Current Exhibit Extended!
Native American Madonnas by Father Guiliani was scheduled for display in
the Marian Library Gallery from March 10 to May 5, 2003, but may still be seen
through June 15. The Gallery is
open 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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Upcoming MSA meeting in Los Angeles
The 2003 meeting of the Mariological Society of America
(May 21-24, 2003) will be held at St. Mary's College, Chalon campus, in Los
Angeles, California. The campus is located very nearby the Getty Museum. It will
be the third of three meetings in the Series entitled: "The Marian
Dimension of the Christian Life: Historical Perspectives." The 2003 meeting
will deal with 19th and 20th century developments, with special attention to
Mary's role in evangelization.
We will attempt to broadcast the daily
presentations. Click into the appropriate link below.
Wednesday (May 21):
Presidential Address (starts at 7:30 p.m.)
Thursday (May 22):
Three sessions (starts at 9:15 a.m., ends around 5:00 p.m.)
Friday (May 23):
Three sessions (starts at 9:15 a.m., ends around 3:30 p.m.)
Saturday (May 24):
Two sessions (starts at 9:15 a.m., ends around Noon)
N.B. The times above are for L.A. (i.e. Western time zone).
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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Meeting of the Mariological Society of Korea (MSK) [Source: Dr. Sophia
The MSK met for the second time on April 26, 2003 at the Korean Marian
Library (KML) in Seoul, South Korea. The MSK was founded to encourage and
promote Marian spirituality in the Korean Church. Although of recent
foundation, the MSK has attracted the interest of many people. The meeting
of April 26 was dedicated to the study of the Immaculate Conception. It
was based on the presentation by Fr. Kim Kwang Soo titled "Sources and
Significance of the Immaculate Conception." During the same meeting
important decisions were made, among them, the translation into Korean of
articles printed in Marian Studies, Marianum and Theotokos.
Praying the Rosary in a Taxi - why not?
It is yellow and black and hangs from the rearview mirror of many
black-yellow cabs in Buenos Aires ... the rosary of cab drivers. According
to AICA, an Argentina Press Association report of April 2, 2003, Galéon Radio
& TV Production made an audiotape in order to promote the rosary of cab
drivers. This is to acknowledge the Marian devotion among cab drivers.
The initiative evolved together with the priest, José Maria Casadevall, who
was assigned by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, with the
responsibility for the pastoral care of taxi drivers.
On the jacket of the tape is written: Application of the joyful, luminous,
sorrowful and glorious mysteries in daily life. Beneath the photo appears
the title: 'Rosary of Taxi Drivers' and three questions: What? How? and
Why? For more info (in German and Spanish, respectively) see: http://www.schoenstatt.de/news2003/04April/3t0432de_argetina_taxistas_rosenkranz.htm
ALL BAPTIZED HAVE RIGHT-DUTY TO ASSIST IN MISSIONARY WORK
VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2003 (VIS)
Pope John Paul this morning welcomed 150
participants in the general assembly of the Superior Council of National
Directors of the Pontifical Missionary Works, including Cardinal Crescenzio
Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the
Congregation to which the Missionary Works are entrusted.
In his talk to the directors, the Pope highlighted their mission of
"showing the Pope's concern for all Churches" and of "promoting
and sustaining missionary ardor in all the People of God," with special
efforts to help the Churches most in need. He added that "one of the
principal scopes of the Missionary Works is to kindle vocations 'ad gentes' and
to life, in both the ancient Churches as well as the young ones." …
Noting that May is the month of Mary and of the Rosary, he spoke of the
"highly evocative missionary rosary," where each decade is a different
color, calling to mind a different continent: "white for old Europe, that
it may be capable of reappropriating the evangelizing strength which generated
so many Churches; yellow for Asia, exploding with life and youth; green for
Africa, tried by suffering; ... red for America, a greenhouse of new missionary
strength and the blue decade for the continent of Oceania, which awaits a
capillary spreading of the Gospel."
