Liturgical Season 8/09/02 World News
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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 Our Lady and the Column well as Mary's Assumption into Heaven under Marian Images in our Resources index.

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  News from the Marian Library

News about the Mariological Society of America (MSA)

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

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

The schedule of IMRI courses for Fall 2002 - Fall 2003 is now available for view.

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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

Marian Songs on the Hit Parade

On August 3, 2002, La Senora de Guadalupe, by Don Meehan, went on the MP3 Spiritual Country chart at #23. This seems to be the first time that a Catholic song bucked the tide and beat out all 977 Christian (non-Catholic) others.  The next day it climbed into the # 8 position on the mp3.com Christian Country chart [URL: http://genres.mp3.com/music/country/spiritual_country], with two "bullets" (meaning that it continues to climb) from #23 yesterday, and #197 day before yesterday. The chart is determined by how many merely go on the website and play it online.  His version of Silent Night also came on the MP3.com Christmas chart at #55 [see URL: http://genres.mp3.com/music/pop_rock/seasonal_holiday/christmas/index2.html].  You may check out Mr. Meehan's popular songs at http://www.MP3.com/don_meehan.


Juan Diego's Home is Object of Indian Pilgrimages

Important Religious Center To Express Their Faith

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 1, 2002 (Zenit.org)

The home of Juan Diego, the first Indian saint of America, has become an important pilgrimage center, especially for Mexico's Indian peoples.

In December 1531, 10 years after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on several occasions to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (eagle that talks) on the hill of Tepeyac.

She entrusted to him the task of asking the bishop of Mexico to build a church in her honor.

That Church, the Basilica of Guadalupe, receives between 12-17 million pilgrims a year, masking it the most visited pilgrimage center in the world.

But for the past few weeks, Juan Diego's home in Cuautitlan, just over three miles north of Mexico City has received some 10,000 pilgrims. They regard the Indian visionary as an effective intercessor to obtain favors from God.

Juan Diego's home became a center of pilgrimage especially after his beatification on May 6, 1990.

Last weekend, for example, 5,000 Catholics visited "El Cerrito," as the saint's home is known. The city square near the location of his house displays a giant statue in his image, and has a church and an auditorium where meditations are held on Juan Diego's life.

History recounts that after the apparitions, Juan Diego left his home in Cuautitlan and went to live on Tepeyac hill, where the Basilica of Guadalupe is located.

Father Miguel Cortés, vicar of "El Cerrito," explained that the pilgrims who arrive at the site, often after long and difficult journeys, appeal to Juan Diego as a last resort to ask God for help with family problems or serious illnesses.

"They take home anything they can from here, a stone or a grain of sand," the priest said. "It is all a question of faith."

Pope's Homily During Juan Diego's Canonization

Sign of "New Humanity" That Makes No Distinctions of Race

MEXICO CITY, JULY 31, 2002 (Zenit.org)

Here is a translation of John Paul II's homily during today's canonization Mass for Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548), the Indian witness of the apparitions of Guadalupe.

* * *

1. I thank you, Father ... that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was your gracious will" (Mt 11:25-26).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These words of Jesus in today's Gospel are a special invitation to us to praise and thank God for the gift of the first indigenous Saint of the American Continent.

With deep joy I have come on pilgrimage to this Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Marian heart of Mexico and of America, to proclaim the holiness of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the simple, humble Indian who contemplated the sweet and serene face of Our Lady of Tepeyac, so dear to the people of Mexico.

2. I am grateful for the kind words of Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, and for the warm hospitality of the people of this Primatial Archdiocese: my cordial greeting goes to everyone. I also greet with affection Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, Archbishop Emeritus of Mexico City, and the other Cardinals, as well as the Bishops of Mexico, of America, of the Philippines and of other places in the world. I am likewise particularly grateful to the President and the civil Authorities for their presence at this celebration.

Today I address a very affectionate greeting to the many indigenous people who have come from the different regions of the country, representing the various ethnic groups and cultures which make up the rich, multifaceted Mexican reality. The Pope expresses his closeness to them, his deep respect and admiration, and receives them fraternally in the Lord's name.

3. What was Juan Diego like? Why did God look upon him? The Book of Sirach, as we have heard, teaches us that God alone "is mighty; he is glorified by the humble" (cf. Sir 3:20). Saint Paul's words, also proclaimed at this celebration, shed light on the divine way of bringing about salvation: "God chose what is low and despised in the world ... so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor 1:28,29).

It is moving to read the accounts of Guadalupe, sensitively written and steeped in tenderness. In them the Virgin Mary, the handmaid "who glorified the Lord" (Lk 1:46), reveals herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of the true God. As a sign, she gives him precious roses, and as he shows them to the Bishop, he discovers the blessed image of Our Lady imprinted on his tilma.

