Liturgical Season 7/1/04 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
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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 July 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 July.

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New Resources

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 John Paul II on Women.  Expect more articles to follow.

The Marian Library has received many valuable donations of religious art.  The most recent is a collection of the works of Alex Rapoport from his widow, Irina.  Many thanks to all our benefactors!

We have updated our answers to the following questions: Mary's Co-redemption: Will there be a new dogma soon?; and Is Our Lady of Loreto considered the Patron Saint of Aviators? and also added four new ones: What is Ina Poonbato?; Who is Marienkinder?; Why is Mary included in the stations of the cross?; and St. Bernard on Mary as Channel.

We have also posted the following new features: Mary and Justice; Our Lady and the Column; The Meaning of Fountain attributed to Mary; Mary and Fountain in Art; Marian Pilgrimage places associated with Fountains or Wells; Litany of Mary, Immaculate Mother (translated from Chinese) and the Mother of Mercy figure in Asian religions.

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, an IMRI student, will lecture on the first Saturdays of August, September, October and December [2004] at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  For more information on the entire Mary Immaculate Masterpiece of God's Mercy speaker series click into: www.marian.org/shrine.

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Collaboration with Catholic.net

An important Catholic web site, www.catholic.net, has added a section on the Virgin Mary to the top of their list of 'channels.'  They plan to highlight particular items from The Mary Page and to encourage their audience to visit our site.  Please visit their site in return.  We expect more collaboration with them in the future.

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Current Exhibit

Messengers from God

An eclectic Marian Library exhibit showcasing works by internationally known Ukrainian artist Aka Pereyma and her daughter Christina opened June 7 in the Marian Library and will run through August 6.  For more information click into, Gallery.

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 started on June 14!  The schedule is available online.

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Marian Events

The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Celebrates One Hundred Years of Papally Ordered Solemn Coronation of the Madonna of Mount Carmel

We wish to bring to your attention an extraordinary Marian event occurring this July. The Image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pontifically enshrined in the Church of the same name, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Crowning of the image by order of Popes Leo XIII and Saint Pius X.

The July Feast, now much more multi-cultural in nature, continues to draw thousands, including Italians, Haitians and persons of Hispanic extraction. Many come carrying their own candles, images, flowers or entering the Shrine on their knees in a show of devotion.

Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
448 East 116 Street
New York, N.Y. 10029

For more information contact Rev. Peter J, Rofrano at (212) 534-0681.

Marian Year Indulgence

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, D.C. 20017-1566

Phone: 202-526-8300
FAX: 202-526-8313

Under the usual conditions, make a sacred pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as designated by the Holy Father, and there assist devoutly in a liturgical celebration or other pious exercise, in a group or individually, and recite the Lord's Prayer and the Profession of Faith or the Apostle's Creed (in any approved form).

For more information, click into: Marian Year Inaugurated at National Shrine.

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



Made public today was a Letter from Pope John Paul to Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, who will be his special envoy to the centenary celebrations of the crowing of the Mater Dolorosa image at the Shrine of Telgte in the diocese of Muenster, Germany on July 3. The Letter is written in Latin and is dated June 9, 2004.

Other members of the pontifical mission include Msgrs. Winfried Koenig and Egon Mielenbrink of the diocese of Muenster and Msgr. Stephan Stocker, secretary of the apostolic nunciature in Germany.



The Holy Father appointed:

--Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa, Poland, as second vice-president of the Pontifical Academy of Immaculate Mary.

--Cardinal Carlo Gilberto Agustoni, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as special envoy to the centenary celebration of the crowning of the Mater Dolorosa image at the Shrine of Telgte in the diocese of Muenster, Germany on July 3.



Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, announced this morning that "the Holy Father John Paul II will go on pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Lourdes, France, on August 14 and 15, 2004 for the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

The press office added that the Holy Father is scheduled to leave Ciampino Airport in Rome at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 14 for the two-hour plane trip to Tarbes, from where he will depart by car for Lourdes, a trip of about 45 minutes. For the return trip to Rome, the Pope is scheduled to leave Tarbes Airport at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, August 15.


From Zenit

A Church in Gujarat, Sacked in 1998, Is Reconsecrated

Was Destroyed by Hindu Extremists

NEW DELHI, India, JUNE 23, 2004 (Zenit.org)

On June 13, feast of its patron, the Church of St. Anthony was reopened in Naroda after its was sacked and destroyed six years ago by hundreds of Hindu extremists.

