Liturgical Season 10/22/02 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
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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 Month of October, Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.

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New Resources

We have revised our Directory of 20th Century Apparitions and added a link to the new apostolic letter on the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae [The Rosary of the Virgin Mary]. 

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  News from the Marian Library

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our Mary Page web site.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following comments are a typical example:

I stumbled across your page and it is the most beautiful Marian page I have ever seen Thank you so much for your work in putting it together. May God bless you over and over.... I could live here, a real piece of heaven!!!


New Exhibit

The Marian Library is currently exhibiting GOD BLESS AMERICA: Artistic Variations on 9-11, by John Solowianiuk.  This exhibit will run from October 7 thru November 22, 2002; hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday  or by special arrangement [call (937) 229-4214].

Digitized photos of the items on display in the Marian Library can be seen under Current Exhibit in our Gallery section.

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Major Exhibit Coming Next Year

A rare collection of art from the Vatican will be coming to UD during its small tour.  "The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary" will arrive in Sept. 2003 for a two month stay in the Roesch Library first-floor gallery and seventh-floor Marian Library Gallery.  The multicultural exhibition includes pieces dating from the fourth century to the 20th century.

The works include a variety of mediums such as oil on canvas and copper; tempera; gold on panel-carved sections of sarcophagi in marble; and statuary in wood, bronze, ivory, lead and soapstone.  The artists are from several different ethnic backgrounds.  Cultures of Africa, China, Korea, Greece, Central Europe, Russia, Brazil and the Solomon Islands are represented.  The 38-piece collection is housed in the Vatican Museums, although many of the pieces are in areas only accessible to scholars for study.

Aside from an extended stay at the John Paul II cultural center in Washington, D.C., the exhibit has rarely been seen by the public.  The cost of transporting, insuring and securing the art will be provided through private donations.

The works are put into six categories: Eve and Mary, The Incarnation, The Theotokos (Mother of God), Images of Prayer, Mary in Cultures Around the World and Walking with Mary in the Third Millennium.  The sections are introduced by writings from Pope John Paul II.

The exhibition puts emphasis on the mission of the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, which is serving as the host.  It will be the second exhibit in a biennial series of international art here at UD.

Source: "Rare Vatican art to make its way to campus" by Meghan Roberts, published on p. 7 in Flyer News for September 27, 2002.

For more information see also the article by Pamela Gregg in the August 22 issue of U.D.'s Campus Report.

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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.  The first courses for the Fall 2002 term are underway as of October 14.

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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


A concert of "Advent and Marian Music for the Journey" will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. in Mother of God Church at 119 West 6th Street in Covington, Kentucky.  Their second concert will feature Pärt, Vaughn-Williams, a new Magnificat by Robert Campbelle, and Charpentier's Messe de Minuit pour Nöel.  A local tradition, this concert always celebrates beautiful music in a grand setting.  Tickets: $12.

To reserve tickets, call Justin at 859-441-4715.  For general or concert information, call Chris Miller at859-491-2363.  For periodic updates visit http://home.fuse.net/cincinnaticamerata.

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


Holy Father Recommends the Rosary

Pope Proclaims "Year of the Rosary" and Publishes Apostolic Letter on 24th Anniversary of His Election

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2002 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II marked the 24th anniversary of his pontificate with the proclamation of the Year of the Rosary, and the publication of an apostolic letter on the Marian prayer.

The Pope signed the document in the open air, during today's weekly audience in St. Peter's Square, which gathered some 17,000 pilgrims, including 4,000 Poles.

John Paul II used the occasion to reiterate his determination to continue as Pope for as long as God wills, and he entrusted to Mary's hands "the life of the Church and that of sorely tried humanity."

"To her I also entrust my future. I place everything in her hands, so that with a Mother's love, she will present it to her Son," he added.

In his new apostolic letter, entitled "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary), the Pope presents the Marian prayer -- if prayed "with devotion and not mechanically" -- as a "meditation on the mysteries of the life and work of Christ."

"By repeating the invocation of the Hail Mary, we can reflect profoundly on the essential events of the mission of the Son of God on earth, which have been transmitted to us by the Gospel and by Tradition," the Pope explained.

