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 month of September with Mary:
Marian Commemoration Days
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
September 22. Previous Reflections are listed on our Rosary
Index. Please note that many of these documents are available in Spanish as well as
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A section on international
stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources index. The
latest added was Mexico. Expect more countries to follow.
A section on Marian Spiritualities has
also been added to our Resources index. The
latest additions were papers on the spirituality of three famous converts. Expect more articles to follow.
We have also posted our answer to a reader's
there Marian imagery in Disney's Pinocchio?
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MSA Call for Papers
Immaculate Conception: Human Destiny and Vocation" is the theme of the next
meeting of the Mariological Society (Houston, Texas - May, 2004).
Suggested areas for papers include recent bibliography on the Immaculate
Conception; Scriptural foundations; anthropological, pastoral, symbolic, and
ecumenical implications; original sin in Eastern and Western approaches; the
Immaculate Conception in art. Those wishing to make a presentation
should send a precis to the MSA Secretariat (Marian Library) by October 1,
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Exhibit on Display Now!
The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute invites you to
visit The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary, thirty-eight paintings and
sculptures from the permanent collection of The Vatican Museums, spanning
seventeen centuries of Christian art and reflecting cultures worldwide.
September 4 - November 10, 2003
Roesch and Marian Library Galleries in Roesch Library on the University of
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to
Free Admission -- Parking Available
For tours and information call: (937) 229-4254 or email: VaticanExhibit@notes.udayton.edu.
A virtual exhibit may be seen on our Gallery section under Current
Exhibits of Rosaries of the World and of Creches will also be on display
during this time.
See also the
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 Fall 2002 - Fall 2003 is now available for view.
Courses for the Fall
semester are scheduled to commence on Oct. 20, 2003.
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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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Celebrating Mary in the Month of the Rosary (with Fr. Bert Buby, SM)
October 1, 2003 : 9 a.m. - Noon
Location: Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning (Dayton, Ohio)
Cost: $20 (includes lunch)
Reflect, Pray and Deepen Your Knowledge of:
- 5 Joyful Mysteries
- 5 Sorrowful Mysteries
- 5 Glorious Mysteries
- 5 Luminous Mysteries (newly issued in October 2002 by Pope John Paul II)
Fr. Bert Buby, SM, is an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the
University of Dayton. He is a frequent lecturer throughout the Archdiocese
of Cincinnati, the United States and Canada. Fr. Bert is also the author
of numerous articles, essays, academic papers and six books.
For more information, please contact Chris Bryte by phone at (937) 426-2363
or by email at email@example.com.
Registration deadline is September 24, 2003.
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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Our Lady of Sorrows and Her Ongoing Significance
Professor Mark Miravalle Views a Marian Feast
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, SEPT. 13, 2003 (Zenit.org)
The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is a day with as much relevance as
ever, says a noted Mariologist.
Mark Miravalle, professor of theology and Mariology at the Franciscan
University of Steubenville, is author of a new book entitled, "With Jesus:
The Story of Mary Co-redemptrix" (Queenship Publishing).
He shared with ZENIT his views on the theological significance of the feast,
which the Church celebrates this Monday.
Q: What precisely do we celebrate in the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows and
what are its historical roots?
Miravalle: In the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, we commemorate the
unparalleled human sufferings experienced by the Virgin Mary in her unique role
with Jesus in the mission of redemption.
In "Salvifici Doloris,"
No. 25, John Paul II describes these shared sufferings by Christ's Mother,
particularly during their climactic moments at the foot of the cross, as
reaching an "intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of
view, but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption
of the world."
Historically, this feast can be traced to the 15th century and was fostered
by popular devotion to the seven dolors, or sorrows, of Mary, particularly among
the Flemish faithful and through its promulgation by the Servites of Mary.
Until 1960, two feasts of the Sorrows of Mary were liturgically celebrated
each year, the first on the Friday after Palm Sunday, which emphasized the
"cumpassio" or "co-suffering" of Mary at Calvary; the second
on Sept. 15, which commemorates her entire life of co-redemptive suffering,
which is highlighted in seven key scriptural events.
Q: What are the specific "seven sorrows" of Mary, and why does the
Church encourage our liturgical and personal meditation upon these sorrows?
Miravalle: The specific number of sorrows, originally varied, became fixed to
these seven events: 1) Simeon's prophecy in the temple; 2) the flight of the
Holy Family into Egypt; 3) the loss of the Christ child in the temple; 4) the
encounter of Mary with Jesus on the way of the cross; 5) the crucifixion and
death of Jesus; 6) the taking down of Jesus from the cross; 7) the burial of
Jesus in the tomb.
