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.
To celebrate the Lenten Feast in the company of Mary see:
Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and
meditation. We also list important Marian dates for each month of the
year. Please see Marian Commemoration Days for the month of
Markings is an answer to John Paul II's proclamation of "The Year of
the Rosary" (2002-2003). Rosary Markings will explore various facets
of the rosary all through this anniversary year. It will be updated frequently.
See our recent addition from
April 15. Previous Reflections are listed on our Rosary
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We have added material on the Seven
Dolors Shrine in Valparaiso, Indiana under Resources. We have also
improved our Mary Page Search
utility, and revised our answer to What
about Our Lady of Olives?
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Native American Madonnas by Father Guiliani will be on display in
the Marian Library Gallery from March 10 to May 5, 2003. The Gallery is
open from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm weekdays. For more information, or to arrange
for viewing at another time, call (937)
To see a virtual exhibit of this year's
displays click into
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Exhibit Coming Next Year
A rare collection of art from the Vatican will be coming to UD during its
short 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
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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International Marian Research Institute
of IMRI courses for Spring 2003 - Fall 2003 is now available for view.
Courses for this Summer will begin on June 16.
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Personal thoughts and reflections
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
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Medjugorje visionary to speak [Source: The Times
St. Clement's Church [Albany, NY] will be hosting a special service at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22, that will include Ivan Dragicevic from Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina,
one of five people there who have said they have seen visions of the Blessed
The service will begin at 6 p.m. with the recitation of the rosary. This will
be followed by the celebration of Mass and the service will conclude with a
talk by Dragicevic.
A reception will follow in the parish center.
Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian
Events by geographical position.
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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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Marie, favorite girls’ name
The name of the Mother of God, Mary – though in the
French version Marie- is the favorite girls’ name in Germany; Maria also ranks
among the first three choices for first names according to the Society for the
German Language in Wiesbaden. Sophie and Maria take second and third place.
Already since 1999 Marie has been the favorite choice of parents whereas between
1995 and 1998 Maria ranked first in East and West Germany.
From: Bote von Fatima, April 2003, 55.
VATICAN STUDYING WAY FOR POPE TO RETURN ICON TO RUSSIAN PEOPLE
VATICAN CITY, APR 15, 2003 (VIS)
In answer to press reports of a possible
stopover by Pope John Paul in Russia during his August trip to Mongolia,
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, yesterday
afternoon told journalists: "The Holy Father's desire to return the
sacred icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which for years has been cared for in the
Vatican, to the Russian people and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow is
well known. The appropriate occasion and way of turning it over (to them)
will be evaluated at the proper time."
TO YOUNG PEOPLE: BE PROMOTERS OF THE CULTURE OF PEACE
VATICAN CITY, APR 10, 2003 (VIS)
This afternoon, in a rain-soaked St.
Peter's Square, thousands of young people from the diocese of Rome
participated in a get-together with the Pope which included prayer and
celebration in preparation for the 18th World Youth Day which will take
place this Sunday.
Before the Pope's arrival, several youths offered testimony and sang.
Throughout his speech, John Paul II was interrupted many times by applause
as he joked with the young people especially about the inclement weather.
Referring to the theme of this year's World Youth Day, "Behold your
Mother", the Holy Father said that "to welcome Mary in one's home, in one's life,
is the privilege of every one of the faithful. Especially in difficult moments,
which at times you young people experience in this period of your life."
"Today, for these reasons," he went on, "I entrust you to
Mary. Dear young
people, I tell you from experience, open the doors of your life to her! And
do not be afraid to throw open the doors of your heart to Christ."
"I entrust you to Mary while you are already on your way to World Youth
Day in Cologne" which will be celebrated in 2005. "I also would like for
this World Youth Day to be prepared, starting today, with constant prayer
which should be offered by the whole Church and, in particular, in Italy
from four significant places: the Marian shrines of Loreto and Our Lady of
the Rosary of Pompeii; here in Rome at the St. Lawrence Youth Center, ...
and at the Church of St. Agnes in Agony."
