Liturgical Season 1/9/04 World News
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Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the many ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Liturgical Season

To celebrate the month of January 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 January.

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New Resources

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Guyana.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women has also been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was an Introduction.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have expanded our page on The Hail Mary in Various Languages and also added our answer to a reader's question, What is the origin of the practice of reciting "Jesus, forgive us our sins ..." in relation to the rosary?

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  News from the Marian Library

International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2003 semester concluded on Nov. 14.  The schedule of future IMRI courses will be posted on the Mary Page when available.

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Personal thoughts and reflections about Mary 
from our readers 

We've added a section to our Research and Publications section showing selected personal comments from our readers about the Virgin Mary.  Click here to see comments received within the past month.  From this page, feel free to submit your own personal thoughts on Mary.  

We also encourage our readers to submit their opinions on various styles of Marian Art through an on-line art survey.

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Marian Events

The Immaculate Conception and the Life of the Church

A Theological Symposium in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception will be held on February 20-21, 2004 at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

For questions, please call 413-298-2284 or email: jp2@marian.org

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.  Please take a look!  This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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News from Around the World



"The divine maternity of Mary" was the theme of John Paul II's first catechesis of 2004, given during this Wednesday's general audience celebrated in the Paul VI Hall.

"Mary, Mother of God!," exclaimed the Pope. "This truth of faith which is deeply linked to the feast of Christmas is particularly clear in the liturgy of the first day of the year, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Mary is the mother of the Redeemer; she is the woman chosen by God to carry out the project of salvation centered on the mystery of the Incarnation of the divine Word."

"Mary's entire life is closely tied to Jesus' life. At Christmas it is she who offers Jesus to mankind. On the cross, at the supreme moment of carrying out the mission of redemption, it will be Jesus to make a gift for every human being of His mother, such a precious heritage of redemption. The words of the Lord on the cross to the faithful disciple John are His testament. He entrust His mother to John and at the same time He entrusts the apostle and all believers to the love of Mary."

"At the end of Christmas season, let us stop to contemplate in the manger the silent presence of Our Lady beside the Child Jesus. The same love, the same care that she had for Her divine Son, she reserves for us. Therefore, let us allow her to guide our steps in the new year."


From Zenit

Rome Guide Goes Beyond Art to Seek the Saintly

A Church Is Not a Museum, Says Author

ROME, JAN. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Elvira Obenbach asks an obvious question in her new book: "Why publish another guide to the churches of Rome?"

Obenbach's reply is spiritual, not artistic. "This guide is to fill a lacuna and to lead a pilgrim not to the artistic work but in the footprints of the saints and blessed," she writes in the introduction.

"This guide" is "In the Footprints of the Saints in Rome: Guide to the Icons, Relics and Houses of Saints" ("Sulle Orme dei Santi a Roma. Guida alle Icone, Reliquie e Case dei Santi"). Vatican Press, the Holy See's official publishing house, has just come out with the work.

The author chose 100 churches, convents and houses of Rome in which there are traces of holiness. The book is composed of 100 précis indicating practical information on a place, its relics and sacred images, illustrated with a picture and brief history. The précis are classified by areas, and each area is preceded by a map to help the pilgrim.

"The book was born as a result of the impression that the churches of Rome have become, above all, places to visit because of the artistic treasures they contain," she told ZENIT. "It is good to remind the public that art is a support, not the essence."

Obenbach has been the librarian at the Germanic Archaeological Institute of Rome since 1968. The guide has a prologue by Monsignor Marco Frisina, director of the Liturgical Office of the Rome Diocese, who writes: "The relics of the saints are not only parts of their bodies but especially a testimony of their lives. This book is intended to help one follow in the path of these witnesses, to make us pilgrims following the imprints of faith in the school of the saints."

According to Obenbach, "The Creator is beauty and because of this, places of worship have always been adorned in honor of the Lord."

"A church is not a museum but the house of God, where one can also find the bodies of saints, icons and images venerated for centuries, visited by persons who today are raised to the altar," the author added.

