Orthodox observed Palm Sunday in the Basilica of the Annunciation, members of
the fundamentalist group attacked and wounded Christians. Since 1998, the
fundamentalists have committed other offenses, including the destruction of
The Custody of the Holy Land states that the "Israeli
courts have already decided that the land is state land and that the extremists´
demands are groundless. Nonetheless, the government itself has decided to give
it to them."
"Building the mosque here will in effect put this holy
place in a state of permanent siege and make its gate a gathering place for the
most hostile elements," the statement warns.
"Problems underlined often by the Custody, but with no
response," Father Jaeger added.
"It is difficult to escape the suspicion that what we
are now seeing is a cynical attempt to exploit the present international
situation, as well as the dramatic conditions elsewhere in the Holy Land, in
order to carry out, almost by stealth, this harmful plan," the Franciscan
Nazareth, a city inhabited by Muslims and Christians, is
located in Israeli territory.
Pope Might Canonize Juan Diego in Mexico, Report Says
Mexico Proposes Visit Following Toronto´s World Youth Day
MEXICO CITY, NOV. 13, 2001 (Zenit.org)
John Paul II might canonize Juan Diego in Mexico on his return from Toronto´s
World Youth Day next July, the Argentine news agency AICA reported Monday.
Juan Diego is the Indian who witnessed the apparitions of the Virgin of
Guadalupe in 1531.
During his Oct. 18 visit to the Vatican, Mexican President Vicente Fox invited
the Holy Father to visit his country after World Youth Day in Canada.
According to the Mexican press, Javier Moctezuma Barragán, the undersecretary
for Population, Migration and Religious Affairs, said a papal visit to Mexico
Moctezuma revealed that President Fox himself extended an official invitation to
the Pope, and that the decision now depends on the Holy Father. The
undersecretary also said Mexico has the necessary infrastructure and security,
"as it did in the past," to organize another papal visit.
John Paul II last visited Mexico in January 1999, when he gave the postsynodal
exhortation "Ecclesia in America" in the Basilica of Guadalupe.
From L’Osservatore Romano
Not posted this week. Expect an update to this section
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This section lists all of the current
Marian Events by
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We've added answers to new questions submitted by readers.
A section on
international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources section.
The latest added wasDominican Republic. Expect more countries to
We've posted memorials to three long-time faculty members
who died recently:
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Mary in the Secular
The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research
Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature.
Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing
the secular press.
Commentary on Mary in various news articles from October 27- November 12.
- There’s nothing that quite captures the heart of the country’s
artistic sensibilities as the bathtub Virgin Mary. At least that’s what
Utah State University folklorist Jeannie Thomas says in her
soon-to-be-published book, "Cemetery Angels, Garden Gnomes and Barbies."
The cement Virgin Marys serenely resting in upended bathtubs can be found
propped up in yards most everywhere. "There’s a dominant cultural
attitude that these (who display them) are the people who see Elvis at the
7-Eleven," Thomas said. But she believes there’s a strong connection
between lawn decorations and fine art traditions, in particular borrowing
from themes found in Renaissance gardens and 19th century images.
"I think people who don’t get it are understandable. But it fills a
real human need to be creative and to creatively express yourself," she
said. Reported by the Associated Press, dateline Salt Lake City, November 8.
- Among the things you might not have known about the Virgin Mary is that
she didn’t wear blue for the first 12 centuries of her role as an object
of religious veneration. That’s one of the tidbits found in Michel
Pastoureau’s "Blue: The History of a Color," published by
Princeton University Press, the Wisconsin State Journal said on November 4.
Pastoureau, a French historian and academic, writes: "Images from
before the 12th century depict Mary dressed in a range of
different colors, but they are almost always dark: black, gray, brown,
violet, blue or dark green. These colors were generally meant to convey
suffering and grief; the Virgin wears garments that express her mourning for
her crucified son." In the 12th century, a "cult of the
Virgin" developed that led to her being portrayed often in luminous
stained-glass, and that led to brighter shades of blue being associated with
- When Bridgette Laubenthal went into labor, she didn’t want an epidural
or any other anesthetic. She just wanted her rosary recording and a couple
crucifixes, the Albany NY Times Union said on November 11. The rosary, she
said, reminds her of the Virgin Mary’s labor. In particular, when she
prays the "Hail Mary’ and remembers "the fruit of your womb,
Jesus," she thinks of Mary’s delivery. So she played the recording
when she was pregnant and during her labor of seven hours.