The Pope indicated that "in this difficult moment in history, while
terrorism and wars threaten harmony among men and religions, I wish to
consecrate you to Mary so that you may be promoters of the culture of peace
which today is more necessary than ever."
He then underscored that "tomorrow, April 11, is the 40th anniversary of
the publication of Blessed John XXIII's Encyclical 'Pacem in terris'. By
committing ourselves to building peace on the four pillars of truth,
justice, love and freedom - as he taught us in 'Pacem in terris' - it will
be possible to re-establish cooperation among nations and to harmonize the
diverse and contrasting interests of cultures and institutions."
"In order to implore God for the gift of peace through prayer, I would
like to give you a rosary this afternoon. ... Carry it with you at all
times! The rosary, prayed with intelligent devotion, will help you to absorb
the mystery of Christ in order to learn from Him the secret of peace and how
to make it a life-long project." Each young person received a rosary as they
entered St. Peter's Square this afternoon.
In conclusion, the Holy Father performed a solemn act of consecration of
the young people to Mary, during which the youth raised their rosaries in
unison. He then blessed and handed out 18 rosaries to a group of young
people from the 18 dioceses of the Italian region of Lazio, which includes
the Pope's diocese of Rome.
Image of Our Lady of Ephesus
Apr 8, 2003
Our Lady of Ephesus Oratory Dedicated
Dear Friend of Mary,
At a time of tension between the United States and Turkey, and the war in
nearby Iraq, a beautiful mosaic image of Our Lady of Ephesus, Turkey was
solemnly blessed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception in Washington D.C. on April 4.
The Image is installed in a small oratory. The writing on the left wall of
the oratory explains the dogma defined at the Council of Ephesus that Mary is
the Mother of God. The writing on the right wall quotes chapter 19 of the Gospel
of John that he took Mary into his home. The tradition is that John built a
house for Mary in Ephesus. Mary’s House is a site for pilgrimage for both
Christians and Moslems.
Cardinal McCarrick of Washington D.C. and Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini of
Izmir, Turkey, concelebrated a special Mass in honor of Our Lady of Ephesus. In
his post-Communion remarks, Archbishop Bernardini expressed his great joy for
the installation of the Image. He said, "I would like to leave this oratory
as a gift from my diocese in Turkey for the people of the United States. At Mary’s
House different faiths and cultures pray together. The Blessed Mother receives
and embraces all of mankind. It is the spirit of the mother who receives
everyone without distinction as to race, language or culture. The spirit of
reconciliation and peace is the spirit of Our Lady of Ephesus, especially today
with war in Iraq. May Our Lady of Ephesus bring peace to the world."
After the Mass, the Archbishop and I discussed the similarities between Our
Lady of Ephesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Each asked for a house to be built.
St. John the apostle built one for Our Lady of Ephesus while his namesake, St.
Juan Diego, built one for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Both bring reconciliation and
peace. Both images are real images of Our Lady.
I joined in the Archbishop’s prayer that Our Lady of Ephesus would bring
reconciliation and peace to the world.
For the full story and to obtain images and a video of Our Lady of Ephesus
Worldwide Spiritual Bouquet Sought for Pope's Anniversary
LONDON, APRIL 14, 2003 (Zenit.org)
A new Web site is encouraging parishes around the world to celebrate the silver
anniversary of the pontificate of John Paul II on Oct. 16.
Patrick Ryan of South London set up the site with his family to show their
appreciation and love for the Pope.
The goal of the site is to record every Mass celebrated for the Pope on that
day and to encourage prayers for his intentions.
"We want to create a spiritual bouquet," Ryan told Independent
Catholic News. "Would it not be wonderful if we could ring the world in
prayer on Oct. 16 with holy Mass starting in Fiji, followed by New Zealand and
then each country doing likewise as the sun circles the earth until it sets at
the close of day off the west coast of Alaska?"