And, given that in the 15 mysteries of the rosary prayed up until now, the great events of Christ's public life were not contemplated, in the new apostolic letter the Pontiff adds five mysteries, which he calls the "mysteries of light."

They include moments in Christ's public life, beginning with his baptism in the Jordan and ending with the passion.

"Is there, perhaps, a better instrument than the prayer of the rosary for the demanding but extraordinarily rich endeavor to contemplate the face of Christ together with Mary? To do so, however, we must rediscover the mystical profundity enclosed in the simplicity of this prayer, so dear to popular tradition," the Pope continued.

In the second place, and by way of reinforcing his proposal, the Pope proclaimed the "Year of the Rosary," which extends from this month to October 2003.

The Holy Father explained that the proclamation celebrates three significant moments: the start of his 25th year in the papacy; the 120th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical "Supremi Apostolatus Officio," which initiated a series of documents on the rosary; and the appendix to the Holy Year 2000.

In "the history of the Great Jubilees the good custom existed that, after the Jubilee Year dedicated to Christ and to the work of the Redemption, one was proclaimed in honor of Mary, as if imploring her help for the fruition of the graces received," the Pope explained.

In bidding the pilgrims farewell, he said that the "Year of the Holy Rosary, which we will live together, will certainly produce beneficial fruits in the hearts of all, it will renew and intensify the action of grace of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, and will become a source of peace for the world."

5 "Mysteries of Light" Added to Rosary

Suggested for Thursdays, They Contemplate Jesus' Public Life

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2002 (Zenit.org)

The greatest novelty in John Paul II's new apostolic letter on the rosary is the proposal to include five additional mysteries in the Marian prayer.

Explaining his decision in "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary), the Pope describes the rosary as a "compendium of the Gospel" oriented to the "contemplation of Christ's face" through Mary's eyes and the repetition of the Hail Mary." Each day, five mysteries are contemplated, and 10 Hail Marys are prayed on each mystery.

Up until now, the 15 mysteries of the rosary -- the joyful, sorrowful and glorious -- lacked decisive moments in Christ's public life, the Pope explains.

Because of this, the Pope says in No. 19 of the apostolic letter that "while left to the freedom of individuals and communities," he suggests the inclusion of "the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion."

John Paul II explains that he calls them "the mysteries of light" because Christ in his public life manifests himself as the "mystery of light": "'While I am in the world, I am the light of the world' (John 9:5)."

No. 21 of the new document articulates the five "mysteries of light" of Jesus' public life, and explains the mystery that the Christian contemplates in each one of these passages:

(1) His baptism in the Jordan,

(2) His self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana,

(3) His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion,

(4) His transfiguration, and finally,

(5) His institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the paschal mystery.

"The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light," the Pope writes. "Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became 'sin' for our sake (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Matthew 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out."

Another mystery of light is the first of the signs, given at Cana (see John 2:1- 12), when Christ changes water into wine and opens the hearts of the disciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, the first among believers," the apostolic letter adds.

"Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mark 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (cf. Mark 2:3-13; Luke 7:47-48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (cf. John 20:22-23)," the document continues.

Explaining the fourth "mystery of light," the Holy Father continues: "The mystery of light par excellence is the Transfiguration, traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to 'listen to him' (cf. Luke 9:35 and parallels) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit.

"A final mystery of light is the institution of the Eucharist, in which Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies 'to the end' his love for humanity (John 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice."

In No. 38, the Pope suggests that the luminous mysteries be prayed on Thursday.

He then proposes that the joyful mysteries be prayed on Monday and Saturday, the sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the glorious on Wednesday and Sunday.

According to current practice, Monday and Thursday are dedicated to the joyful mysteries, Tuesday and Friday to the sorrowful, and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday to the glorious.

"Where might the 'mysteries of light' be inserted?" the Pope writes. "If we consider that the 'glorious mysteries' are said on both Saturday and Sunday, and that Saturday has always had a special Marian flavor, the second weekly meditation on the 'joyful mysteries,' mysteries in which Mary's presence is especially pronounced, could be moved to Saturday. Thursday would then be free for meditating on the 'mysteries of light.'