AC/PONTIFICAL MISSIONARY WORKS/SEPE VIS 030516 (680)
CARDINAL SODANO COMMEMORATES POPE'S TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN
VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2003 (VIS)
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of
State, left today for a four-day visit to Kazakhstan following an invitation
by Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic, and other officials. The
purpose of the trip is to commemorate the apostolic pilgrimage that the Holy
Father made to Astana, the country's capital, in 2001.…
On Sunday May 18 in the city of Karaganda, Cardinal Sodano will preside at
a solemn Eucharistic celebration. He will also bless the first stone of the
new Cathedral and will visit a seminary dedicated to "Mary Queen of the
Not posted this week.
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.
Virgin image to become an icon [Source: Sunday Mail
YANKALILLA is not content to keep its miracle to itself -- it
now wants to take its apparition of the Virgin Mary to the world.
The pattern of cracks on the church wall, which Father Andrew Notere and his
parishioners believe is a miracle, is being converted into an icon so that
believers worldwide can bask in its glory.
Fr Notere yesterday announced a partnership with the SA Tourism Commission
which aims to attract 100,000 tourists a year to the Shrine to Our Lady.
"If this shrine was in Europe or South America there would be a line-up
from here to Adelaide trying to get in here," he said.
Fr Notere also said a Maori spiritual group of about 30 people planned to move
to Yankalilla to live close to the shrine.
"One woman is what we call a Maryan seer, in that the Virgin Mary speaks
through her to the group, which will be very exciting," he said.
Tourism commission marketing communications manager Denise Von Wald said
religious tourism was growing world-wide.
"We want to work closely with Fr Notere and the Anglican Church to make
the most of that interest," she said.
Fr Notere also revealed the apparition was changing.
When the image first appeared to the Fleurieu Peninsula church's parishioners
on the wall above the altar on August 24, 1994, it was believed to be the
Virgin Mary holding the baby Christ.
"It has changed because it is no longer mother and child, it is now mother
and the crucified Jesus, which is a very potent and dynamic change," Fr
Notere said yesterday.
"We think Mary is shown in such a sad pose with her crucified child
because she has been sent from Heaven to pull the world back from the precipice
that it is wobbling on at the moment."
Despite the change, Fr Notere said almost everybody saw the apparition in its
Strathalbyn's Fr Trevor Jackson is putting the finishing touches on the icon,
to hang in churches around the world.
"Some people would say that writing the icon is being suggestive but I can
live with that because this is how most people see the apparition," Fr
Notere said, adding that the Yankalilla icon -- an elaborate painting using
traditional methods dating back to the sixth century -- would be the first of
Mary holding her crucified son.
The icon will hang over another priceless gift to the Yankalilla church -- a
framed shred of wood believed to come from the cross upon which Jesus was
Fr Notere said that, unlike other Virgin Mary sighting spots, Yankalilla
continued to provide people with mysterious experiences.
"Other phenomena have come and gone but Yankalilla seems to keep
going," he said.
Woman's Reports of Visions of Virgin Divide Faithful
[Source: The Washington Post, 5/11/03]
The Virgin Mary usually arrives about 7:30 in the evening.
Every day but Friday, believers say, she appears at Gianna Talone Sullivan's
home overlooking a golf course near Emmitsburg to dispense words of wisdom,
advice and, sometimes, warning.
To believers, the details of Mary's apparitions are well known: She wears a
veil, has brown hair and blue eyes, and emerges from a bright light. Her visits
vary in timing and duration.
"It depends on what's going on," said Michael Sullivan, 53, Talone
Sullivan's husband and spokesman. "If we're at home and were not going
anywhere, it's usually between 7:30 and 8:30."
Sullivan, a tall, bearded doctor who favors polo shirts and tasseled loafers,
does not see the Blessed Mother when she appears to his wife. Neither have the
thousands who have flocked to Emmitsburg over the years to receive Mary's
messages, transcribed by Talone Sullivan on spiral notebooks.
Roman Catholic Church officials, in Baltimore and at the Vatican, cast a
skeptical eye on the alleged apparitions, recently ruling them definitively not
supernatural. But many of Talone Sullivan's supporters remain firm in their
faith. And even doubters acknowledge that the apparitions, real or not, have
profoundly changed tiny St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Emmitsburg and,
by extension, the Frederick County town, which has one stoplight, 2,300
residents and a long history of devotion to the mother of Jesus.