Masses for the Pope's silver jubilee may be registered at the multilingual
Knights of Columbus Sending Rosaries to Troops
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, APRIL 8, 2003 (Zenit.org)
Working with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, the Knights of
Columbus has donated 10,000 rosaries to troops serving in Iraq.
The group is also printing 100,000 copies of a prayer book designed to fit in
the breast pocket of a military uniform. The book also includes introductions
from Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of the archdiocese and Supreme Knight Carl
Anderson said the donation of rosaries and prayer books was a show of
solidarity with the troops. The Knights, he said, has a history of such support,
stretching back to World War I when the organization operated
rest-and-recreation centers for troops in Europe under the banner,
"Everybody Welcome. Everything Free."
"The Knights of Columbus joins others the world over in praying for peace," Anderson said. "We also pray for the swift and safe return of
our troops who are laying down their lives for others in acts of charity and
Founded in 1882, the 1.6-million-member Knights of Columbus is the world's
largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
John Paul II Entrusts Young People to Mary for Sake of Peace
In Context of Celebration of World Youth Day 2003
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 11, 2003 (Zenit.org)
John Paul II entrusted the world's youth to the Blessed Virgin Mary during a
festive gathering of 40,000 young people from Rome and neighboring dioceses.
The Pope, who joked with the young on several occasions, gave each of them a
rosary to implore God for peace. The meeting Thursday was part of the
celebrations of this year's World Youth Day, which will end on Palm Sunday in
dioceses around the world.
The young people, who congratulated the Holy Father for his close to 25-year
pontificate, gave him three gifts in return.
Ugo Bentivegna, 25, of the Focolare Movement, gave him a pilgrim's staff, so
that he will continue to travel and meet with young people worldwide.
Eloisa Baldacci, 25, of the St. Agnes Roman youth group, gave the Pope the
plan for the John Paul II Youth Cultural Center being built in Rome for the
Christian formation of young people.
Gabriele Mannucci, 27, of Rome's St. Thomas Aquinas parish, gave the Pope a
dove, in gratitude for his service to peace.
Young Canadians, who took part in Toronto's World Youth Day last July,
carried the WYD cross and an icon of Mary to the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica.
This Palm Sunday, during the papal Mass, the Canadians will hand the cross to
their German contemporaries, who will carry it to their homeland. The next
international World Youth Day is scheduled for Cologne in 2005.
The young people had to cope with the intermittent rain that fell in St.
Peter's Square. Before and after their meeting with the Holy Father, they heard
the testimonies and talks of Italian singers and artists.
"We are young!" the Pope said, interrupting his address to
encourage his listeners to cope with the downpour.
During an Act of Entrustment of youth to Mary, which the Pope pronounced at
the end of the meeting, he said that "the young people of this century, at
the dawn of the new millennium, still live the torments deriving from sin, from
hatred, from violence, from terrorism and from war."
He added: "O Mary, help them to respond to their vocation. Lead them to
the knowledge of true love and bless their affections. Sustain them in the
moment of suffering. Render them intrepid messengers of the greeting of Christ
on the day of Easter: Peace be with you!"
"With them, I also entrust myself once again to you and with confident
affection I repeat to you: I am all yours!"
During his address, the Holy Father recalled the wartime years of his youth
and then appealed to young people "to commit themselves to peace."
"At this difficult time of history, while terrorism and war threaten the
harmony among men and religions," he said, "I wish to entrust you to
Mary so that you will be promoters of the culture of peace, more necessary today
John Paul II's Act of Entrustment of Young People to Mary
On Occasion of World Youth Day 2003
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 11, 2003 (Zenit.org)
Here is a translation of the Act of Entrustment of young people to Mary, which
John Paul II pronounced Thursday when he met with young people of Rome and
neighboring dioceses in the context of World Youth Day celebrations.
* * *
"Behold your Mother" (John 19:27)
It was Jesus, O Virgin Mary,
who from the cross
wished to entrust us to you,
not to attenuate
but to confirm
his exclusive role of Savior of the world.