John Paul II Answers Rosary's Critics

A Devotion Directed to the Christological Center of the Faith

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2002 (Zenit.org)

In his newest apostolic letter, John Paul II responds to the criticisms made against the rosary in some Catholic circles over the past four decades.

In No. 4 of "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" (The Rosary of the Virgin Mary), the Pope writes that there "are some who think that the centrality of the Liturgy, rightly stressed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, necessarily entails giving less importance to the Rosary."

"Yet, as Pope Paul VI made clear, not only does this prayer not conflict with the Liturgy, it sustains it, since it serves as an excellent introduction and a faithful echo of the Liturgy, enabling people to participate fully and interiorly in it and to reap its fruits in their daily lives," the Holy Father says.

According to the Pope, others "fear that the Rosary is somehow unecumenical because of its distinctly Marian character."

"Yet the Rosary clearly belongs to the kind of veneration of the Mother of God described by the Council: a devotion directed to the Christological center of the Christian faith, in such a way that when the Mother is honored, the Son ... is duly known, loved and glorified," the letter says.

"If properly revitalized, the Rosary is an aid and certainly not a hindrance to ecumenism!" the Pope stresses.

"But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery," John Paul II concludes in No. 5 of the apostolic letter.

"Inasmuch as contemporary culture, even amid so many indications to the contrary, has witnessed the flowering of a new call for spirituality, due also to the influence of other religions, it is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become 'genuine schools of prayer,'" the Pope adds.

However, in order to understand the rosary in this way, the Pontiff told the pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter's Square, it must be prayed "with devotion and not mechanically," as a "meditation of the mysteries of the life and work of Christ."

John Paul II Entrusts His Future to Mary

Signals That Retirement Isn't in the Program

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2002 (Zenit.org)

When he marked the 24th anniversary of his pontificate, John Paul II left no doubt about his determination to continue as Pope.

He began his address Wednesday at the general audience in St. Peter's Square by quoting what he said in the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Shrine last Aug. 19.

"Most Holy Mother, [...] obtain also for me the strength of body and spirit, so that I will be able to fulfill to the end the mission assigned to me by the Risen One," the Pope said.

"I give to you all the fruits of my life and of my ministry, I entrust to you the future of the Church; [...] I trust in you and to you I say once again: 'Totus tuus, Maria! Totus tuus!' Amen," he added.

"Totus tuus" -- All thine -- has been the motto of his pontificate. It implies an act of consecration of his life to the Virgin Mary.

After thanking God "for the 24 years of my service to the Church in the See of Peter," the Holy Father continued: "On this special day, I entrust once again to the hands of the Mother of God the life of the Church and that of sorely tried humanity."

"To her I also entrust my future. I place everything in her hands, so that with a Mother's love, she will present it to her Son," he said.

The Pontiff's words countered media-fed rumors about his resignation.

As early as 1985, a French book, "Daily Life in the Vatican Under John Paul II," addressed the possibility of the Pope's resignation. The Vatican Press Office did not take the trouble to deny its assumptions.

Rumors were rampant from 1992 to 1995, a period when the Pope underwent surgery and reached his 75th birthday, the mandatory age of retirement for bishops.

The first time the Holy Father referred to the matter was on May 17, 1995, when he said: "First of all, I renew before Christ my offer of availability to serve the Church for as long as he wills, abandoning myself completely to his holy will. I leave to him the decision as to when and how he will relieve me of this service."

The Pope has since repeated this position publicly. Still, on the eve of his last trip to Poland, some French and German newspapers said he would resign and enter a monastery.

The Rosary Predated St. Dominic

Though He Became a Principal Promoter

ROME, OCT. 17, 2002 (Zenit.org)

When did the rosary come into being?

St. Dominic Guzman (1170-1221), founder of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, is generally regarded as the creator of the rosary. But that attribution is not historically accurate, says Father Ennio Staid, a Dominican theologian and an expert on the subject.

Mary's Psalter predated the Spanish saint, though he and the Dominicans became its principal promoters.

According to sources made available to ZENIT by Father Staid, the key moments of the rosary's development took place between the 12th and 15th centuries.

At the start of the 12th century the praying of the Hail Mary spread in the West. The angel's annunciation to Mary, mentioned in the Gospel, was, until the seventh century, the antiphon of the Offertory of the 4th Sunday of Advent, a Sunday with a particularly Marian significance.

