Liturgical Season 8/02/02 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
 News from the
Marian Library
 Prayer Corner News Archives

Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the many ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Liturgical Season

In preparation for the Liturgical celebrations of the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption on August 15 and the Memorial of Mary's Queenship on August 22, Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.

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New Resources

We have added the May Magnificat of Gerard Manley Hopkins to May Poetry as well as an article on Our Lady's Island in South Wexford to Shrines and streaming versions of our Marian Library promotional video, All Generations Will Call Her Blessed, in higher resolution for network links and lower resolution for dial-up links to Marian Films and Videos in our Resources index.

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  News from the Marian Library

New Exhibit

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Br. Donald Boccardi, S.M., an alumnus of the International Marian Research Institute died on July 30, 2002, at the age of 69 and after 45 years of religious life.  Please remember, Br. Boccardi and his family in your prayers.  His obituary may be found in the Dayton Daily News for July 31, 2002.

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News about the Mariological Society of America (MSA)

Summary of the MSA 2002 annual meeting held in New York City (May 22-25)

Call for Papers for MSA 2003 (May 21-24 in Los Angeles)

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International Marian Research Institute Summer Courses

Summer courses have concluded.  We will post the course schedule for the coming year shortly.

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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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Marian Events

Catholic Familyland in Bloomingdale, Ohio [near Franciscan University in Steubenville] will host their last "Holy Family Fest" for 2002 from August 10-16.  They will also offer a "Totus Tuus Family Conference from October 11-13.  For more details, visit www.familyland.org.

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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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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News from Around the World

Foundation of "The Mariological Society of Korea"

On May 17, 2002, a new Mariological Society was founded.  It is Korean and thus calls itself "The Mariological Society of Korea".  The newly founded mariological society is an offshoot of the Korean Marian Library, founded and directed by the Korean Marianists.  Its director, Fr. Timothy Kim Tae-Oh, is also the first president of the Korean Mariological Society.  The fledgling society, at this time, counts 14 members, and is comprised of priests, religious, one deacon and one lay woman.  The purpose of the Korean Mariological Society is the advancement of Marian studies and contacts with other Marian societies worldwide 


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

From LíOsservatore Romano

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

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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 news from July 13 through July 29

Titled "Is Pope right on Ďsaint who aintí?" The Australian on July 29 said the Pope is to proceed with canonization of a 16th century Aztec Indian in Mexico next week, despite growing doubts over whether the man who is to be made a saint ever existed. The Pope is to canonize Juan Diego Cuautlatoazin, credited with a vision of a dark-skinned Virgin Mary in 1531. The canonization of the Madonna of Guadalupe is seen by many in Latin America as the highlight of the Popeís 12-day trip to Canada, Guatemala and Mexico. Four leading Mexican churchmen and theologians wrote to the Vatican before the Pope left Rome, pleading that the canonization be abandoned on the grounds that the existence of Juan Diego "has never been confirmed." The Vatican newspaper has said the apparition of the Virgin Mary and the death of Juan Diego in 1548 were "well documented" and doubts about his existence had already been examined by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The same story appeared in the Calgary Herald July 28 with the Times of London given as the source.

A heated debate has raged for decades over the authenticity of Juan Diego, the 16th century indigenous Mexican peasant who is said to have witnessed four apparitions of the Virgin Mary, the Austin American Statesmen wrote on July 28. But whether historical figure or symbolic legend, Juan Diego, whom Pope John Paul II will canonize on July 31, embodies something very real to millions of Hispanic Catholics: la lucha, the struggle against poverty and oppression. In Juan Diego they see a simple man not unlike themselves, whose faith gave his struggle purpose. For that reason, many Catholics of Mexican heritage believe that when the pope bestows sainthood on Juan Diego, he will be vindicating the faith of an entire people. Dozens of Catholics from the Austin Diocese are traveling by bus to Mexico City to witness the canonization of Juan Diego. The event offers personal gratification for many Mexicans who identify with the pious peasant, the trip coordinator said.

The Toronto Sun on July 18 ran a lengthy story on "Karol Wojtyla: The Pride of Krakow Part 2" telling of the Popeís influence which spread across Eastern Europe to Moscow and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union; the attempt on the Popeís life on May 13 (1981), the same date that the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Portugal (1917), and the Popeís belief that he was saved by a miracle of the Virgin Mary; the Popeís failing health; his 84 foreign pilgrimages, and his creation of World Youth Day in 1986.