If in the disciple John,
all the children of the Church were entrusted to you,
it pleases me that much more to see entrusted to you, O Mary,
the young people of the world.
To you, gentle Mother,
whose protection I have always felt,
I entrust them again this evening.
Under your mantle,
in your protection,
they seek refuge.
You, Mother of divine grace,
make them radiant with the beauty of Christ!
They are the young people of this century,
who at the dawn of the new millennium,
still live the torments deriving from sin,
from hatred, from violence,
from terrorism and from war.
But they are also the young people whom the Church,
looks to with trust in the awareness
that with the help of the grace of God
they will succeed in believing and living
as witnesses of the Gospel
in the today of history.
help them to respond to their vocation.
Lead them to the knowledge of true love
and bless their affections.
Sustain them in the moment of suffering.
Render them intrepid messengers
of the greeting of Christ on the day of Easter:
Peace be with you!
With them, I also entrust myself once again to you
Papal Household Preacher Reflects on Church as Mystery of Maternity
and with confident affection I repeat to you:
Totus tuus ego sum!
I am all yours!
And also each one of them
with me cries out to you:
Mary Is Her Model, Father Cantalamessa Says
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 11, 2003 (Zenit.org)
The Church is a mystery of maternity, and Mary is her model, the Papal Household
preacher said during a meditation attended by John Paul II and Roman Curia
As part of his weekly meditations in preparation for Easter, Father Raniero
Cantalamessa began by asking: "What do I first think of when I hear the
word 'Church'? People, requests, problems, injuries received?"
The Capuchin friar answered that often the word "Church" brings to
mind "the Vatican," or "the hierarchy: Pope, bishops,
"We run the risk of fitting this mistake and even of causing it,"
the Capuchin said when addressing his listeners gathered in the Redemptoris
Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace.
The preacher then reflected on the essence of the Church in the light of
Christ's words, addressed to the Apostle John, from the cross: "Son, behold
"By suffering with her Son, who was dying on the cross, Mary cooperated
in a totally special way with the work of the Savior, with obedience, faith,
hope and ardent charity, to restore supernatural life to souls," Father
Cantalamessa said. "Because of this, she is our Mother in the order of
"This is the meaning of many expressions that refer to Mary as 'figure
of the Church,' 'mirror of the Church,' 'first fruit of the Church,' 'Church in
nascent state,'" he continued.
The evangelical passage ends by saying: "And from that hour the disciple
took her to his own home."
"This word is jointly valid for Mary and for the Church, and it is a
renewed invitation to take the Church to ourselves, among the most loved
things," he said.
"Lent is the time of conversion," Father Cantalamessa concluded,
"and this year I have asked the Lord for the grace to be converted to the
John Paul II Urges Young People to Build Peace in World
Appeals for Solidarity With Their Contemporaries in Iraq and Holy Land
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 13, 2003 (Zenit.org)
John Paul II entrusted the "four pillars of peace" to youth worldwide,
and appealed for solidarity with their contemporaries who suffer from violence,
especially in the Mideast.
During a solemn Palm Sunday Mass attended by more than 40,000 people in St.
Peter's Square, the Pope pointed out to youth the foundations of the culture of
peace -- truth, liberty, justice and love -- that were outlined in John XXIII's
1963 encyclical "Pacem in Terris."
"How can you not express fraternal solidarity to your contemporaries who
are suffering from war and violence in Iraq, in the Holy Land, and in several
parts of the world?" John Paul II asked during the homily, heard by
numerous young people.
Today the Church observed the 18th World Youth Day at the diocesan level. It
came in the wake of last July's international event in Toronto.
The Pope noted that Christ said he was the "King of truth, freedom,
justice and love. These are the four pillars on which it is possible to
construct the building of true peace, as Blessed John XXIII wrote 40 years ago
in the encyclical 'Pacem in Terris.'