More than 1,000 faithful attended the celebration in the state of Gujarat during which Bishop Thomas Macwan of Ahmedabad consecrated the rebuilt church. "Our faith is fortified in persecutions," the prelate said in his homily.

St. Anthony's Church was devastated in 1998 when it was attacked by 700 Hindu extremists who damaged the images of the Infant Jesus and of St. Anthony, and burned the Bible and liturgical texts, as well as sacred objects and pews.

Fire destroyed the nave. Part of a complex next to the church was also damaged and is still under reconstruction.

The small number of faithful who tried to stop the extremists were threatened with death. The police, who were only a few kilometers from the church, delayed in intervening.

"Despite what happened, since then we have not failed to celebrate Mass every Sunday," said one of the faithful who is helping in the reconstruction, Fides agency reported.

"We have often celebrated Mass in homes, a fact that reminded us of the catacombs, when Christians were persecuted," he added.

Given the persistent tension in Gujarat, there was no ostentation when the church was reopened. The new church has a capacity for 300.

Hindu fundamentalist movements increased in Gujarat in 1998, and targeted Christians. In 2002 they attacked Muslims, leaving more than 1,000 victims.

From June 12-16, Gujarat was the object of a visit by the apostolic nuncio in India and Nepal, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, who celebrated Mass in the Marian shrine of the Mother of Carmel, in Kadi, and expressed to Christians of this state John Paul II's concern and solidarity.

John Paul II's Trip to Lourdes Confirmed

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2004 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II's 104th international trip will take him to the Marian shrine at Lourdes on Aug. 14-15, the Holy See announced.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls issued a press statement today explaining that the Pope is making the trip to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

That proclamation by Pope Pius IX took place on Dec. 8, 1854, with the dogmatic bull "Ineffabilis Deus."

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes on Feb. 11, 1858, she introduced herself as the "Immaculate Conception."

French government sources say that President Jacques Chirac will welcome the Holy Father in Lourdes. The Pope last visited France in 1997 for World Youth Day.

John Paul II was the first Pope to visit Lourdes. He did so on Aug. 14-15, 1983, in the Holy Year of the Redemption.

A detailed program of the visit is yet to be announced. Press sources have reported that the Holy Father will stay in the Notre Dame Residence, a center that accommodates sick and disabled pilgrims.


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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.

Filipino community celebrates Fatima visitation; Children central to Santacruzan [Source: Times Picayune (New Orleans, LA), 5/9/2004]

Between May and October 1917, according to eyewitness accounts, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared six times to three young Portuguese children in a field near the small village of Fatima in Portugal. The three children--Lucia Dos Santos, 10, and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta--reported that the apparition requested they pray the rosary for the conversion of sinners. At the last appearance of the Virgin Mary in October of that year, about 70,000 people were in attendance to bear witness. The Filipino community celebrated the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima on May 1 with the Santacruzan, or "Festival of the Holy Cross," at St. Maria Goretti Church, 7300 Crowder Blvd. In New Orleans, the Our Lady of Fatima prayer group stages this celebration annually with a procession led by the Reyna Elena, or "Queen Helena," who has the honor of placing a crown of flowers on a statue of the Virgin Mary. "I feel really honored," said this year's Reyna Elena, Faith Avilene DePano, 15. "It's a tremendous moment for the entire religious community, but especially for the Filipino community."

The Santacruzan honors the traditional search and discovery of Jesus Christ's cross in Jerusalem in A.D. 325 by Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great (A.D. 306-337). Since then, one girl has been chosen as the leader of the procession. For DePano, being selected was not only an honor for her and her family, but also a significant experience for the community. "This brings us together as a community on two levels," DePano said. "First, it brings us together as Christians, and, second, it brings us together as Filipinos. It was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking because of that."

If DePano was nervous, it didn't show as she set the crown of flowers on the statue of Mary during the coronation, which was preceded by a procession of children around the courtyard of the church. And it certainly didn't show as she sang "Ave Maria" at the end of the celebration with a voice that would make even Simon Cowell of "American Idol" weep with joy. "I was deeply moved, just being up there," DePano said. "I think it's a testament to the power of faith that even now, so far removed from the original event, this ceremony and this coronation can have such an emotional impact." In the 17th century, May became the Month of Mary for Catholics. Devotees began the tradition of reciting the rosary during the procession. The Santacruzan has since evolved to include exquisitely dressed girls and women, called "sagalas." Each representing a title of the Blessed Virgin, the sagalas walk with their escorts holding flowers to offer to the statue of Mary.