"I've been a priest for 45 years, and I had never experienced anything
like this," said the Rev. Al Pehrsson, pastor at St. Joseph's from 1989 to
1996 and now a priest in Alabama. "There was a quiet joy among the
hundreds of people who had come, from Rhode Island to Virginia. . . . There was
no fanaticism at all."
Two years ago, the Baltimore Archdiocese ordered Talone Sullivan, 46, to stop
her weekly prayer meetings at St. Joseph's, and archdiocesan officials
announced last month that the Vatican had affirmed the decision, which held
that the visions were constat de non supernaturalitate, or
"consistently not supernatural."
The ruling "is the end of the process for the church," said
archdiocese spokesman Steve Kearney. "It's over."
Sullivan said he and his wife stopped the prayer service at the church, but
they won't stop spreading the Blessed Mother's messages by word of mouth and
"Our position is to undergo whatever persecution or humiliation is
required but remain obedient to the church," Sullivan said.
Talone Sullivan, a pharmacologist who, as a child, was a
ventriloquist and acted in television commercials, has declined requests for
interviews since 2000, when church officials asked her not to talk to the news
media. Through her husband, she declined to speak for this article.
Emmitsburg is known among Catholics for having a connection with the Virgin
Mary going back to the early 1800s. The nearby Grotto of Lourdes, which
features a towering golden statue of the Blessed Mother, says it draws 500,000
visitors a year. Mount St. Mary's, one of the nation's oldest seminaries, was
founded in Emmitsburg in 1808.
Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S.-born saint, lived in Emmitsburg from 1809
until her death in 1821.
Talone Sullivan, a diminutive woman with an earnest smile, came to this haven
for Mary devotees in 1993, after claiming to have her first apparitions of the
Blessed Mother at her home in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1987.
In November of that year, Sullivan said, his wife started seeing the Blessed
Mother at the St. Maria Goretti Church in Scottsdale while on a lunch break
In January 1993, Sullivan said, Mary appeared to his wife in Emmitsburg while
they were on a pilgrimage and told them to move to Emmitsburg.
Since 1993, the couple has lived in a rambling home with a basketball hoop at
one end of the driveway and an automated security gate at the other. The house,
in the hills near Fairfield, Pa., is about eight miles north of Emmitsburg.
They came because the Blessed Mother asked them to, Sullivan said.
In 1992, Talone Sullivan founded Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit agency that
provides medical care to poor and uninsured people across Maryland. Last year,
the organization treated more than 13,000 patients at nine clinics in Maryland
and Pennsylvania, according to the group's annual report.
At their peak in 2000, services at St. Joseph's in which Talone Sullivan
claimed to be transcribing Mary's words typically attracted close to 1,000
people, Pehrsson said.
For the Roman Catholic hierarchy, Talone Sullivan's popularity tapped into a
trend that has concerned church officials for years -- people claiming direct
connection with God, often through the Virgin Mary. Images of the Blessed
Mother, for example, are said to have appeared in a mosaic at Our Lady of the
Pillar Roman Catholic Church in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1991, and on an Atlanta
billboard in 1991.
Theologians say the number of reports of visions of Mary has ballooned in
recent decades. Excerpts from the report on Talone Sullivan's visions issued by
the Baltimore Archdiocese note "a growing addiction to the
"We think that the Church should not promote or encourage persons
claiming to have extraordinary channels to God," wrote the archdiocesan
commission, made up of three priests, that looked into the visions.
It is just that alleged contact with God that can attract crowds to people who
claim to have supernatural visionary powers, said Joe Nickell, a senior
research fellow at the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of
the Paranormal and a columnist for the magazine, Skeptical Inquirer.
"Instead of just sitting passively in church, being told how to behave,
here is something in which you actually are participating, and miracles are
going off like flashbulbs all around you," Nickell said. "This is
experiential. . . . You could personally have hopes, at least, of experiencing
these things yourself."
"The commission unanimously concluded that there is no evidence of
supernatural intervention in the Emmitsburg messages," Cardinal William H.