"The Guadalupe Event," as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, "meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations. Christ's message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation" (14 May 2002, No. 8). Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization.

4. "The Lord looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men" (Ps 33:13), we recited with the Psalmist, once again confessing our faith in God, who makes no distinctions of race or culture. In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruitful meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans. This is why the witness of his life must continue to be the inspiration for the building up of the Mexican nation, encouraging brotherhood among all its children and ever helping to reconcile Mexico with its origins, values, and traditions.

The noble task of building a better Mexico, with greater justice and solidarity, demands the cooperation of all. In particular, it is necessary today to support the indigenous peoples in their legitimate aspirations, respecting and defending the authentic values of each ethnic group. Mexico needs its indigenous peoples and these peoples need Mexico!

Beloved bothers and sisters of every ethnic background of Mexico and America, today, in praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the Church and the Pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through.

5. At this decisive moment in Mexico's history, having already crossed the threshold of the new millennium, I entrust to the powerful intercession of Saint Juan Diego the joys and hopes, the fears and anxieties of the beloved Mexican people, whom I carry in my heart.

Blessed Juan Diego, a good, Christian Indian, whom simple people have always considered a saint! We ask you to accompany the Church on her pilgrimage in Mexico, so that she may be more evangelizing and more missionary each day. Encourage the Bishops, support the priests, inspire new and holy vocations, help all those who give their lives to the cause of Christ and the spread of his Kingdom.

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favor upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization, or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.

Beloved Juan Diego, "the talking eagle"! Show us the way that leads to the "Dark Virgin" of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.

[Original text: Spanish. Translation issued by Vatican Press Office]

Juan Diego as a Model of Inculturation of Faith

Rector of Urban University Puts Canonization in Perspective

ROME, JULY 29, 2002 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II will propose Juan Diego as a model of inculturation on Wednesday when he canonizes the 16th-cenutry witness of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

That's what Father Fidel González Fernández, rector of the Urban University of Rome, and an expert on the soon-to-be canonized saint, affirmed in an interview.

Between Dec. 9-12, 1531, the Blessed Virgin directed Juan Diego to communicate to Bishop Juan de Zumárraga her desire that a church be built in her honor.

When asked by the bishop for proof of the supernatural nature of the Virgin's request, Juan Diego gave him fresh roses in midwinter. When he unfolded his tilma -- his cotton cape -- to show the roses to the bishop, the image of Our Lady was imprinted on the garment.

These extraordinary events played a key role in the conversion of the Indian population, which had resisted evangelization efforts until that point.

Q: Why is Juan Diego being canonized 454 years after his death?

Father González: For three reasons, I would say. In the first place, because canonical legislation established at the time of Urban VIII, more precisely in 1635, discouraged the introduction of processes of canonization in general. The few causes that were initiated were those of great founders of institutes or religious works, or great figures, often supported by monarchies or by other religious authorities.

In the second place, the Spanish crown did not favor the introduction of causes of canonization.

Lastly, we must remember that Juan Diego was an Indian. In the past, the causes of great founders were introduced, such as St. Ignatius of Loyola; of great missionaries, such as St. Francis Xavier; and of great mystics, such as St. Teresa of Avila. However, no one ever thought of canonizing an Indian.

Q: The Guadalupe phenomenon has been regarded by some as a symbol. With the canonization, it recovers its historical character.

Father González: As a historic event, the Guadalupe phenomenon was indisputable for three centuries, until the 18th century.

At the time of Mexico's independence -- a time when the population prayed for the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe -- a Spaniard, Juan Bautista Muñoz, preferred to interpret the apparition as a myth.

Later on, with liberalism and historic positivism, many things were doubted and some began to reduce the Guadalupe event to a symbol. Today, the historic documentation available to us leads us to give the right of reason to those in the 17th century who analyzed the facts legally to the point of achieving historic verification, too.

Q: What is the message of Juan Diego and of Our Lady of Guadalupe?

Father González: The message is very simple. Our Lady appeared as the "Mother of the One through whom there is life," which is an expression used in ancient Indian traditions to describe God the omnipotent Creator.

In her maternity, therefore, Mary wishes to embrace the whole of humanity, under the sign of the presence of the incarnate Christ in her womb, to make men discover their own face, their own dignity as children of God and brothers among themselves.

John Paul II's Closing Remarks at World Youth Day

Looks Ahead to Cologne in 2005

TORONTO, JULY 28, 2002 (ZENIT.org)

Here are the words John Paul II expressed both before and after the recitation of the Angelus at the conclusion of World Youth Day 2002.