The Montreal Gazette on July 20 ran the London Daily Telegraph story dated June 29 that told how Mexico City authorities made a tactical alliance with street traders, licensing them to sell bottles of clean water during the three days in July that the Pope is there, described the city and ended with the story of the Virgin Maryís appearance to Juan Diego.

When he travels to Mexico this week, Pope John Paul II will take a first step toward elevating to sainthood two native Mexicans "martyred" in 1700 for denouncing neighbors who practiced their traditional religion, Agence France Presse said on July 29. The Pope will beatify the two Martyrs of Cajones on Thursday, after canonizing on Wednesday another indigenous Mexican, Juan Diego, who is said to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1531.

Other related stories:

An item in the July 22 Modesto Bee said: Local Mexican-Americans are excited about the upcoming canonization of Juan Diego as the first Mexican Indian saint. Church teachings say the Virgin Mary appeared to Diego in Mexico 500 years ago.

In Mexico City, what taxi drivers, grandmothers and even priests will tell you about Juan Diego is that he was a humble Indian who saw an image of the Virgin Mary about 470 years ago. They even can point to the spot, a hill in the north of town, about five blocks from a subway stop. But thatís about all that most people know about Juan Diago, even though he is to be canonized as the first Indian saint at the end of the month by Pope John Paul II, The San Antonio Express-News wrote on July 14.

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, paying tribute to World Youth Day and the papal visit, is currently exhibiting a plaster version of Michelangeloís Pieta. That object has acquired a unique aura over five centuries, and at St. Peterís in Rome it attracts an unending steam of pious Christians and art lovers, along with an occasional lunatic, like the man who took a hammer to it in 1972, damaging the nose and fingers of the Virgin Mary, the National Post reported July 23.

Jubilant and singing, World Youth Day pilgrims flocked around the Vaticanís second-most influential official as he made an unannounced visit to Niagara Falls, the St. Catherines Standard said on July 25. They knelt at the feet of Angelo Cardinal Sodano as he said a prayer for them only feet from the brink of the Horseshore Falls and in the middle of a large crowd of tourists. The Pope, visiting Canada for the third time as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, was resting at a retreat owned by the Basilian Fathers on Strawberry Island in Lake Simcoe.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, who has already dismayed evangelicals with his liberal views on homosexuality, has been accused "idolatry" for encouraging devotion to the Virgin Mary in a new book, the London Daily Telegraph said on July 25. Dr. Rowan Williams says the book was inspired by his pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, Norfolk, which he describes as "Englandís Nazareth." In the book, "Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin," he argues that the images of the Mother and Child portrayed in medieval icons are holy because they stand on the boundary between the spiritual and the everyday. The Rev. George Curry, director of the Church Society, said he regarded Dr. Williamís book as "a form of idolatry." Anglo-Catholics welcomed the book, one saying it reflected the authorís "spirituality and seriousness."

The London Times on July 27 wrote that conservative evangelicals have accused the next Archbishop of Canterbury of "idolatry," making the claim after it emerged that Dr. Rowan Williamsí next book will encourage Anglicans to pray using icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mary Jo Copeland prays to the Virgin Mary in St. Alphonsus church in Brooklyn Center, MN for two and one half hours every day at 3:30 a.m., letting herself in with a key. The founder and director of Sharing and Caring Hands, a charity she runs with her husband in downtown Minneapolis, is trying to find a place for Gift of Mary Childrenís Home, a 200-bed facility named in honor of the Virgin Mary. Donors have pledged funds but three communities have turned down her request to build. The lengthy article in the New York Times July 21 describes her ministry, her energy and her attempts to find alternatives to foster care despite criticism from child care professionals.

Five internet sites that carried blasphemies against God and the Virgin Mary have been shut down in Italy following a complaint by the Vatican newspaper, líOsservatore Romano, the London Times (July 13) and The Australian (July 16) reported. Police said they censored the images so that the "precious freedom of expression" was not used to offend the "dignity of people."

The two-week celebration honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel ended July 16 with a solemn procession through the streets of Williamsburg, the New York Daily News said on July 17. Trailing a float bearing a statue of the Virgin Mary, the faithful snaked through the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, beginning and ending at the church.

Civic worthies in Sicily have come under fire for bolting iron "underwear" on to a municipal statue of a stallion to spare blushes during a religious procession involving an effigy of the Virgin Mary, The Melbourne Age said on July 18.

About 40,000 Brazilians have flocked to a house in a working-class town near Sao Paulo over the last week to pray before what they believe is a vision of the Virgin Mary, the Advertiser (Nationwide News Pty Limited) wrote on July 22.