"I hand symbolically to you, young people of the whole world, this
historic document, more important than ever. Read it, meditate on it, make every
effort to put it into practice. Then you will be 'blessed,' because you will be
real children of the God of peace."
"Peace is a gift of Christ, which he obtained for us with the sacrifice
of the cross," John Paul II continued. "To achieve it effectively it
is necessary to go up to Calvary with the divine Master. And who can lead us
better in this ascent than Mary, who was given to us precisely as Mother, under
"To help to discover this wonderful spiritual reality, I have chosen as
the topic of the Message
for World Youth Day this year the words of the agonizing Christ: 'Behold your
Mother,'" the Holy Father continued.
Peace was also the topic of the Prayers of the Faithful, which were read
after the Pope's homily.
One of the prayers, recited in Arabic, implored: "Let us pray for all
peoples and cultures of the world, for all those who seek God in different
religious ways. May there always be dialogue among them, may intolerance and
contempt be extinguished, and together may they seek ways of concord and
Canadians Hand Over the World Youth Day Cross to Germans
Pope Adds a Marian Icon to Go Along with WYD Symbol
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 13, 2003 (Zenit.org)
John Paul II and 40,000 pilgrims watched Canadian youths hand over the World
Youth Day cross to their German contemporaries, who are getting ready for WYD
2005 in Cologne.
The symbolic gesture took place in St. Peter's Square, at the end of the
solemn Palm Sunday Mass, on the same day the Church celebrated World Youth Day
at the diocesan level.
The Pope explained that the cross will be taken "to various countries of
Central and Eastern Europe and then, beginning on Palm Sunday next year, will
visit German dioceses until it reaches Cologne."
Attending the Mass, together with the young Germans and Canadians, were
Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, the site of last July's World
Youth Day, and Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne.
The Pope said in German: "I ask you, dear young brothers and sisters: To
contemplate the cross; come close to it to be aware of that wonderful love with
which the Lord loves us, submit with joy to his work of renewing hearts!"
John Paul II also announced that he would give to the young Germans the icon
of Mary "Salus Populi Romani," which was venerated by some 2 million
young people who attended World Youth Day 2000 in Rome.
"From now on, together with the cross, it will be present at the World
Youth Days," he explained. "It will be the sign of Mary's maternal
presence among young people, called like the Apostle John to welcome her in
Lastly, the Holy Father mentioned that the 25th anniversary of the foundation
of the St. Lawrence Center is being celebrated. He had established the center, a
few meters from the Via della Conciliazione, next to the Vatican, to welcome
young pilgrims to Rome.
The Pope thanked Cardinal James Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council
for the Laity, and "the movements, associations and communities for their
attention to this initiative, and for their activity, coordinated by the
Mary is Icon of redeemed humanity [#48
- 2 December 1998, p. 4]
In address to Pontifical Academies, Holy
Father says Mary sheds light on Christian humanism. On Saturday, 7
November, the Holy Father attended the third public session of the Pontifical
Academies. Here is a translation of his address for the occasion, which
was given in Italian ...
Following the Apostolic Exhortation Marialis
cultus of my revered Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, I wished to stress
in the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater the essential link between Mary and the
Church by emphasizing her mission within the community of believers. In
the Apostolic Exhortation Mulieris dignitatem, I later recalled how Mary
enlightens and enriches the Christian humanism inspired by the Gospel, because,
in addition to the various aspects of the "new humanity" which is
realized in her, she brings out the dignity and "genius" of
woman. Chosen by God to fulfill his plan of salvation, Mary helps us
understand the mission of woman in the Church's life and in the preaching of the
Dear brothers and sisters, accepting the
proposal made by the Coordinating Council of the Pontifical Academies, I am
pleased now to give the Pontifical Academies Award to Dr. Deyanira Floes
Gonzales of Costa Rica for her work in Mariology entitled: La Virgen María al
pie de la cruz (Jn 19, 25-27) en Ruperto Deutz, presented at the Pontifical
Theological Faculty Marianum ...
