Liturgical Season 4/23/04 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 April 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 April.

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New Resources

To help users locate The Mary Page, we have created an alternate web address, marypage.udayton.edu.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper by Brother John Samaha on Mary in Byzantine Spirituality.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Meditating the Passion of Our Lord with Stamps.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women is now under construction in our Resources index.  The latest addition was Canon Law on Woman.  Expect more articles to follow.

The complete program for this year's Mariological Society of America meeting has now been posted on our Outreach page.  We have added the sheet music to the lyrics of the May hymn, On this day, O beautiful Mother, and also added a page about the 400th anniversary of the Mother Thrice Admirable title celebrated by the Schoenstatt movement.

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  News from the Marian Library

New Exhibit

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth, an exhibition of paintings by Brother Jerome Pryor, S.J. which celebrate the union of the Divine and the Human, will be on display in the Marian Library Gallery from April 26 to May 28, 2004.  The Gallery will be open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.  For more information, call (937) 229-4214.  A virtual exhibit may be seen on our Gallery section under Current Exhibit.

New Crèches will also be on display in our museum through November 2004.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Summer 2004 semester will begin on June 14.  The schedule is now available!

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Marian Events

Embraced by Love: 9th Annual Catholic Women's Event

Saturday, May 1, 2004 8:45 am - 4:30 pm
at The Cintas Center of Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio)

A Eucharistic, Marian, Healing, Celebration of Woman.

Mission Statement: To strengthen families by empowering women to be life-giving, Christ-bearers through authentic femininity, modeled to us by Mary, Mother of God.

For more information call (513) 553-2275 or click into www.embracethechildren.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

New Rosary CD

Mark Mallett, Catholic singer/songwriter and recording artist, just finished his third album, a Rosary CD called "Through Her Eyes: A Journey to Jesus."  This album is a direct response to Pope John Paul II's call to the faithful to rediscover the beauty, power and depth of the Rosary once again.  Produced by Mark, and two intense years in the making, this powerful and contemporary CD offers a completely new method to contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary.

For more information click into www.markmallett.com/markhomepage.html.

Santa Maria Antiqua Redux

A thousand years after Romulus gave his name to the eternal city, Rome came under a new rule. From monarchy to republic to empire, Rome underwent its greatest transformation during the fourth century, when the temples to Jupiter and Vesta and Julius Caesar were abandoned. After war, famine and invasions, a new city was founded from the ashes of the Forum, Christian Rome.

Just before Easter, the superintendent of archaeology announced the reopening of one of its oldest and most prestigious churches, Santa Maria Antiqua. The site has been closed since 2001 to the disappointment of students of early Christian art, but is now open until the end of May for brief individual visits before the final stage of restoration begins this summer.

Across from the temple of Castor and Pollux and next door to the house of the Vestals, this church nestles at the foot of the Palatine Hill which served as home to the Roman emperor as of the first century. Santa Maria Antiqua's existence began as a guardhouse to check visitors to the imperial residence. The sixth century witnessed the arrival of the Byzantine emperors in Rome and a subsequent rise in church building in the Forum.

Santa Maria Antiqua is particularly precious to art historians because it shows several different types of Christian mural decoration in the space of two centuries.

The famous "palimpsest wall" shows three ages of fresco painted one on top of the other. These works of art constitute a precious collection of Byzantine painting from the sixth and seventh century given that similar artwork in Eastern part of the empire was destroyed during the iconoclast controversy.

The earliest fresco in the palimpsest, known as "Maria Regina," shows the Virgin Mary and Christ Child, flanked by two angels. It dates from about 536 to 545 when the building was a still a guardroom. This would have been used as a devotional image. The monumental, bejeweled image of the Virgin Mary seated on a throne appears as appropriate iconography for men who were expected to give their lives for the imperial family.

The year 600 saw an aggressive re-foundation of the Forum area as a Christian space. Churches sprang up everywhere, Sts. Cosmas and Damian annexed to the Temple of Romulus, St. Hadrian in the Senate building and the transformation of the imperial guardroom into a church.

During the rebuilding, the fresco of Maria Regina was damaged and painted over with an image of the Annunciation. Of this group, the head of the angel is the most exemplary. Known as the "fair angel" from about 600, the brushstroke is feather light, the face painted in soft gradations of light and shade that are a far cry from the heavy outlines of the Maria Regina. The angel has an otherworldly air as if he were making only a momentary appearance before returning to his celestial home.

In 650, the wall was painted over one last time with a series of Church Fathers. These figures are schematic, intended to portray a row of courtier types and very close in style to the mosaic decoration that became increasingly popular in Rome churches at the time which featured stiff contours and flat figures.

Painting in the church continues on the side walls through the eighth century with portraits of donor families, saints or biblical narratives. But the development of painting in Santa Maria Antiqua came to an abrupt end in the ninth century when the church was abandoned due to an earthquake and then buried by a landslide. It was excavated in the early 1900s.

The exposure to air and humidity has damaged more than 60% of the paintings, but an international commission began a large scale restoration project in 2001 to preserve the remaining works. The Samuel Kress foundation of New York and the Sigval Bergesen foundation of Oslo are sponsoring the effort that is estimated to cost about $1.6 million.

To visit Santa Maria Antiqua, you must make an appointment.  Its website is: www.archeorm.arti.beniculturali.it/sma/eng/index.html.

