Mary Page News

November 16, 2001

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.

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

:    Kathy Kavanaugh
                           Phone (937) 434-6841

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Personal thoughts and reflections about Mary from our readers 

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 Mary.  

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 World


Custody of Holy Land Warns Israelis of a "State of Permanent Siege"

JERUSALEM, NOV. 14, 2001 (

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 community."

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 stores.

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 concluded.

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 ( 

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 was possible.

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 next week.

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Marian Events  

This section lists all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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New Resources

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 follow.

We've posted memorials to three long-time faculty members who died recently:

Fr. Frederick M. Jelly, O.P.

Fr. Walter M. Brennan, O.S.M.

Fr. Théodore Koehler, S.M.

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Mary in the Secular Press

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.

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Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.  Please take a look!  This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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Our Mary Page web site is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see what's new.

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Mary Page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, was last modified Wednesday, 19-Dec-2001 15:22:59 EST by Michael P. Duricy. Please send any comments to

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