But the only part of the Hail Mary that was recited was the one recalling this passage and Elizabeth's blessing. The name of Jesus and the second part -- "Holy Mary" -- were introduced around 1483.

Initially, the recitation of the greeting to Mary did not imply the contemplation of the mysteries of Christ's life.

Between 1410 and 1439 Dominic of Prussia, a Cologne Carthusian, proposed to the faithful a form of the Marian Psalter in which there were only 50 Hail Marys, each followed by a verbal reference to a Gospel passage.

The Carthusian's idea was a great success and psalters of this type multiplied in the 15th century. The final references to the Gospel were extremely numerous, at one point reaching some 300, according to the regions and favorite devotions.

Dominican Alain de la Roche (1428-1478) did a great work in promoting the Marian Psalter, which at this time began to be called "Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary," thanks to his preaching and to the Marian confraternities he founded.

The rosary was simplified in 1521 by Dominican Alberto da Castello, who chose 15 evangelical passages for meditation, which included the short prayer at the end of the Hail Marys.

Pope St. Pius V (1566-1572) instituted the essence of the rosary's present configuration with the bull "Consueverunt Romani Pontifices."

On Wednesday, John Paul II signed an apostolic letter on the rosary.

Why Pray the Rosary?

Dominican Theologian Ennio Staid Responds

ROME, OCT. 14, 2002 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II called for the rosary to be recited during the month of October for world peace, and announced that he will soon publish a document on the importance of this spiritual practice.

To better understand the importance of the rosary in Christian life, ZENIT interviewed an expert on the subject, Dominican theologian Father Ennio Staid.

Q: Is the rosary an old-fashioned religious practice?

Father Staid: The rosary is not a prayer of Christian initiation, but the end point, after a long journey of faith.

My grandmother could not read or write, but she would have been more effective than I am in speaking about the rosary. Her love for Mary's chaplet was so great that she persuaded the tenants of our building to pray Mary's Psalter. The rosary is not correctly appreciated if it is not lived.

Q: Why?

Father Staid: To know the incarnated history of this devotion it is necessary to enter silently into many homes, hospitals and huts where, since the Middle Ages until our days, the Hail Mary has resonated, as it did the first time it was pronounced by the Angel in Nazareth or when Elizabeth's greeting to Mary was heard in Ain Karen, in Zechariah's house. Homes, huts, hospitals, fields ... in which the rosary united heaven with the poor, the simple, the sick, with those in love with the faith brought by Christ.

Q: But, in a world characterized by secularization, this would seem to be obsolete ...

Father Staid: For this very reason, it is even more necessary to rediscover the rosary. However, this will only happen when people -- especially priests, religious, bishops, not just the Pope -- are humble and make time in their day for prayer.

In our time, when everyone is running around, it is difficult to pray. Moreover, many educators in the faith are afraid of the "devotionalism" in which this magnificent devotion is encased.

My teacher, the great theologian Enrico Rossetti, O.P., used to say: "A Christian without devotion has not yet been supported by the experience of any saint, nor by the authoritative teaching of the Church."

Wherever this de-sacralized, unpopular, inhuman, heartless Christianity has been applied, it has only brought disasters for the faith. I was able to see this in certain areas of Brazil, where the people, deprived of genuine devotions, have turned to magic.

Q: Is it not better to work with the needy for half an hour than to spend half an hour reciting the Hail Mary?

Father Staid: This objection is an example of the psychological reality in which we have to move. It shows that the explanation of prayer in general, and of the rosary in particular, must be renewed. Therefore, we priests must be the first to have clear ideas on the intrinsic value of the same.

A doctor isn't good because he simply goes to universities giving lectures. He has our appreciation when we see him exercise his medical profession in an excellent manner, when he cures the sick. An explanation of prayer is valid to the degree that the one who practices it lives his prayer. There is no prayer if there is no faith; and faith does not take root where the soil is not prepared.

Q: Then why should people pray the rosary?

Father Staid: Because Jesus says so: "Pray always, without ceasing." Today it is more important than ever to pray to avoid Christianity being reduced to a simple esotericism, a simple action, in which evangelical charity becomes pure philanthropy.