Keeler, the archbishop of Baltimore, wrote in September. "Its members are
concerned, however, about some alarming language, in evident conflict with
traditional Catholic teaching and the Scriptures from which this teaching
Keeler was referring to several apocalyptic visions, including one in which
Mary, via Talone Sullivan, prophesied the death of all the world's fish.
There are several Mary apparitions that the church has come to accept: a 1917
appearance to three children in Fatima, Portugal, and an 1858 apparition at
To some whose lives lacked mystery and mysticism, Talone Sullivan's visions
gave a hint of the supernatural.
"It really was one of the most amazing religious experiences of my
life," said Marti O'Neill, 41, an accountant who lives in Upper Marlboro
and attended two of Talone Sullivan's Thursday night prayer services.
"I met so many people who were sick. . . . People who really come looking
for miracles. I dare say that everyone left with something," O'Neill said.
Part of Talone Sullivan's appeal, O'Neill and other supporters say, is her
"She's just like a soccer mom," O'Neill said. "She's just a
normal person that has been given a great gift, as well as a great
Her husband said she tries to avoid the limelight.
"We are just instruments," said Sullivan, seated in the living room
where he, his wife and their 7-year-old daughter pray before an altar decorated
with saint figurines. Behind him were photographs of his wife's deceased
parents and a three-foot-tall crucifix.
"Gianna is just a messenger," he said.
Millions say Lourdes prayer [Source: Sunday Mail (Queensland,
Since the Virgin Mary popped up in Lourdes nearly 150 years
ago, the faithful have been flocking to the small French town. Graham
Stephenson joined the pilgrims.
AT THE foot of the Pyrenees mountains in southwestern France lies a town with a
population of about 15,000 people.
With its picturesque market, little shops, rugby team and simple parochial
lifestyle, it seems like most other towns in this part of France.
The difference is it's dominated by a fortified castle with the Gave River
running through its centre. And every year, it has more than 5.5 million
visitors from 150 countries.
This is Lourdes, a place of 360 hotels and 20 camping sites but, above all, a
place of miracles and a place of pilgrimage.
It all goes back to February 11, 1858, when an apparition appeared before a
14-year-old peasant girl in a small grotto where pigs sheltered on the banks of
the river. The girl was Bernadette Soubirous and the apparition was that of a
lady wearing a white gown with a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.
In the next five months, the lady appeared 18 times, each time giving
Bernadette messages of poverty, prayer, penance and church.
At one meeting, the lady asked her to "kiss the ground, crawl on her knees
and eat the grass for sinners and go drink at the spring and wash
yourself". But there was no spring -- until Bernadette scraped a hole in
the earth and fresh water bubbled up through the mud.
The water has been flowing ever since. It is still the source of water for the
holy baths and drinking fountains.
The lady told Bernadette that she was "the Immaculate Conception."
The Catholic Church investigated, and in 1862 declared that the Virgin Mary had
appeared to Bernadette--the founding of the phenomenon of Lourdes.
Each year more than 70,000 sick and handicapped people come to Lourdes,
accompanied by helpers, nurses and doctors.
On my first visit, I stood in disbelief, trying to grasp what I
was seeing. Twice a day, thousands of pilgrims in wheelchairs line up for the
Blessed Sacrament Procession and the Blessing of the Sick before moving on to
the grotto, the water fountains or to be bathed in the holy waters of the
baths. Their faith shines through.
Lourdes is big business, for both church and town, with multitudes of hotels
and cafes and hundreds of tourist-trap shops lining the avenues heading to Sanctuaire
Notre-Dame de Lourdes.
Here they sell everything from plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes to
collect the holy water to the most incredible range of knick-knacks: key rings,
fridge magnets, statues (including ones that glow) and paintings (also
including ones that glow).
You make your way to the complex via St Joseph's Gate, past the huge statue of
the Crowned Virgin to the sanctuaries of our Lady of Lourdes. You pass the
information centre and a host of holy structures.
These include the modern underground Basilica of Saint Pius X, which can hold
20,000 people, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Crypt, the
beautiful Rosary Basilica, the Church of St. Bernadette and the Chapel of
Reconciliation. Then it's on to the water fountains, the Grotto of Massabielle
and finally the baths.
