Posted March 1, 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

Vita Communis "Mary, Mother of the Holy Family".  A Protestant Sisters' community joins the Catholic Church.  Their conversion is rooted in their love for the Eucharist.

The community 'Vita Communis' was founded in 1976 near Stuttgart, Germany.  A profound ecumenical spirit directed its members to study the Christian community of the early church.  The painful awareness that Christ's prayer 'that all may be one' (John 17:21) is still far from being realized inspired the sisters to get to know other Christian spiritualities and communities.  A cordial bond developed to the Carmel of Creteil in Paris.  For more than 10 years members of the 'Vita Communis' would celebrate the Eucharist with the Carmelite sisters but were excluded from receiving Holy Communion.  Wherever unity was possible, however, the sisters united in prayer, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the veneration of the Sacred Heart and dedication to Mary.

On November 9, 1989, the day when the Berlin wall fell, the first sister of Vita Communis asked to be received into the Catholic Church.  On January 6, three sisters received their first holy communion and the sacrament of confirmation.  Eventually the other members of Vita Communis followed them and on August 15, 1992, 'Vita Communis' received episcopal recognition from the diocese of Rottenburg Stuttgart.  For more information read the German article [in PDF format] on section 18 of ‘Kirche Heute’ ... Ich werde katholisch

Gifts of Peace

In Texas and Iowa, thousands of visitors come each year to see stunning religious art created during World War II by Italian and German POWs.  Read the complete feature article in the December 2001 Issue of Saint Anthony Messenger Magazine Online.

ZENIT

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 26, 2002 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II will proclaim nine new saints between May 10 and Oct. 6, including one canonization that will take place in Mexico.

The Vatican Press Office published the news today at the end of the ordinary consistory of cardinals, presided over by the Pope.

At the end of Toronto's World Youth Day, the Holy Father will travel to Mexico to canonize Juan Diego, the Indian who saw the apparitions of Guadalupe in 1531. That canonization will take place July 30. Mexican press sources say the celebration might take place in Ecatepec, a poor community located on the outskirts of Mexico City.

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Marian Events  

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

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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.

Mary in the secular press from January 25 through February 25

Michael Torres trekked more than 200,000 kilometers around Europe and Asia during the past 16 years to thank God for healing him, Deutsche Presse-Agentur said on January 25. The Spanish mason, who suffered a labor accident in 1986 and ended up in a wheel chair, promised God and the Virgin Mary that he would hike five times around Europe and Asia if he learned to walk again. Every time he came back home to Sant Cugat del Valles near Barcelona, "I got withdrawal symptoms and was back on the road after three days," he said.

In 1291, carried by a host of angels, the Virgin Mary’s house was miraculously transported from Nazareth to Loreto, Italy. Those who doubted its authenticity were confounded when the stone was proven to be first-century Judaean. From an article on Christian relics and reality in the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) on February 17.

The monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary stands beside the ruins of an old church of the Virgin Mary on the tiny island of Old Trikeri, in Greece’s Pagasitic Gulf. The new church was built after the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to Damianos Koslis, a 19th century monk, and directed him to dig in the ruins for her lost icon. The miracle-working icon of Our Venerable Lady Virgin Mary was unearthed on September 10, 1825. Reported in The Independent (London) on February 23 by Brian Patten, who learned of the icon during a visit to the island.

A religious icon believed to be about 200 years old has been stolen, the Herald Sun reported on January 29. The painting of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary was stolen from a house in Blackburn South, and police said the icon would have no value to the thief.

The new bronze statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary commissioned for the renovation of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is "kind of stepping out, leaning forward to embrace her children, the people who come filled with devotion to her,"said Jeffrey Varilla, one half of the husband-wife team that sculpted the work. Named "The Mother of the Church," the statue solved the problem for Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of whether the Marian shrine should be Guadalupe for the future or Czestochowa for the past, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said on February 9.

"Myth Versus Miracle; Debate Rages Over Likely Canonization" headlined a Washington Post story February 5 about the expected canonization of Juan Diego as Mexico’s first indigenous saint. The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to the Aztec peasant almost 500 years ago but some scholars say there is no convincing historical record that Juan Diego ever existed and that he was probably fabricated by Spanish conquerors as a means of converting the country’s native tribes to Catholicism. A meeting of cardinals is expected to give final approval to Juan Diego’s sainthood, clearing the way for a July visit to Mexico City by the Pope to formally canonize him.