The Church calls us to ponder the sufferings of the Sorrowful Mother to more
deeply appreciate the sacrifice the Virgin of Nazareth endured in order to
participate with and under Jesus in humanity's redemption, and through this
suffering, to become the spiritual mother of all peoples, as designated by her
crucified Son: "'Woman, behold your son!' ... 'Behold, your mother!'"
We too are called to enter into the mystery of the passion of Christ and the
compassion of Mary, to join our sufferings with theirs, in order to mysteriously
release the graces of redemption for the many spiritual needs of the Church and
world. The Stabat Mater, the medieval sequence recited on this memorial, reminds
"Can the human heart refrain / From partaking in her pain, / In that
Mother's pain untold? ... Let me share with you this pain / Who for all our sins
was slain, / Who for me in torments died."
Q: Do the sufferings of Mary continue today? Does the reported phenomenon of
the "tears" of Mary relate to the question of her ongoing sufferings?
Miravalle: It is hard to conceive of a mother that does not suffer when her
children suffer. Indeed, the maternal heart of Mary continues to suffer
mystically in virtue of her role as the spiritual Mother of all peoples amid the
fresh dangers and trials presently facing the human family.
In his Aug. 31 Angelus address, the Holy Father referred to the lacrimations,
or tears, of Mary as a phenomenon that mysteriously expresses her deep maternal
concern for humanity, and provides a concrete sign for spiritual conversion and
Concerning these Marian tears, he stated: "How mysterious these tears
are! They speak of suffering and tenderness, of comfort and divine mercy. They
are a sign of a maternal presence, and an appeal to conversion to God,
abandoning the way to evil to follow faithfully Jesus Christ."
Q: You have recently authored a book on the history of the Marian title of
Co-redemptrix. How does this title relate to the Lady of Sorrows feast?
Miravalle: In a certain sense, the feast of the Sorrowful Mother is the
liturgical expression of the theological title and doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix.
The Co-redemptrix term as used by the Church refers to Mary's unique though
subordinate cooperation and suffering with Jesus in the accomplishment of
redemption. The prefix "co" means "with" -- in Latin,
"cum" -- and not "equal to."
Mary's cooperation "with Jesus" from the annunciation to Calvary
summarizes her role as Co-redemptrix and what is venerated in this feast.
ZENIT: How old is the Co-redemptrix title and what are its historical roots?
Miravalle: The Co-redemptrix title is well over 600 years old, and is the
fruit of a gradual Church development from apostolic times.
The Co-redemptrix title appears for the first time in a Salzburg hymn from
around the 15th century. The addition of the prefix "co" to the
previously used Redemptrix title further emphasizes Our Lady's rightful
subordination to the divine Redeemer. One of the foremost theologians of the
Council of Trent, Jesuit Alphonsus Salmerón, repeatedly defends the legitimacy
of the Co-redemptrix title, as well as her consequent titles of Mediatrix and
Advocate. During the 17th century "Golden Age" of Marian
Co-redemption, the doctrine and title was defended in over 300 theological
works, with all of its fundamental soteriological aspects treated.
The Popes of the 19th and 20th centuries incorporated the best of this
consistent development of doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix into the teachings of
the ordinary magisterium, with its doctrine conveyed through encyclicals and
other papal teachings and its title repeatedly used by the Holy See during the
magisterium of St. Pius X, and explicitly by Pius XI on three occasions and John
Paul II on six occasions.
Q: Is there any relationship between Our Lady of Sorrows and the contemporary
Fatima message, which has also involved the pontificate of John Paul II?
Miravalle: The Fatima message is a Marian call to be a "co-worker,"
or co-redeemer, with Jesus -- see 1 Corinthians 3:9. Our Lady tells the young
visionaries to "sacrifice yourselves for sinners" and asks them,
"Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings he
wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?"
The spiritual practice of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, particularly as found in the First Saturday devotions, is an efficacious
spiritual practice which serves to console the Immaculate Heart, who is
mystically wounded by those who reject her spiritual maternity, as well as her
other prerogatives given her by God.
During the Oct. 13, 1917, apparition and subsequent solar phenomenon, the
Mother of Jesus appeared to the children precisely as our Lady of Sorrows in
calling for recognition of her co-redemptive suffering and for reparation to her
In Sister Lucia's recent book, "Calls from the Message of Fatima,"
she defends the Co-redemptrix title and doctrine in six different passages with
an inspired eloquence. The Fatima visionary testifies that the role of Mary Co-redemptrix
is clearly an integral part of the Fatima message and its ultimate fulfillment
in the prophesied "triumph" of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Q: Historically and theologically, then, the feast and the doctrine of Our
Lady's sorrows are firmly part of our Catholic life?