Up on the hillside is the Way of the Cross, each station portrayed by a group
of larger-than-life figures in a truly dramatic and rugged setting.
Candles play a very important role in the pilgrimage and there are thousands
used every day, some standing more than a metre tall.
Staff members recycle the wax as they burn down.
The nightly candlelight rosary procession is not to be missed. Thousands of
pilgrims wind their way in a long train, candles held on high, all singing and
It's a moving and memorable experience, whatever your faith.
IF YOU GO
Lourdes is located in southwestern France on the western edge of the
From Tarbes, take the N21 south for 20km.
There are dozens of websites available, but for the official site, try www.lourdes-france.com
Religious leaders condemn Jesus and Mary sandals
[Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 5/15/03]
A Danish grocery chain has removed from sale beach sandals with
pictures of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary on the upper soles following angry
protests from religious leaders, news reports said Thursday.
The Kvickly chain withdrew the remaining stocks of the offending sandals in the
face of criticism from both Lutheran clerics and a Catholic priest, who filed a
charge of blasphemy against the company.
Others dismissed the Jesus and Mary decorated flip-flops as "religious
Kvickly, owned by Coop Danmark, had sold around 4,000 pair of the blue Jesus
and pink Mary sandals before taking them off the shelves of its outlets across
A group of Iraqi Christians destroyed the entire stock of the sandals in one
store in protest.
"It was crucial for Coop Danmark's decision that such a broad sector of
the population had taken offence," the company said in a statement.
Coop Denmark had received more than 200 complaints from the public.
Lutheran Bishop Jan Lindhardt of Roskilde parish 30 kilometres west of
Copenhagen slammed Kvickly for not removing the controversial sandals
immediately rather than waiting to see how well they sold.
"This is particularly tasteless and offensive for many people. They (Kvickly)
should be more aware about what they are selling," said Lindhardt.
The strong reaction to the sandals was surprising in that statistics show less
than one per cent of Danes belong to the Catholic Church, and only five per
cent regularly worship in the state-financed Lutheran Church, to which 84 per
cent of the population belong.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE ENTHRONED AT MANILA CATHEDRAL'S ST.
JUDE CHAPEL [Source: Philippine Daily Enquirer, 5/11/03]
A DIGITALIZED laser-true copy of the icon of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, patroness of Mexico and also of the Philippines, is now enthroned at
St. Jude Chapel of the Manila Cathedral. This means that one can now pray to
the Virgin Mary under this title as if one was seeing the original icon in
This was made possible by Cemex Philippines when Francisco Cue, then president,
hand-carried two rolls of the icon from Mexico to Manila and Cebu.
The one for Manila was blessed in ceremonies on April 22 with the
Filipino-Mexican community present. Bishop Teodoro Buhain officiated in the
Mass, together with Msgr. Nestor Cerbo and other priests. Cardinal Ricardo
Vidal blessed the icon last May 7 with Bishop Isabelo Abarquez at Cebu
Juris Umali-Soliman, corporate communications director of Cemex Philippines and
a devotee of the Virgin of Guadalupe, requested Cue if it would be possible for
all this to happen. Cue made all this come true before he occupied that post of
global head of procurement of Cemex-Mexico. The new president of Cemex
Philippines is Jaime Ruiz de Haro.
Am I not here, your mother?
The Virgin appeared to Juan Diego between Dec. 9 and 11, 1531. She left a
miraculous sign, her own image, imprinted on his tilma. The pregnant Mary was
blocking the sun, and wearing a cape covered with stars.
And she told Juan Diego, a 57-year-old Indian, "Hear and let me penetrate
your heart, my dear little son. Let nothing discourage you. Let nothing depress
you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Am I not here, your
mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your
joy, your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the
crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need? Do not fear any illness
or vexation or pain!"
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the official patroness of the Philippines. In 1999
Pope John Paul II entrusted to her care all children, especially the unborn.
Virgen de los Remedios
The people of Pampanga will mark the feast day of their patroness, Virgen de
los Remedios, on the third Saturday of May which falls on May 17 this year.
The shrine of the Virgin is located in Barrio Baliti, San Fernando and the
parish priest is Fr. Mar Miranda. Novena Masses are ongoing at 7 p.m.