With its faithful turning to charismatic movements promising miracles, the Roman Catholic Church needed to highlight its own healing powers - and that meant regenerating the sanctuaries in Lourdes that contain the muddy grotto where a poor peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, saw the mother of Christ 144 years ago, Adam Sage wrote in The Times (London) on February 19.

Since 1958 the church had acknowledged only six miracles at Lourdes, compared with 60 official miracles during the century that followed the Virgin Mary’s appearance. Dr. Patrick Theillier, head of the Medical Bureau at the sanctuaries in 1998, has embarked on a campaign to encourage people to tell his medical bureau of their recoveries at Lourdes. Last year 33 persons said they were healed at Lourdes, and 30 said so in 2000, he said, compared to about 12 per year in the past. Most of these cases will be refused by church authorities who still tread with extreme caution in this field, the writer said, but the number of visitors to Lourdes increased to six million visitors last year, from just over four million a decade ago.

Maria Saraco of California, an expert on apparitions of the Virgin Mary seen in Spain, was scheduled to speak at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Kenner, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) said on February 21. Saraco has been spreading the messages and prophecies that the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have revealed from 1961-65 to four young girls in the village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain, in the Cantabrian Mountains.

Students at St. Rocco School in Cleveland’s gritty west side read and study under portraits of Jesus and the Virgin Mary on a day in which all of them are required to pray at Mass. What distinguishes the school from Catholic schools in other parts of the country is that the State of Ohio is paying the bulk of the tuition for half of the school’s 200 pupils, who are recipients of vouchers designed to help them and several thousand other children in Cleveland flee failing public schools, the New York Times said on February 10.

An 80-pound cement statue of the Virgin Mary is back again at the entrance to the Little Sisters of the Poor apartments in St. Paul, thanks to some sleuthing by the Lutheran pastor of a nearby church who learned from a "street source" where the statue might be, the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) said on February 25.

A 3-foot-tall porcelain figure of the Madonna on the front lawn of Manny and Kathy Koukoulas’ new house in Commack has provoked controversy as some residents express disgust over the statue while others, of all religious backgrounds, support the couple’s right to display the statue and voice disgust with what many call religious intolerance. The planning director said the couple has the right to display the statue just as they would any other lawn ornament, the Nassau and Suffolk Edition of Newday wrote on February 18.

An exceptional collection of icons - an art form only sparingly represented in Western museums - is on view at the Pontifical College Josephinum, the Columbus Dispatch said on January 27. The writer explained that icons are highly stylized images, emblematic or symbolic rather than representative, and that St. Luke, one of the four evangelists, is supposed to have painted portraits of the Virgin Mary, establishing the tradition that informed the images or icons of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints through the centuries.

Five hand-painted murals have adorned the ceiling of St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church near Kinde for more than 40 years, the Huron Daily Tribune (Bad Axe, Mich.) said on January 30. The warm faces and light-handed painters’ soft shades of the Virgin Mary, child and angels show the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to tell her about the child to be born. The murals were painted on canvas by a Polish painter named Malczek who lived in Detroit and adhered to the ceiling by the painter. The Polish National Church celebrates its centennial this year.

A revision of the best-selling bible in the U.S., to be released in April, incorporates some modern words and eliminates a linguistic male bias in some places, Time said on February 11. Updates in Today’s New International Version include a change in Matthew 1:18. The Virgin Mary, before described as "with child," now is "pregnant."

The Virgin Mary may be one of our longest-standing cultural icons, but her reincarnation as fashion muse is new, the Financial Times (London) said on February 9. The writer states that this summer’s stylebook is scattered with references to vestal purity. She reports on a "near-virginal, long-sleeves white dress," an "all-white, overtly religious collection that had the communion look down pat," and says "The anti-slut backlash has us styling ourselves ‘like a virgin’ in a more literal sense than Madonna once did."

Chris Ofili, the British artist whose dung-daubed portrait of the Virgin Mary angered religious leaders and the mayor of New York, is coming to the aid of the elephants that supply raw material for his art, the Columbus Dispatch said on February 23. The Zoological Society of London said Ofili has agreed to donate proceeds from the sale of one of his paintings to elephants at the Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in Dunstable, northwest of London.

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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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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 Marian Prayer for the Conclusion to the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania (Nov. 22, 2001) on our Prayers index.  We have also added sections on English Prayers of Popes and English Prayers of saints.

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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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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Matt Stephey , was last modified Friday, 06/07/2002 10:25:12 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.