Miravalle: The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and the corresponding doctrine of
Mary Co-redemptrix is our heritage.
The story of Mary's suffering "with Jesus" is deeply embedded in
the Church's 2,000-year memory and life which we call "Tradition." We
should not deny this Tradition about Mary Co-redemptrix, our spiritual Mother of
Sorrows, but should use the most precise means by which to articulate and
"live" its truth in its proper biblical and ecumenical context.
Not posted this week.
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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.
LASALLE EVENT CELEBRATES THE BLESSED MOTHER [Source: The
Buffalo News (New York), 8/23/2003]
Sunday afternoon will be a time of worship, music and words
focusing on the Blessed Virgin Mary at LaSalle Park.
The second annual Celebration of the Culture of Life and Civilization of Love
will begin at noon with music performed by the Voices of Mercy, with Norman
Paolini and Amy Betros, founders of St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, and Martin
Doman of York, Pa.
The event is sponsored by the Association for the Arch of Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents, which
hopes someday to build a waterfront monument to the unborn.
Executive Director Laurence D. Behr will discuss progress in promoting the
monument project; Judge Daniel J. Lynch, national guardian of the Missionary
Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, will discuss Marian messages reported by St.
Juan Diego; and Dr. Bryan Thatcher, founder of Eucharistic Apostles of the
Divine Mercy, will talk about living the Christian ideal.
'VIRGIN MARY OF CHICAGO' HEADING TO PALOS HILLS [Source:
Chicago Sun-Times, 8/23/2003]
The 33-foot-tall, 8,400-pound statue Our Lady of the New
Millennium, also known as the Virgin Mary of Chicago, is finishing a weeklong
stay in the Pilsen neighborhood, at 18th and Paulina. On Sunday, it moves to
ANOTHER WAY STATION IN THE SEARCH FOR MIRACLES [Source:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), 8/23/2003]
In recent years the Virgin Mary has been observed on screen
doors, aluminum siding and the door of a third-floor closet in Brookline.
This week she was detected on a statue of the Virgin Mary, which would seem to
be no extraordinary development except that the eyes and heart now glow in the
dark, making St. Joseph the Provider Church outside Youngstown an irresistible
stop for those in search of direct contact.
"One eye is gold and the other is blue. See? Right now -- just one eye is
blue." Dorothy Rossi, a woman in her middle years, was standing on the
church's well-trampled lawn and pointing her grandson's binoculars to the large
statue affixed to the bell tower.
From ground level it was hard to tell if one eye was blue or black or dark. But
the towering, modernistic Mary definitely had a golden glow in the right eye
and the Sacred Heart affixed to her chest also showed a golden hue. This,
explained the pastor, Father Mike Swierz, could be attributed to the fact that
a painter gilded the statue's eyes, heart and halo almost 30 years ago. Why the
eyes and heart only recently began to reflect aggressively, especially at
night, invites speculation of a celestial sort.
Gold weathers over the years and heavy rains could have buffed a few spots to
pick up light in ways they hadn't before.
"At night all you see are two eyes and a heart," Father Mike said.
"That's the real question: whether it's all the rain or some other
Clearly, the hundreds who crowd nightly onto the lawn to pray, sing and leave
personal messages at makeshift shrines on the other side of the church are
banking on "some other reason."
"Is there any hope for our lawn?" Father Mike asked the caretaker,
who cleared debris from an expanse so flat and brown that all that was missing
was a tumbleweed.
"I'm gonna use Miracle-Gro," the guy replied. "Get it?"
Yes, Father Mike said, he got it. But he is a forgiving man and the caretaker
is still employed.
Father Mike and his bishop are both hesitant to use the term miracle for
something that could yet be resolved by a lighting consultant. At the same
time, the bishop urged the people who visit the statue "to attend Holy
Mass, receive the sacraments, particularly reconciliation and the Holy
Eucharist, keep the Ten Commandments, perform acts of charity and penance, be
reconciled to their neighbor and support the church."
Much of this appears to be happening, evidence, perhaps, that we make our own
miracles, even in as hard-edged a place as the Mahoning Valley, where the rates
for both underemployment and crime sometimes seem to be in a drag race.
Among the visitors have been members of a nearby Orthodox parish, a Pentecostal
minister who lighted some candles and forwarded a thank-you card to Father
Mike, and some kids from a nearby Protestant assembly.
The notes at smaller religious statues along the Church walkways hint at people
new to the game of apparition hunting.