"Rome is undoubtedly the place where most saints are present or with the most traces of saints who have passed through the city," Obenbach noted.

"Accompanying people of the Orthodox faith, I have become conscious of the wealth of our Church. Although they don't have the tabernacle, they venerate relics and icons," she continued. "This is why I thought that with the guide I could make a small contribution toward union with the Orthodox Church, a profound desire of our Holy Father."

The saints mentioned are from all periods, beginning with the Apostle Peter and ending with Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei.

Invoking Mary, Mother of the Redeemer

John Paul II's Address at First General Audience of 2004

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Here is a translation of John Paul II's address at today's general audience, the first of 2004.

1. "Alma Redemptoris Mater ... Mother of the Redeemer ..." Thus we invoke Mary at Christmastide, with an ancient and moving Marian antiphon, which then continues with these words: "'Tu quae genuisti natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem'--To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator."

Mary, Mother of God! This truth of faith, profoundly connected to the Christmas celebrations, is particularly evident in the liturgy of the first day of the year, solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. Mary is the Mother of the Redeemer; she is the woman chosen by God to realize the salvific plan centered on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word.

2. A humble creature bore the Creator of the world! Christmastide renews our awareness of this mystery, presenting us the Mother of the Son of God as co-participant in the culminating events of the history of salvation. The age-old tradition of the Church has always considered the birth of Jesus and the divine maternity of Mary as two aspects of the Incarnation of the Word. "In fact," the Catechism of the Catholic Church quoting the Council of Ephesus confirms, "the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly 'Mother of God,' 'Theotokos'" (No. 495).

3. From the fact that Our Lady is "Mother of God" stem all the other aspects of her mission; aspects that are well evidenced by the titles with which the community of disciples of Christ in every part of the world honor her. First of all that of "Immaculate" and of "Assumed," as she who would bear the Savior could not be subject to the corruption resulting from original sin.

Moreover, the Virgin is invoked as Mother of the Mystical Body, that is, of the Church. In keeping with the patristic tradition expressed by St. Augustine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that she "is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ' ... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head" (No. 963).

4. Mary's whole existence is profoundly connected to that of Jesus. It is she who offers Jesus to humanity at Christmas. On the cross, at the supreme moment of the fulfillment of the redemptive mission, it will be Jesus who will make a gift of his Mother to every human being, as a precious inheritance of redemption.

The words of the crucified Lord to John, the faithful disciple, constitute his testament. He entrusts his Mother to John and, at the same time, entrusts the Apostle and every believer to the love of Mary.

5. In these last days of Christmastide, let us pause to contemplate in the crib the silent presence of the Virgin next to the Child Jesus. The same love, the same concern she had for her divine Son, she reserves for us. Let us allow her, therefore, to guide our steps in the New Year, which Providence gives us to live.

This is my wish for all of you in this first general audience of 2004. Sustained and comforted by her maternal protection, we will be able to contemplate with new eyes the face of Christ and to walk more rapidly on the paths of goodness.

Once again, happy New Year to you here present and to your loved ones!

[Translation by ZENIT]

[At the end of the audience, a collaborator read the following summary in English:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church's celebration of the Christmas season centers on the mysteries of Christ's incarnation and Mary's divine motherhood. As the Virgin Mother of the Incarnate Word, Mary was from the beginning closely associated with her Son's saving work. Mary gave Christ to the world at his birth; and from the cross the dying Redeemer entrusted her to the Church and to each believer. In these final days of the Christmas season, let us join Mary in contemplating the newborn Savior and entrust ourselves to her maternal protection during the coming year.

[Then the Pope greeted the English-speaking pilgrims as follows:]

I am pleased to greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's audience, including the groups from Denmark and the United States of America. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you and your families I invoke the Lord's richest blessings for a peaceful New Year.

From L’Osservatore Romano

Not posted this week.

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Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

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Our Mary Page web site is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see what's new.

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