Fiesta Masses are at 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. At 6 p.m., Archbishop
Aniceto will con-celebrate the Mass with other priests.
Philatelist Jorge Cuyugan has requested the postmaster general for the issuance
of a commemorative stamp of the Virgen de los Remedios.
Sept. 8, 2003 will be the official date of the launching of the stamp to
coincide with the commemoration of the first Marian Crusade in Pampanga in
1952. The Virgin was brought to all churches in Pampanga asking for her
protection and help in making the province peaceful and prosperous.
Dance that unites
The Kilinkingan bird always flies over Callao Cave in Penablanca, Cagayan. In a
dance presentation at the recent Aliwan Festival, the dancers moved and jumped
with the image of Our Lady of Piat at the helm. She is the one who inspires us
to be united, according to Inday Lara, wife of Cagayan Gov. Edgar Lara. The
province of Cagayan is peopled with different tribes: Itawes, Ilocanos and
St. Michael of Tangub
St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of Tangub, Misamis Occidental. Its
former mayor Philip Tan and current mayor Jenny Tan are devotees of the saint.
They told me how St. Michael always helps them in every endeavor for their
The 185 team members of the Dalit Festival who came over to Manila by boat
prayed first to St. Michael before they set out. When they were here, they
attended Masses at St. Michael Church in Solana, San Miguel district.
In the number presented for the Aliwan Festival, the dancers in Filipiniana
costumes performed with the image of St. Michael which was carried by the
dancers. They may not have won the competition which was sponsored by Manila
Broadcasting Company, Department of Tourism (DOT) and the city of Manila, but
they were happy just the same because they had St. Michael with them.
Flores de Mayo
The Congregacion del Santissimo Nobre del Nino Jesus,
together with Unilever, DOT and the city of Manila, will hold a Flores de
Mayo today from Fort Santiago to Roxas Blvd., then to the Wow Philippines
festival area in Intramuros. Twenty-seven sagalas, dressed by Fashion
Designers Association of the Philippines, will grace the occasion.
Our Lady of the Abandoned
The district of Sta. Ana, Manila will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the
Abandoned in Sta. Ana Church on May 12. Devotees can attend the novena and
Masses. Fiesta day Masses are at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.,
with Fr. Art Daquilenea, minister provincial of Franciscans in the Philippines,
celebrating the Mass. Afternoon Masses are at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Procession will be held today at 6 p.m.
Virgin Mary "appears" in German town--throngs
gather [Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 5/7/03]
Busloads of pilgrims are converging on the tiny Rhineland
hamlet of Sievernich this spring following reports that the Virgin Mary has
appeared to a local woman on at least nine separate occasions in recent months.
A flourishing trade in souvenirs and snack foods has sprung up in this sleepy
village of 450 residents some 20 kilometres west of Bonn to accommodate the
throngs who descend each Monday--the day of each previous appearance.
While Roman Catholic Church authorities in nearby Aachen have attempted to play
down the whole affair, news has spread on the Internet of pilgrims experiencing
miracle cures during visits to the village church even on those Mondays when
the Virgin Mary has failed to "appear."
The German press has carried reports that a woman with terminal cancer visited
Sievernich and that her illness is now in remission. There was also the claim
that a child with a severe illness had made a dramatic recovery. Amid the
influx of pilgrims, a cottage industry has sprung up, with vendors selling
Virgin Mary postcards and miniature plastic Our Lady Immaculate figurines along
with hot grilled sausages for those whose hunger is not only spiritual but also
The crowds thinned for a time after Aachen Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff issued a
statement last autumn saying no appearances were forthcoming and urging people
against listening to unfounded rumours.
But the crowds this spring are bigger than ever now that a new appearance has
been reported and following completion in April of a life-sized statue of the
The statue, which stands in the courtyard of the neo-Gothic stone St John the
Baptist Church in the middle of Sievernich, is said to represent the vision
which has appeared to the local woman nine times since October 2001.
The 35-year-old woman, who identifies herself only as Manuela and who refuses
all interviews with the news media, claims the mother of God has appeared to
her on a series of Mondays with messages of hope for the faithful.