From Italy, and from Computer Weekly, comes the tale of the two Italian church goers whose piety so impressed priests at a Milan church, The London Times reported on July 26. Each day for a month they came in and knelt to pray for an hour to a statue of the Virgin Mary. They were "rumbled" after they were discovered to have been using an electric socket behind the effigy to recharge their mobile phone.

When everything else is wilting on a hot summer day, this hard, brilliant flower is in its glory. Its name refers to the Virgin Mary, as its long-lasting blooms were often used to decorate church altars. Marigold (after Maryís Gold) is the flower described in an article titled "Name these useful blooms" in the Christian Science Monitor July 22.

A group of builders in Dublin swear they witnessed a miracle last week when the statue of Jesus Christ they were carrying rose out of their arms, Scotland on Sunday reported on July 21. Religious statues in Ireland have been witnessed crying, waving and rising before, but there have been few occurrences since 1985, when the residents of a tiny village in County Cork reported seeing a concrete statue of the Virgin Mary rise and hover above its plinth. Subsequent examinations of the broken statue of Christ found it emitted a "rose-scented odour." The Catholic hierarchy has refused to comment on the occurrences.

Catholic symbols abound as church attendance plummets in Quebec City, the Toronto Star said on July 21. Itís a place where seafood restaurants display statues of the Virgin Mary as part of the dťcor but unlike in the rest of the country, which has been experiencing a resurgence in church participation since 1990, church attendance has fallen from 88 percent in 1957 to 20 percent or less in 2000.

More than 5,000 pilgrims, from across Ireland, American and Britain, gathered in tiny Achill Island in Co Mayo for a special day of prayer July 25. They came to see a holy sign, but instead of an apparition they heard the Virgin Maryís message of doom for a world filled with "evil" and "sin," The Mirror said on July 26. The faithful gathered after Christina Gallagher, founder of the islandís House of Prayer, predicted that a message would come from Our Lady. Rumors had spread that the Blessed Virgin would appear to worshippers. Instead, a statement from Mrs. Gallagher that promised a "great sign" from the Virgin Mary was read over huge loudspeakers by a female assistant.

Mixing art and faith is a natural combination for Cora and Herbe Poilievre who live at Prudíhomme. They create works of art from ordinary wire, and much of their work has a religious theme, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix said on July 20. The wire work started in the 1960ís, when Cora admired a replica of the Virgin Mary hanging on the wall in the home of a priest. She was told the piece came from Europe and was one-of-a-kind. "I can make you one," her husband told her. This was the beginning of a hobby that Poilievre says could have been a full-time business, had he not been occupied with full-time farming. "Itís very simple," he says. "You just bend the wire and solder it together." His wife draws full-sized designs on paper for the pattern and he takes lengths of wire and bends them to conform to the pattern. While they were in Europe a few years ago looking for their roots they discovered another line of the family that no one knew about and learned they were blacksmiths. "When we walked into their house, there on the wall was a piece of wire art. It was of the Virgin Mary, and was almost identical to the one I made for Cora all those years ago," Poilievre said.

For the second time in six months, vandals have succeeded in breaking the idol of the Virgin Mother Mary in the 150-year-old Catholic cemetery in Bettiah, The Economic Times of India said on July 17. An FIR lodged by the parish priest alleged that the desecration has been done to ignite communal hatred and the entire Catholic community is aggrieved.

Floyd and Helen Tschiggfrie reported the theft of a handmade, concrete grotto that included a statue of the Virgin Mary from outside their home on July 12 or 13, the Dubuque, IA Telegraph Herald said on July 21. Scores of the faithful and curious have been peering at trees in a vacant lot near downtown West Chicago ever since several people reported seeing images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in the trunks, the Chicago Daily Herald reported on July 19. One man pointed toward a knot in a tree with a scar that looks like the silhouette of a person covered from head to toe in a robe and said, "Itís the Mother of Guadalupe." Spiritual sightings are not uncommon to the area, the story said, but Sister Judith Davies of the Joliet Diocese said she had not heard of any apparitions in the West Chicago area.

The Monks of New Skete, in their book, "In the Spirit of Happiness," suggest that we all have the monastic calling if we understand is as a way to see the world. Vision is at the heart of faith. Vision leads to faith. Thatís what the Blessed Virgin Mary knew. Thus writes Gabriel Jay Rochelle in a special story to The Allentown Morning Call on July 13.

New books reviewed in the Greensboro, NC News & Record July 18 include "The Solace of Leaving Early" by Haven Kimmel, in which the pastor and a friend of a young, murdered mother become adversaries in their attempts to protect the dead womanís two small girls, who claim to speak with the Virgin Mary

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