"Saint Mary -- thank you for helping me during my depression," one
"Saint Mary," Father Mike grinned at the uncharacteristic use of
saint. "This has really become a church for the unchurched."
And, perhaps, for the unfocused. This from another note: "Dear God, Please
help with everything you feel I cannot help myself with." Someone else
left a mirror. Rosaries hang all over the place and pleas for medical cures
flutter alongside this request for an upturn in the real estate market:
"Saint Joseph, Our house needs a wonderful family. Let us go to our new
These doings would seem strange, possibly pagan, to those unfamiliar with the
Catholic belief in the intercession of the saints, but the desire to see some
evidence of God's handiwork, or his ambassadors, is both ancient and enduring.
It is as enduring as the twinge I felt when I read the last note on one of the
makeshift shrines, and fled a bit ashamed of my own cynicism:
"Dear Mary. Please help me to get my family back and please help me find
my husband. I pray for peace. Pam."
I drove home praying that woman's eyes glow someday soon.
One lady who can spot good weather [Source: The Irish
Should you find today "a red ladybird upon a stalk",
the chances are it will have exactly seven spots. This, I am told, is the most
common variety of this pretty little insect in these parts.
Moreover, the spots are there to remind you of the seven joys and seven sorrows
of the Virgin Mary, from whom the insect takes its name. In early religious art
Our Lady was often depicted with a scarlet cloak, and indeed the Latin name for
the family of beetles to which the ladybird belongs is Coccinellidae, or
"clad in scarlet". You can also use your ladybird to tell the
weather. If you sit the insect on your open palm, and if it crawls across your
hand before dropping limply to the ground, then rain is on the way; but if it
ups and flies away in lively fashion, the weather will be fine.
The proliferation or otherwise of ladybirds in any given summer is both
directly and indirectly related to the weather of the previous months. The
insects themselves are sensitive to cold, so a harsh winter depletes their
numbers for the following season. On the other hand, and more importantly, a
mild winter followed by a fertile spring leads to a healthy crop of greenfly
and other aphids on which the beetles feed, and when well fed, ladybirds
increase and multiply enthusiastically.
Low winter temperatures decimate the aphid population, and even a slight frost
severely limits their ability to move. If an aphid cannot move, it cannot reach
its food, and quickly dies. An explosion of the aphid population, however,
typically occurs when a mild winter is followed by a warm spring, the
importance of the latter being that aphids need to migrate to sources of new
food at that time of year, and flight is not possible for them unless the
temperature climbs to well over 10 degrees Celsius. A few warm days in early
spring give the aphids early access to abundant food, and this in turn
facilitates their reproduction rate.
With a bumper crop of aphids, ladybirds can feast in early summer to their
hearts' delight, and their numbers may sometimes multiply to plague
proportions. The most memorable year in this respect was 1976, one of the
longest, hottest summers of recent times. Most of the previous season's
ladybirds survived the mild winter, and then a wet spring encouraged a lush
growth of vegetation, which in turn produced a glut of aphids.
But then a famine followed. By mid-summer most of the aphids had been eaten up;
worse still, the plants on which they thrived had shrivelled in the scorching
heat, and by the end of July every ladybird in Britain and Ireland was
threatened with starvation.
In the early days of August that year, some may remember, billions of them took
to the air in search of food, travelled up to 400 miles until they reached the
sea, and made a well-publicised descent en masse on Britain's eastern beaches.
Juan Diego relic is coming to S.A. [Source: San Antonio
Express-News (Texas), 8/21/2003]
A U.S. tour of a half-inch-square piece taken from the tilma of
St. Juan Diego has added a visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Little Flower, thanks to the work of two San Antonians.
The relic, which has been on a tour of 20 U.S. cities, will be on display Sept.
12-14 in San Antonio. Original plans were for Dallas to be the only Texas city
on the tour, but Peter Monod, director of the Archdiocese of San Antonio's
Office of Social Concerns, and Father John Suenram, pastor of the basilica,
asked the Apostolate for Holy Relics to add San Antonio more than two months
The Catholic organization that encourages veneration of relics and saints was
"As soon as I learned it was going to Dallas, I called the organizers -
and so did Father John," Monod said. "They were very happy to make a
detour through San Antonio."
Andrew Walther, tour coordinator for the apostolate, said the tour has averaged
about 5,000 visitors at the first 10 stops, with lines an hour long. He expects
the number to increase in San Antonio.
"It's a really great place to go," he said. "They know what
they're doing, so it was a pretty easy decision to say yes."
Suenram said he hopes at least 35,000 to 40,000 pilgrims will come to see it.