The rosary is an easy and simple way to discover prayer once again, which nourishes faith, because it offers us the possibility of contemplating the whole history of salvation. It reflects the original preaching of the faith. It is the contemplation of the mystery of Christ -- essential, and in an atmosphere of prayer -- together with Mary. Cardinal John Henry Newman described the rosary as "a creed made into a prayer."

The rosary leads us to contrast our life with God's call to love. In this way, it is fully integrated in our life, giving transcendent meaning to our actions. By praying the rosary, with confidence, we take Mary by the hand so that she will lead us to Jesus. To her, first among believers, we pray that she make us live what she lived, namely, the experience of the presence of Christ in us and among us.

From L’Osservatore Romano

From l’Osservatore Romano October 2, 2002

Before the Sunday Angelus at Castel Gandolfo on September 29, the Holy Father appealed to Catholics to resume praying the Rosary for world peace and to pray for peace in the Holy Land. The Pope emphasized that the Rosary is a simple yet profound prayer that is "a way of contemplating the face of Christ seeing him with the eyes of Mary." He said he is preparing a document which will help to rediscover the beauty and depth of this prayer.

Pope John Paul II spoke to the fourth group of Brazilian Bishops to make their ad limina visit this year on September 21. Fe focused on the issue of the collaboration of the lay faithful with the ministry of priests, the essential difference between the function of the ordained priest and non ordained laity and the contribution of permanent deacons. He entrusted the Bishops’ resolutions and pastoral plans "to the motherly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is always invoked in Brazil with great fervour as the Senhora Aparecida."

On September 26 the Holy Father met Jean Vanier and Marie-Helen Mathieu and members of the International Association Foi et Lumiere, Faith and Light, at Castel Gandolfo. Foi et Lumiere began in 1971 as a pilgrimage of mentally disabled persons to Lourdes, France. The first idea of the founders, Jean Vanier and Marie-Helen Mathieu, was to promote the integration of people with handicaps into the Church. The Association, with 1,400 communities in 75 countries, offers support to the mentally disabled and their families, reminding people of the eminent dignity of every human person. The Pope stressed the dignity of ever person. In his remarks during the audience with the Holy Father that day, Mr. Vanier said that it is Jesus, together with his beloved Mother, who are the real founders of Foi et Lumiere.

Writing about St. Bridget of Sweden, on the seventh centenary of her birth, Jean Galot said that "In her spirituality, devotion to Mary is very important. In the ‘Revelations’ three accounts of the Passion show the presence of the sorrowful Mother....Mary’s role makes possible a more personal understanding of the Saviour’s intense suffering. For Bridget, Mary’s participation in the drama of Calvary demonstrated the contribution of women, who show a more sensitive commitment to mercy. In the ‘Sorrowful Mother’ there is a reply in Bridget’s heart to so many moral miseries that exist in the world."

From l’Osservatore Romano September 25, 2002

In his telegram to Madame Ngo Dinh Thi Hiep, mother of Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who died September 16, the Holy Father said: "In him, the Church recognizes a faithful and courageous witness of the Gospel who was able to be firm in trials through love of Christ and of the Virgin Mary, his Mother."

On the occasion of the 32nd General Chapter, the Holy Father sent a Message, dated September 12, to Sr. Tomasina Gheduzzi, Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Sick of St. Camillus. He reminded the Sisters of the urgency of their mission in the world today. "Unfortunately, you work where there are many serious attacks on life, the fruit of a culture of death that tends to become more widespread in societies infected by materialism and hedonistic consumerism," he wrote. "May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick, assist you and make all your initiatives prosper. May she give you the joy and love of serving her divine Son in your needy neighbour."

On September 11, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father preached at the Mass of Christian Burial that Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated for Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, O.P. In his homily, the Pope presented Cardinal Moreira Neves as a faithful Dominican who lived the faith he preached, "totally devoted to God and to the services of his brothers and sisters, especially the poorest..." He said "we believe, in the light of faith, that our venerable and beloved Brother is already contemplating that merciful Face of Christ, revealed in the joy of heaven, which he sought in hope throughout his earthly life. In a special way let us ask this of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Hope, as we entrust to the earth (his) mortal remains...May the Blessed Virgin welcome him into her motherly arms..."

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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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