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On May 31, 2002, Bishop Jozef Marianus Punt approved the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations saying, "I have come to the conclusion that the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam consist of supernatural origin." Click here for the full text
Not posted this week. Expect an update to this section next week.
From L’Osservatore Romano
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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 news May 20 through June 18
After a four-year investigation that involved the Vatican, the Catholic Church has officially outlawed William Kamm’s Order of St. Charbel, the Sydney Daily Telegraph said on June 18. From his compound at Cambewarra, outside Nowra, Kamm, known to followers as The Little Pebble, has spent the past 20 years chronicling his visions for the future and running a worldwide religious sect linking itself to the Catholic Church. Kamm says the Virgin Mary speaks to him on the 13th of each month, that he can cure the deaf and blind and that he is destined to be the last Pope.
Item in The Vent, June 17, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution: "Biblical scholars say that the Virgin Mary was 14 when she gave birth to Christ. Does that mean that God is in big trouble with the Southern Baptist Convention?" Persons who wish to "Vent" can call or e-mail the newspaper.
Sean Thomas, writing in the London Guardian June17, explains why all women, and all images of women, are banned on Mount Athos, in north Greece:
"The Athonite banning of persons and images female was first decided a thousand years ago. Following various mystic visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the bigwigs of the Byzantine Orthodox Church decided that the burgeoning monastic community on the lush 400-square-mile peninsula should be dedicated solely to the Virgin. And to ensure that the Virgin was not outshone by anything else female, it was ruled that all rival females should be banished from the peninsula. From the off, the monks took this ordnance literally. Not only did they banish all the washerwomen and fishwives, they also drove off the female animals: the mares, sows and bitches. Even the hens were shooed away....And so it remains to this day. Since AD 1960, no female traveler or pilgrim has been allowed into Athos."
Headlined "Sacred Mysteries," an article in the London Daily Telegraph June 15 begins: "Tomorrow yet another saint who has attracted controversy is to be canonised by the Pope. Padre Pio (1887-1968) was a Franciscan friar who bore the stigmata- the five marks of Christ’s crucifixion - on his hands, feet and side. Some people feel that his canonisation fits a recent pattern of recognizing saints whose lives have been touched by the preternatural. Among these might be counted St Faustina Kowalska...Another is Juan Diego, the Mexican Indian who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1531; he is to be declared a saint on July 31."
Monsignor Michael Ledwith, one of the Catholic church’s most respected theologians in the 1990's, intends to publish a book claiming Jesus had a twin brother, the London Sunday Times said on June 2. His book is based on an archeological discovery in Egypt which some believe is the gospel of Thomas, Jesus’ twin. In an interview with an American radio station, the former head of Ireland’s main training school for priests, who resigned as president of St. Patrick’s College Maynouth in 1994 amid allegations of sexual abuse and is now living in America and teaching new age religion groups, has also questioned traditional views on the Virgin Mary. He said, "People might say it sounds a blasphemy....What picture of the Virgin Mary do we have that we find it so horrific?"
Documentary film maker Liam McGrath, who enlisted Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho to help him investigate the visions of the Virgin Mary two of his cousins experienced in Co Waterford in 1985, does little to investigate alternative views, even though Coelho’s "peculiar relationship with religion leaves him in a less objective position," and instead focuses on Coelho’s own "journey" in "Seven Days," the London Sunday Times said on June 2.
Outside his native Mexico, he’s little known. But in July, Juan Diego will join an exclusive group when he becomes a Roman Catholic saint, the Columbus Dispatch said on May 31. "I consider this to be the most significant canonization that’s taken place in the Americas," said the Rev. Robert Gonzalez of the Pontifical College Josephinum seminary. The 16th century appearance of the Virgin Mary to Diego brought millions to Christianity, he said. On July 30, Pope John Paul II is scheduled to declare Diego a saint during ceremonies in Mexico City.
In "Table Talk," a lengthy explanation of why he missed a recent luncheon engagement, A A Gill writes in the London Sunday Times May 26 that the time before "It was the image of the Virgin Mary miraculously appearing on the traffic information billboard on the M25, causing chaos as European lorry drivers involuntarily crossed themselves."
As a child, Jean Benjamin-Vappie looked forward to the month of May when her mother would weave crowns of Shasta daisies for her and her sister, and one for them to place on the head of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In school, every morning a different student in every class would crown the Blessed Mother. Later, when she started looking for a May crowning for her daughter, Beverly, now 7, she couldn’t find one. She shared her wish with her husband and three years ago, after he and Beverly bought her the perfect Mother’s Day gift: a large statue of Mary for her big Gentilly yard, she began her own May crowning tradition. From mostly family and friends, it has grown to include people from various parts of the city - about 60 people attended last year. This year’s ceremony was scheduled for May 26, the New Orleans Times-Picayune said on that day.
"One hand fired," Pope John Paul II said after the 1981 attempt on his life, "and another hand guided the bullets." It was always the Pope’s belief that he was saved by a miracle performed by the Virgin of Fatima, whose feast day of May 13 coincided with the day of the shooting, the London Times wrote on May 25. The article tells about the Virgin Mary appearing to three children in Fatima, Portugal, the attempt on the Pope’s life, the papal staff’s belief that Russia was the real puppet-master behind the assassination attempt and states that the events of May 13 endowed the Pope with an even stronger sense of mission.
"When the Virgin Appears," about the Virgin Mary’s appearance to six young women in Medjugorje in central Yugoslavia in 1981, is a fascinating film, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in a TV preview on May 20. Even though French director Patrick Benquet, who made the film in 2001, seeks balance, the impression his film gives is one of disbelief, the reviewer said. "See the blonde visionary apparently in earnest conversation with the heavens and then observe the narrowing eyes of the person who bobs up behind her left shoulder. ‘You’re having us on’ is the message they convey."
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June 20, 2002
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