The tilma , or cloak, was worn by Juan Diego when the Blessed Virgin Mary was
said to have appeared to him four times in December 1531 on a hill called
Tepeyac north of Mexico City.
According to tradition, when the bishop of Mexico City, Juan de Zumarraga,
asked Juan Diego for a sign that the virgin truly had appeared, the virgin told
Juan Diego to pick roses at a spot she designated. He took the roses in his
tilma to the bishop, and when he opened the tilma in the bishop's presence, a
beautiful likeness of the virgin was imprinted on it.
The event became the catalyst for the Catholic evangelization of the New World.
Indigenous people such as Juan Diego previously had not been receptive to the
Gospel brought by Spanish missionaries accompanying the conquistadors.
Father John A. Leies, professor of moral theology at St. Mary's University,
said it wouldn't have made sense to show the relic in Dallas and not in
overwhelmingly Catholic and Mexican American San Antonio.
Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego have been cultural, as well as religious,
icons for Mexican Americans for more than four centuries.
"I'm not a Hispanic, but when you live in this part of the country and
you're Catholic, it becomes a part of you," Leies said. "The
Guadalupe event was so instrumental in the development of the Catholic faith in
the New World and the keeping of the soul of the Mexican people."
The shrine hosted relics of its patron saint, St. Therese of Lisieux - known
affectionately as "The Little Flower" - in 1997 when an estimated
70,000 filed through the basilica to see the relics. ***SEE CORRECTION**** Last
year, an estimated 35,000 there saw relics of El Nino de Atocha from Pateros in
the Mexican state of Zacatecas. ***SEE CORRECTION***
Juan Diego's tilma has drawn pilgrims from all over the world to where the
garment is kept in a protective glass case over the main altar of the Basilica
of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The tilma has never been allowed to
But in 1942, a half-inch square was cut from the tilma and given as a gift from
the Archbishop Luis Maria Martinez y Rodriguez of Mexico City to Archbishop
John J. Cantwell of Los Angeles. For 61 years, it's been housed in the archives
of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The basilica is to be open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sept. 12,
5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. to midnight Sept. 13, and 5 a.m. to about 7
a.m. Sept. 14.
Because of incorrect information supplied to the Express-News, this article
misidentified a statue and the Mexican city from which it came. El Santo Nino
de Atocha came from Plateros. Also, because of a reporting error, the year of
the visit of relics of St. Therese of Lisieux was incorrect. The event was in
Mysticism, Reason and the Virgin [Source: The New York
To the Editor:
Nicholas D. Kristof (column, Aug. 15) does not mention that while the
assumption of the Virgin Mary was officially proclaimed in 1950 by the Catholic
Church, it was a belief grounded in the teachings and tradition of the church
since the sixth century. Among the supporters of this doctrine were Thomas
Aquinas and St. Bonaventure.
While other theologians or intellectuals may disagree, once one accepts the
premise of the existence of God, almost anything is possible, like God giving
Moses the Commandments, the resurrection of Jesus and, yes, the assumption and
the virgin birth.
Whether any of this happened may not always be historically or scientifically
proved to everyone's satisfaction. Yet to categorize those who so believe
(including the theologians mentioned above) as being akin to
"self-satisfied and unquestioning mullahs and imams" is insulting and
ALTERNATIVELY...; TACTICAL CHICANERY AND A WELTER OF BROKEN
LIMBS WILL MARK THIS [Source: The Independent (London), 8/16/2003]
THOSE WHO yearn for more daring, bravado, bribery, poisoning
and death threats in the sport of horse racing would be at home in Tuscany
today. For there they will witness the blood and hysteria of the "Palio,"
a horse race which dates back to the 13th century and is held twice a year in
But to regard the Palio as just another horse race is akin to calling Everest
just another mountain. Ten jockeys, or "Fantini," bedecked in medieval
costumes complete with metal helmets, ride bareback horses around three
circuits of the Piazza del Campo, the main square in the centre of the city.
The course includes a right-angle turn that has caused the death of many
participants, while jockeys are actively encouraged to beat other horses and
each other with whips made of calf phalluses. The race lasts 90 seconds, but is
preceded by five hours of processions featuring flag- throwing acrobatics and a
The winning horse is presented with the Palio, a silk banner decorated with the
image of the Virgin Mary, and basks in the kudos of a haughty victory parade.
To come second is more shameful than finishing last (as you had the opportunity
to win, but didn't), and such ignominy and rancour produces phenomenal
rivalries that can rumble along for years. The losers usually spend the evening
drowning their sorrows in grappa.
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