[N.B. The printed edition includes a
photograph of Dr. Flores receiving the award from John Paul II]
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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.
Heavenly encounters in London's Fields [Source: South
China Morning Post, 4/6/2003]
The chandeliers slowly dimmed, leaving candles in flickering
circles around the rows of cream and gold columns and in a line high above the
altar. The conductor, Graham Caldbeck, raises his baton and the cornets,
sackbuts, recorders, violins and the long-necked theorbo launch into the joyful
opening bars of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers For The Virgin Mary. Then the Nonsuch
Singers rise as one and break into "Deus in adiutorium meum intende"
(O God make haste to save me). The ethereal voices of the choir and soloists
reverberate in the hard acoustic shell of the church and for the next hour the
capacity audience in this beautiful baroque place of worship in the heart of
London are transported, via Monteverdi's sublime score, to musical heaven.
Monteverdi's Vespers are grand and operatic, a cross between the discipline of
the old Renaissance style and the ornate splendour of the baroque in which
dances and concerti intermingle with more traditional sections. For the
believer the Vespers are sublime worship, for the non-believer the aesthetic
high they bring can come as close to a religious experience as an atheist can
In the interval before the Magnificat, the final section of Vespers, we left
our pews and wandered out on to the raised stone platform outside with its
panoramic view of Trafalgar Square. The night sky was crossed by a powerful
funnel of light that illuminated the statue of the one-eyed, one-armed Lord
Horatio Nelson standing precariously atop a granite column 60 metres above
When the concert ended it seemed almost sacrilegious to applaud; after all, we
had just listened to an extended musical prayer to the Virgin Mary in a church
that has been on the same site in various architectural forms for the past 700
years. But applaud the audience did and the brown-haired tenor with a Mohican
ridge of bottle-blond hair running down the centre of his scalp bowed before us
along with the other soloists and choir.
The church in which this heavenly concert took place was St
Martin-in-the-Fields, the most famous of the many London churches that double
up as venues for classical music as well as worship. Mozart gave a concert here
while living in London and Handel used to play the original organ. The
most-recorded orchestra in the world, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields,
founded by the illustrious Sir Neville Mariner, has its spiritual home in the
church and the BBC World Service regularly broadcasts concerts from there.
Each season St Martin-in-the-Fields hosts a varied programme of concerts and
recitals. The box office is in the basement vault, which is also home to a
If you find yourself in Trafalgar Square look out for the neo-classical facade
topped with a square tower that rises up into an elegant steeple crowned with a
gold cross and make your way towards both a peaceful place of worship and a
top-flight concert venue.
Russia celebrates Annunciation [Source: ITAR-TASS,
Flocks of pigeons will fly up into the air all over Russia this
Monday, according to tradition, to mark one of the greatest Orthodox religious
holidays -- Annunciation. According to the Holy Scripture, this day more than
2,000 years ago the Archangel Gabriel, sent from God to the Virgin Mary, told
her that she would give birth to the Messiah Jesus. The Virgin Mary met the
archangel in her native Nazareth.
At present, most of the residents in the Palestinian city are Christian Arabs,
and the Moslem community is also large.
The Cathedral of Annunciation erected at the historic site is one of the
Christian holy places.
Holy Grail of a choral collection [Source: UK Newsquest,
Hail! Queen of Heaven. Music in Honour of the Virgin Mary by
The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter, Collegium Records. Recorded in
the acoustically divine Ely Cathedral, this CD offers the opportunity to listen
to some of the wealth of unaccompanied choral music available to us dedicated
to the Virgin Mary and begins with some of the earliest known works.
At the council of Ephesus in 431 AD the title of Mother of God was accorded to
Mary and as a consequence her name appeared on the lists of feast days.
Feast days inspired some special music far more elaborate than usual. The
Reformation put paid to the veneration of Marian music in England but elsewhere
the fervour to praise the Virgin Mary persisted.