- For more than 60 years, people have visited Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in
Bronxdale to drink the water flowing from behind a statue of the Virgin
Mary. Like Frank Emanuel, whose neck pain has been alleviated, they believe
that "Our Lady does something." Father Robert Norris, pastor of
St. Lucy’s Church which is next to the grotto, said 600 to 700 visitors
came to the site in a typical week before September 11. In the weeks after,
attendance surged by as much as 40 percent and although the numbers have
stabilized a bit, the grotto is still attracting about 10 percent more
visitors than usual. The grotto, created after the parish founder visited
Lourdes in the 1930's, was finished in 1939. Reported by the New York Times
- "By the time we attended the English Mass at 10 a.m. (the day
following our arrival), I was assured that the Blessed Virgin would be there
for me at all times," Josephine Darang said, reporting on her
pilgrimage to Medjugorje in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 5. She
said she experienced "a miracle of the heart" when she was able to
forgive some people who hurt her in the past, and another miracle when her
faith in God’s providence became stronger. "I know now that if God
gave me a problem, He would help me solve it through the intercession of the
Blessed Mother," she wrote.
- A Muslim fundamentalist was arrested November 1 for allegedly vandalizing
statues at Catholic churches in Los Angeles and Culver City. Emad Ibrahim
Saad of Los Angeles is accused of decapitating the Virgin Mary statue at St.
Augustine’s church and school in Culver City, cutting a hand off that
church’s statue of Saint Rita and carting the church’s statue of Father
Junipero Serra, cut off at the feet, a mile away to the King Fahd Mosque.
Muslim magazines were found at various entrances to the church, along with
fliers that said, "Allah is the only true God," after the
vandalism that occurred during the Sunday evening Mass on October 28. Saad
is also suspected of throwing stones at statues of the Virgin Mary at St.
Anselm and St. Raphael churches in Los Angeles. Both the principal of St.
Augustine’s school and the community liaison for the mosque depicted the
events involving their places of worship as an unsuccessful attempt to cause
a rift between the two houses of worship. Reported by the Los Angeles Times,
San Diego Union-Tribune, Associated Press and City News Service of Los
Angeles October 31 and November 5, 7 and 8.
- For years the Church of Our Lady of Graces has been Sardhana’s
best-known landmark, attracting worshipers seeking blessings and townsfolk
in search of quiet. But it is in November that this nondescript town, 20 km
from Meerut, really comes alive, India Today said on November 12. That’s
when the church holds a nine-day pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin Mary. The
church was built by Begum Sumru, a Muslim woman who embraced Catholicism
after the death of her first husband. A pilgrimage to the church is believed
to bestow the gift of parenthood.
- Since September 11 attendance at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto (at the Shrine
of St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) has surged by as much
as 40 percent, states the caption under a photo in the Minneapolis, MN Star
Tribune October 27. In the accompanying story, Tom Di Nanni describes his
visit to the Shrine and the Basilica, dedicated to Anne, the Mother of the
Virgin Mary. Among some 20 chapels in the church is the chapel of the
Immaculate Conception, located on the lower level and running nearly the
full length of the main church above.
- Il Palio, the most passionately contested horse race in the world, is
dedicated to the Virgin Mary, The Observer (Guardian Newspapers) wrote on
November 4. Held twice a year on the Piazza del Campo in the medieval Tuscan
town of Siena, the race last only 90 seconds. The colorful procession which
precedes the race retells Siena’s centuries of struggle against
neighboring Florence, from the glorious victory against a superior
Florentine force in 1260 to the day when Siena fell to her rival in 1560.
- The Chantry Singers presented a wonderfully selected evening of music on
October 27, all the pieces being in praise of the Virgin Mary and based on
Gregorian themes, the Bath Chronicle reported on October 29. The concert
began in the 16th century with pieces by Palestrina and Victoria,
with an organ interlude by Praetorius, moved through the centuries with
works by van Kerle, Weckmann, Kodaly and Durufle to the 20th and
then back, ending with Palestrina.
- An art exhibit condemned by a Catholic archbishop and upheld by free speed
defenders closed on October 28, the Albuquerque Journal said on that day.
The Cyber Arte exhibit, which includes an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe
sparsely dressed in flower garlands, may travel to venues in Texas and
California. Deacon Anthony Trujillo of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, a
plaintiff in the court action against the exhibit, planned to lead a
"burial ceremony" to celebrate the closing of the exhibit "to
bury any anger, any animosity, any bad feelings so that we can leave that
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