Manuela says the apparition is always the same: A serenely beautiful woman in
white gown and gleaming gold crown holding blue rosary beads in her left hand
and pointing toward her heart with her right hand. From the heart come golden
rays of light.
The statue, surrounded by flowers and shrubs and shielded from the elements by
a large, white umbrella which sways gently in the breeze, forms the focal point
for the busloads of pilgrims.
Before the statue was erected there was nothing to see in the church yard
outside the modest stone structure. Now the pilgrims gather in rapt silence a
few metres in front of the statue for prayers and hymn-singing, watching
intently for any sign of a vision.
Every Monday Manuela is also present to take part in the prayers and to talk
with visitors, while turning her back on TV cameras. She never speaks to the
press but gladly answers questions of the faithful who come to ask what the
Immaculate Virgin has told her.
Afterwards, pilgrims are permitted to come forward to touch the statue and
place flowers at its feet and to kiss the rosary in its hands. That is when the
reports of cures start.
"I felt a prickly sensation, a warmth through my entire body," one
elderly man told N-24 television after touching the statue.
"It was a feeling of love and of goodness that flowed through me,"
said a young woman on the verge of tears. "I felt refreshed afterwards and
full of energy. I wanted to go out and kiss everyone I met and tell them of
Little is known about Manuela except that she has a small child and lives a
short distance away.
Sievernich village Priest, Heribert Kleemann, vouches for her faith and for her
credibility as a witness. He has known her for nearly 20 years and can attest
to the fact that, prior to that first "appearance" on October 15,
2001, she was not all that active in religious affairs.
"She is not some religious nut," he said in an interview. "She
is as puzzled by all of this as anybody and I believe she is honestly telling
what she believes she saw."
While the Virgin Mary has never appeared to him, Father Kleemann says Manuela
"She is a very down-to-earth woman with lots of common sense and lots of
charisma," he said. "Naturally, I can't vouch for the authenticity of
what she says she has seen. I can't prove it. But I can't disprove it, either.
And I think it is entirely possible."
Ruth has help to spread her Bible message [Source: The
Gloucester Citizen, 5/14/03]
For the past thirteen years the missionary nun has traveled
thousands of miles, to more than 200 countries, with her 3ft statue of the
Virgin Mary--her mission: to bring religion to the masses. Her message: the
Apocalypse, as predicted in the Bible, which she says will be in 2006.
The 62-year-old has devoted her life to journeying around the globe, and says
she has only 30 more countries to visit, before she completes her world tour
just before the end of the world. Sister Ruth said: "I have been studying
the Bible and particularly the book of the Apocalypse, and it has predicted
world events such as September 11 and the war in Iraq.
"It has predicted that there will be a great nuclear war in 2006 and I
feel as though time is running out and I need to get God's message across to
"I go into pubs, supermarkets and shopping halls just carrying the statue.
A lot of people approach me and tell me their problems.
"It's a lot easier to approach someone like that rather than in a church.
Not everyone goes to church." But not all her traveling experiences have
been pleasant. Throughout the years, Sister Ruth says she has experienced
abuse, persecution and death threats from Satanists, and has been tailed by
everyone from the KGB to the Mafia.
She said: "Most of the time I have been very scared but nothing will stop
me." Originally brought up in Birmingham by nuns, Sister Ruth began her
mission after being inspired by the Bible's Book of Revelation.
Arriving in Gloucester, the first place she wanted to visit was the Cathedral.
Sister Ruth said she was particularly impressed with the reception she received
in the county claiming that Gloucestershire was "a more spiritual county
than many others in England."
She added: "It's amazing how kind people are to a complete stranger. I get
a different reception from every country I go to.
"In Italy I got a very good reception, as they're a Catholic country. But
in other places I've been told to go away." Sister Ruth started her
travels with a 4ft statue but gave it to a group of Hong Kong Christians. In
return they gave her the 3ft one.
It has not traveled unscathed. The right hand fell off when she was praying
with prostitutes in a shop window in Amsterdam.
Sister Ruth will be in the county for the next few days and says anyone who
would like to talk to her is welcome to approach her, and, with her statue, she
is certainly readily identifiable.
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