* * *

We conclude this splendid celebration of the Eucharist with the Angelus prayer to Mary, Mother of the Redeemer.

To her I entrust the fruits of this World Youth Day, that in time, with her help, they may flourish. This World Youth Day must mark a reawakening of pastoral attention to the young in Canada. May the enthusiasm of this moment be the spark that is needed to launch a new era of powerful witness to the Gospel!

I wish formally to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in 2005, in Cologne, Germany.

In the great Cathedral in Cologne are honored the relics of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East who followed the star which led them to Christ. As pilgrims, your spiritual journey to Cologne starts today. Christ awaits you there for the Twentieth World Youth Day!

May the Virgin Mary, our Mother on our pilgrimage of faith, be with you on the way.

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae ...

Juan Diego Has a Presence in Toronto

MEXICO CITY, JULY 24, 2002 (Zenit.org)

Devotees of Juan Diego are getting ready for his July 31 canonization -- by making his image known at World Youth Day.

Diego Monroy Ponce, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is sending some 5,000 holy cards with Blessed Juan Diego's picture to Toronto.

The Nahui Ollin theater group will perform "Miracle of Tepeyac" during World Youth Day, providing insight to the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Young pilgrims in Canada will also be given pocket-size images of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The pictures have been authorized by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico.

Guadalupe Shows Dignity of Indians and Women, Says Cardinal

Archbishop of Mexico City Highlights Importance of Marian Appearance

MEXICO CITY, JULY 9, 2002 (Zenit.org)

The primate of Mexico summed up the 1531 appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe like this: An Indian was chosen to be the special envoy of the Mother of God.

With that phrase, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, presiding over Sunday's Mass celebrated in the metropolitan cathedral, addressed the participants of the National Congress on Mariology. The congress is being held in the Archdiocese of Mexico in preparation for the canonization of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.

Jesus' preference for the "little ones" was confirmed in the Guadalupe event, the cardinal explained. Many then, as well as now, regarded the choice as "scandalous," but the Virgin was showing that Indians are not slaves but her sons, the archbishop of Mexico added.

"This fact has profound meaning," he said. "It is the recognition of Juan Diego's dignity. The Indian, whom many still denied the rank of person, was chosen to be the personal emissary of the Mother of God."

From then on, Juan Diego and all the indigenous population "are called to be the chosen people, bearers of a profound religiosity that will make Latin America the continent of hope," the archbishop primate of Mexico emphasized.

This reality still generates resistance, the cardinal pointed out. Despite the change in laws, he said, "Indians continue to be marginalized in their political and economic rights, serving as pretext to raise other flags that are not for their progress and development."

The dignity of Indian women is also upheld by the Guadalupe event. The Virgin of Tepeyac did not appear with a white face, but with mestizo features, Cardinal Rivera Carrera stated.

"Mary, appearing as a maiden and mother, reaffirmed the dignity of the Indian woman, humiliated and oppressed," he said. "In Mary, maternity acquires a sublime dignity."

Hence, the Virgin of Guadalupe brings a message that is very timely, when for other reasons and in other ways, there is an attempt to "degrade" woman and "reduce her to an object of pleasure and to one more element of the great market," Cardinal Rivera lamented.

In statements to the press at the end of the Mass, the archbishop of Mexico referred to the preparation for Juan Diego's canonization by John Paul II on July 31.

The celebration is open to all, the cardinal confirmed. It is estimated that some 8,000 people will be able to attend the ceremony in the basilica, and 12,000 from the square.

From L’Osservatore Romano

From l’Osservatore Romano July 24, 2002

On Sunday, July 21 at Castel Gondolfo, the Holy Father asked the pilgrims assembled to pray for the World Youth Day and his pastoral visit to Guatemala and Mexico. Concluding he said, "I entrust everyone to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking her to obtain for all those taking part in the World Youth Day a great outpouring of graces and blessings."

In his Message July 17 to the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family, for their General Chapter, the Pope said: "Today the great challenge of inculturation asks believers to proclaim the Good News in languages and forms which the people of our time can understand...Jesus, Joseph and Mary protect you and help you to achieve your projects of good."

The Holy Father sent a Message dated July 5 to the Superior General of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul for the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, physician and priest, who with Ven. James Morigia and Ven. Bartholomew Ferrari, founded the Clerics Regular in 1530 to reform the decadent society of the time. He said, "May the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin for whom St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria had a tender and faithful devotion, awaken in each member of this institute the enthusiasm and courage of goodness at the service of God and of our needy brothers and sisters."

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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 week.

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