Posted February 15, 2002

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

Schedule of IMRI Courses for the Winter Semester

The International Marian Research Institute will be offering a selection of seminar courses in Theology on the University Dayton campus during the Winter 2001 Semester.  For more details, click into Current Courses.

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Extended Exhibit

CRÈCHES GALORE!!  Now to be seen at The Marian Library through the end of October 2002 (Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) are 59 different Nativity scenes selected from holdings of over 900.  This exhibit is comprised of sets related to the birth of Christ shown during Christmastime at the Dayton Art Institute and The Marian Library at the University of Dayton.  The extension of dates provides opportunity for those who were unable to view the works or who would appreciate seeing them again.  There is no admission fee; and popular brochures with complimentary text are available for taking.  As a bonus, other art, including Marian exhibits in the Gallery, is also available to enjoy.  Welcome to The Marian Library!

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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


"Lourdes of the East" Is Focus for World Day of the Sick

Marian Shrine of Vailankanni in India Draws 20 Million a Year  

NEW DELHI, India, FEB. 10, 2002 (

On Monday, February 11, 2002,  the Shrine of Vailankanni, known as the "Lourdes of the East," will be the focus of the Church, as its leads the observance of World Day of the Sick. "There is no place that is more appropriate to hold this celebration than the Shrine of Vailankanni," the rector and parish priest of the Basilica of Our Lady of Health of Vailankanni, Father Arul Irudayam, said. …

The shrine is the "emblem of the healing force of prayer," the priest explained. Some 20 million pilgrims visit every year from India and Southeast Asia, at least half of them Hindus or Muslims.

John Paul II refers to this reality in the message he wrote for the occasion, explaining: "In India, a land of profound and ancient religiosity, that Shrine dedicated to the Mother of God is really a meeting point for members of different religions and an exceptional example of interreligious harmony and dialogue."

Tradition says the shrine began with a straw cabin, built in the place where a man saw Mary appear with the child Jesus in her arms, explained Father Irudayam. It was the 16th century. The church began to be called Arokia Matha, Mother of Health, when the Virgin appeared and cured a crippled boy. Since then, there have been many favors and cures. In respect of Indian tradition, the image is dressed in a sari.

The entire Indian Church, which numbers 16 million faithful in a nation of 1 billion inhabitants, has been involved in the preparations. Fifteen hundred delegates will attend the day. Among them is Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, and Sister Nirmala, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity. John Paul II's envoy is Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. The Health Minister of the Indian Federation and numerous dignitaries of Tamil Nadu (the state where the shrine is located) will also be present. The largest number of participants are from India, representing the Catholic Health Association of India, which has 4,000 hospitals, health structures and organizations.

The Day of the Sick "will be a point of reference for the Indian Church. The Indian Church is proud to host this event for the first time," said Bishop Thumma Bala, president of the Commission for Health Care Ministry of the Indian Episcopal Conference.

Papal Address Before Angelus

Suffering Finds Meaning in Christ, John Paul II Says

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2002 (

Here are excerpts of the translation of John Paul II's address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square before the praying of the midday Angelus. Monday is World Day of the Sick, which this year will be focused on the Shrine of "Our Lady of Health" in Vailankanni, India.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Tomorrow is the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. A powerful beacon of hope was lit in the little Pyrenean city, particularly for those suffering in body and spirit, when on Feb. 11, 1854, Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette in the Massabielle cave, requesting that it become a place of pilgrimage and prayer.

For 10 years now, this Marian feast has been associated with the observance of the World Day of the Sick, a propitious occasion for the ecclesial community to come close to sick people, invoking Mary's support for them, who brings comfort and light to all.

This year, the heart of the World Day of the Sick will be Vailankanny, in southern India, where the Shrine of "Our Lady of Health" rises, known as "the Lourdes of the East," and the object of numerous pilgrims. We also entrust to the heavenly protection of the Mother of God people of the Hindu and other religions, who willingly go to that Christian shrine.

In spiritual union, a special celebration will be held tomorrow afternoon in St. Peter's, at the end of which I will have the joy of meeting the sick, health workers, and volunteer associations present in the Vatican basilica.

Let us pray that the Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick, will assist with her protection those who suffer in body and spirit, and sustain all those who lovingly take care of them.

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Marian Events  

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

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New Resources

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Ecuador.  Expect more countries to follow.

We have posted John Paul II's Prayer for World Day of Peace (Jan. 1, 2002) on our Prayers index.

Our Marian Magisterial Documents Index now includes links to the following:

Vi è ben noto: On the Rosary and Public Life (September 20, 1887)
Magnae Dei Matris: On the Rosary (September 8, 1892)
Christi Matri: Encyclical of Pope Paul VI (September 15, 1966)

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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.

Not posted this week.  Expect an update to this section next month.

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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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