The tracks have been set in seasonal order beginning with Advent on to
Candlemas then to Holy Week, Easter and lastly to Pentecost and the Trinity. So
on this recording Gregorian chant is featured at the beginning of each section
and is followed on by some well-known and other lesser known modern pieces in
no chronological order.
Accompanied by well-written notes this recording is as beautiful and inspiring
as Holy music should be and close your eyes you could be in Cambridge not in
your sitting room.
Pope prays for peace in Iraq, victims of conflict
[Source: Agence France Presse, 3/30/2003]
Pope John Paul II prayed on Sunday for an end to the US-led war
in Iraq and for the victims of the unfolding conflict before a small
congregation in the Vatican.
"Let us pray to (the Virgin) Mary for the victims of the current conflict.
Let us pray to Mary, with both grief and trust, to intercede for peace in Iraq
and in all the world's conflicts," the pope said.
At the word "peace", the congregation applauded.
The pontiff has been a tireless campaigner against the war and has expressed
"deep concern and great anguish" at the suffering caused since the
US-led hostilities started on March 20.
On Saturday he said he feared the war could provoke a religious catastrophe in
the world and said everything should be done prevent divisions forming between
Pope says wishing to return to Russia most venerated icon
[Source: ITAR-TASS, 3/28/2003]
Pope John Paul II mentioned his readiness to return the icon to
Russia as he was receiving the speaker of Russian parliament's upper house,
Sergei Mironov, here Friday.
When correspondents interviewed Mironov after the reception, he said neither
Russian nor Vatican officials had discussed the possibility of a papal visit to
Russia during the meeting. Some earlier reports in the Russian media indicated
that the Pope's trip to Moscow was conditioned on the repatriation of the holy
relic. Vatican State Secretary, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, said during the papal
audience Russia and the Holy See were clearing the recent administrative
problems with Roman Catholic priests in Russia and there were no grounds for
In the Russian Orthodoxy, the icon of Our Lady of Kazan is number one most
treasured image of Virgin Mary. Church tradition says it was found in the city
of Kazan on the Volga at the very end of the 16th century, 26 years after the
conquest of the place by the troops of Ivan the Terrible.
The discovery of the icon in the dirt-floor of a courtyard was followed,
according to the Church records, by numerous miracles. It was soon adopted by
the Russian military commanders as the patron icon of the troops.
In 1612, Patriarch Hermogenes of Moscow asked the priests of Kazan to send the
icon to Moscow, then under the power of invading Polish troops. The ceremony of
blessing of the warriors, commanded by Prince Dmitry Pozharski, was followed by
an assault on the Moscow Kremlin and the restoration of Russian rule in the
city and, subsequently, in the greater part of the then Russia.
It was the liberation of Moscow that brought to power the Romanovs dynasty, the
one to rule the country for the next 300 years. The Romanov czars never forgot
the event, believing they were obliged for it to the intercession of Our Lady
and to the blessing of troops with her Holy Icon.
In subsequent centuries, several thousand churches dedicated to Our Lady of
Kazan were built around the land, including the majestic Kazanski Cathedral in
St Petersburg. Dozens of copies of the icon also proved miracle working.
In 1904, the icon was stolen from Russia and taken abroad by a certain Chaikin.
Destiny eventually brought it to the Papal apartments, where it is kept among
several revered icons. Vatican's consent to return it to the Russian Orthodox
Church followed long and delicate negotiations by many public figures and
Sources say the icon will be taken back to Kazan, the city where it was found
more than 400 years ago.
Thought For The Week [Source: Cornish Guardian,
Two days ago the church celebrated that occasion named The
Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Lady Day. The first
authentic reference to this festival in the west is in the Gelasian
Sacramentary and by the 8th century it had become universal.