From Zenit

French Bishops Invite John Paul II to Lourdes

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2004 (Zenit.org)

The French bishops' conference has invited John Paul II to visit Lourdes for the 150th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard, president of the episcopal conference, and Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes invited the Pope to visit the shrine around Aug. 15, the episcopate announced today.

"A delegation of the Holy See has come to France to study the basic conditions so that this pilgrimage can take place," a statement from the episcopate stated.

Pope Pius IX promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, 1854.


Lourdes Accepting Prayer Intentions Via Web

LOURDES, France, APRIL 21, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Thanks to the Internet, it is now possible to send prayer intentions to Lourdes.  The newly renovated Web page of the Marian shrine offers this opportunity at www.lourdes-france.com.

"The new Lourdes Internet site makes available the spiritual richness of the shrine to those who cannot come physically to Lourdes," said Pierre Adias, the shrine's communications director.

This year, an average of 393 intentions a day have arrived through the shrine's electronic mail. In 1999, there were six intentions a day.

Last year, 10,500 daily accesses to the site were recorded. Every year 6 million pilgrims visit the shrine.


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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.

Fear over garden raiders [Source: Hume Moreland Leader (Australia), 3/17/2004]

PLAGUED by night thefts and the desecration of a religious statue, Fawkner resident Fina Trigona wonders why she has been made a target.

Mrs Trigona awoke last Monday morning to find a statue of the Virgin Mary from her front yard was missing all 10 fingers.

The attack came two months after a gang of six men stole a large concrete fountain from the garden in the middle of the night.

"I don't know how people can do things like that," she said.

"We are friendly with everyone nobody has anything against us."

The fingers from the statue had been cut using some kind of tool or machinery.

"It was a beautiful statue about 30cm and blue and white in colour," Mrs Trigona said.

"It's a real shame that people would do something like that."

But much more frightening was the late-night theft of a large concrete fountain from the front yard. "We didn't see anyone, but one of our neighbours saw six men come and pick it up," she said.

"Three men took the fountain and the other three stood at our door with a steel bar ready to kill us if we came out."

The men had come prepared with a car and trailer.

They left the engine running and spoke loudly throughout the theft.

The alarmed neighbour called police, but the men made their getaway.

The frightened resident said she could not imagine why six men would go to such lengths to steal a $700 fountain.

Motherhood motivates Maia [Source: Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia), 3/13/2004]

HOW does one prepare to play the Virgin Mary? If you're Maia Morgenstern, the Romanian actress tabbed to play Jesus's mother in The Passion of the Christ, you embark on your own religious and cultural studies.

"I read the New Testament and the Old Testament," she says during a recent stop to promote the film, directed by Mel Gibson.

"I read some of the Koran and the Bhagavad-Gita. I wanted to read more about Mayan and Incan civilisation, but I did not get the chance."

What a slacker.

Morgenstern may not be a name in these parts, but she's a celebrated theatre and film actress back home in Romania. She jumped at the chance to play Mary opposite Jim Caviezel's Jesus. As a mother of three, she says, she didn't have to look far for motivation.

"My character is about motherhood, the idea of being a mother, losing your child, watching your baby die," she says. "As a race, we are killing the best of us, the youngest of us, the most dutiful of us, in the name of I don't know what. It would be so easy if it were just this particular story. The film is so symbolic. It is very metaphorical. Humanity hasn't learned a thing from history and tragedies past."

Morgenstern, who acted for three years in Romania's State Jewish Theatre, wears a Star of David around her neck. She knows about the charges of anti-Semitism that have dogged The Passion of the Christ. And she bristles when they're mentioned, struggling to find words to express her distress.

"I am sad about the controversy," she says. "People prejudge. The controversy started before the filming began. I don't feel guilty for anything. I have nothing to excuse and nothing to explain or hide. It's art. It's Gibson's vision. I try to be an artist. I don't see why people are worried. I wouldn't have played the role if I had found anything anti-Semitic about it."

Fair enough. That particular debate has no easy winner. But Morgenstern is just as adamant in rebutting the film's other point of controversy. Even though her movie son is beaten for most of The Passion, even though he endures more physical torture than any film character in recent memory, Morgenstern insists that the movie isn't all that violent.


"I do a lot of theatre, and I play ancient characters from Greek drama," she says. "The film is as violent as the ancient Greek theatre. The violence is in our head. The film is not a cartoon. It's painful, what we see on the screen. But it's not really happening. Everything happens in our head. You can see much more violence on the TV news."

Perhaps Romanian television is a bit rougher than elsewhere. In any case, Morgenstern sticks to her guns.

To her eye, movie violence isn't real, so it's not really violent. She points out that different size crosses were used as Caviezel's Jesus marched to the Crucifixion, and that Caviezel wasn't really getting the life beaten out of him.

"The ancient concept of catharsis is very present in this film," she says. "It used to be in ancient theatre. Those are the roots of show business."

Hundreds flock to a house in Venezuela for an alleged religious phenomenon [Source: CNBC News Transcripts, 3/17/2004]


Hundreds of people are flocking to a home in Venezuela to see what they believe is a religious phenomenon. Residents say for the past few weeks, roses placed around a statue of the Virgin Mary have been dripping wine. No official investigation has been conducted, but the owner of the home says the statue also cries tears of blood. People have been lining up around the clock to see it for themselves.

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