In the Book of Common Prayer it is graded as a Red Letter Day and appears in
the Table of Proper Lessons, being the only place where the Book of Common
Prayer uses the term Annunciation of Our Lady. A spot of revision is called for
now. The Gelasian Sacramentary is thus named because it first appeared in a
Vatican Manuscript in the mid-8th century and is the oldest known Roman
Sacramentary in which Feasts are arranged according to the ecclesiastical or
church year. It is said to have been written by the nuns of Chelles in the
neighbourhood of Paris, containing as it does certain Gallican or French
A Red Letter Day is what it says. It signifies an important feast or Saint's
day printed in church calendars in red ink.
In the Church of England the term was applied to those feasts for which the BCP
provides a Collect, Epistle and Gospel because originally these feasts were
highlighted in the calendar in this way.
This is the history behind March 25 but what is the significance of the
Annunciation in human history? Both Matthew and Luke put emphasis on the power
of the Holy Spirit in providing the world with God's Son without human
participation in the usual way.
Jesus had to be the human starting point of a new race by the action of a
miracle. Thus does St Paul speak of the second Adam.
The Annunciation itself was declaimed by the Angel Gabriel, this name meaning
in Hebrew "man of God." He was one of the seven archangels and
accorded in Jewish theology second in importance after St. Michael (who is also
Protector of Cornwall).
Gabriel is deemed to be the Messenger of Divine comfort and to Roman Catholics
Mary is regarded as the mother of all believers.
Indeed, it was Mary's "Yes" to Gabriel which changed the world
PRE-HOLY WEEK PERFORMANCE OF 'MAGNIFICAT' ON APRIL 12
[Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 4/5/2003]
The musical is on the life of the Blessed Virgin
Mary within the context of her son Jesus' salvific mission
in the world.
It is being performed by some of the country's best singer-actors, veteran
musical-theater stalwarts led by Jingle Buena as Mary, Rito Asilo as Jesus,
Andy Bais, Joel Villaflor and Shiela Asuncion, all of whom are original cast
members of the country's longest-running religious musical, which has been
performed all over the Philippines. Playing other important roles are Paul
Marica, Arlene Borja, Ana Feleo, Ray Manalo, Janice Cruz, Oliver Oliveros,
Jazmin Flores, Daryl Deongzon, Janna Villaflor and Aisha Asuncion.
Together, they bring to life what has been described as "the greatest
story ever told,'' but in a new light and within an illuminating context:
The musical starts its story at the Garden of Eden, at the time of Adam and
Eve. Some biblical scholars have expressed the view that the original sin of
Adam and Eve led to Jesus' mission of redemption on earth, made possible by His
mother Mary's fiat, hence the musical's reaching back to Eden to make that
Also dramatized in the musical's initial scenes is another early biblical
allusion to Mary, and how she vanquished evil by stepping on the serpent's head
Having set this context, the musical proceeds to hark back to early references
to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, citing prophets' visions of the
redeemer-victim who would later immolate Himself for the salvation of mankind.
Then, the Virgin Mary is introduced, and the principal storytelling proceeds
apace with the appearance of the carpenter Joseph, Mary visiting her pregnant
cousin Elizabeth, Zacarias losing and regaining his speech, the Nativity, and
the child Jesus growing in grace and wisdom in Mary and Joseph's loving care.
Act Two focuses on Jesus' adulthood, his ministry and miracles, and His
eventual betrayal, capture and crucifixion, with Mary empathetically suffering
along with him. And, after Jesus' resurrection, His mother Mary continues to
spread His gospel with His apostles, until God calls her back to His bosom.
The April 12 performance of "Magnificat'' is timely because it will help
Christians gain fresh insights into Holy Week, the observance of the passion of
Jesus Christ that is the musical's principal focus, particularly in Act Two.
Especially relevant in this regard is the scene in which Mary is assaulted by
devils who try to weaken her resolve by asking questions about the necessity
and justice of her son's having to give up His life for humankind.
Other scenes are similarly vivid in terms of drama and insight, hence the
acclaimed production's abiding popularity. And Ryan Cayabyab's inspired music
raises the performance to a higher level that makes the musical an even more
moving experience for audiences.
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