Children long have played an important part in the coronation ceremony, because it was children who first saw the Lady of Fatima. The May 1 ceremony was no different, with boys and girls of every age dressed in their Sunday best participating in the procession as their parents recited the rosary and the choir sang. But with the ceremony lasting about two hours, and taking place in the evening, a more corporeal reward was anxiously awaited. A shared meal, with enough food to feed all the children and parents in attendance, capped off the evening's festivities. Looking like a shorter, younger Miss America, DePano, still dressed in the regal, white dress and glittering tiara of the Reyna Elena, feasted with the rest of the children. "I'll be eternally grateful to the Filipino community for extending this honor to me, allowing me to represent them in this way," DePano said. "This is a moment I will always cherish and remember."

Attraction to Mary leads author to create own version [Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/8/2004]

Saying the rosary was not a part of Mary Kingsley's religious experience--nor was any reference to the Virgin Mary. But it was because of her attraction to Mary that she began saying the traditional Catholic prayers, then ultimately creating her own version for prayer and meditation . "Growing up Presbyterian, we didn't hear much about Mary," the Alpharetta resident said. "I felt there was a void--where was Jesus' mother?" That thought persisted. Years later, married with children and attending the Episcopal Church, she began studying images of Mary and writings and had a Catholic friend teach her the rosary. But those prayers seemed confining, she said. "In my experience praying the rosary, I saw that the church allowed Mary in but kept her contained with the doctrine and made her subservient." She began reading more about Mary and began to believe that Mary was both Holy Mother of Jesus and also the expression of what she calls "the feminine" side of the Creator.

Out of this personal journey, Kingsley created her own prayer beads and wrote "Prayers and Seven Contemplations of the Sacred Mother." Kingsley has written an invocation that begins, "Our Mary, full of grace, the Divine is within you." Her book also includes contemplations on "The Annunciation," "The Visitation" and "Mother's Joy" as well as meditations on praying to "Mary as mother, mater, matter, sacred expression of the feminine." After sharing the prayers and the beads with others, friends encouraged her to publish the small book. It came out in March (Woven Word Press) and is in its second printing. Author Sue Monk Kidd wrote the foreword. Using the beads--and writing the book--was a way to help Kingsley on her own spiritual prayer journey, one that she says is still in process. "I did this, not as criticism of the church's tradition, but out of a process of what was happening with me," said Kingsley.

A mystery from the 15th century in modern Seattle [Source: Seattle Times, 5/7/2004]

This is about the strange case of the Italian Renaissance painting that mysteriously, some might call it miraculously, appeared in the collection of Seattle's St. James Cathedral. Nobody knows how it got there, but it first showed up in a crate in the basement during a 1950 renovation of the church. The architect designed an altar to accommodate it, where it hung until an arson fire in the early '90s. Now the painting, by Florentine artist Neri di Bicci (1419-1492), is on display at Seattle Art Museum, where it's been undergoing extensive restoration led by SAM's chief conservator, Nicholas Dorman. Painted on four poplar planks glimmering with gold leaf, the image features the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus flanked by a symmetrical composition of six saints.

The most dramatic work so far has been to remove old layers of crude overpainting, putty and stale varnish that masked the delicacy of the original work. Cracks in the panels and damaged areas of the picture are still being fixed. Before and after photographs, such as those of John the Baptist pictured here, show just how much damage earlier "repairs" caused to the integrity of the painting. Much of the lesson of this altar painting is about the development of a modern philosophy of art conservation. Anybody who watches "Antiques Roadshow" knows that these days it's not profitable to mess around with the surface of old objects. We have come to value the original intention and touch of the creator.

During the Renaissance and centuries following it, that wasn't always the case. Paintings were produced in large numbers by workshop artists, such as di Bicci, and it was relatively common for paintings to be retouched and updated to suit the whims of collectors. In this case, the retouching done at various times during the past 500 years was no improvement, and Dorman's expert work has revealed a painting with subtle appeal. Di Bicci was an accomplished craftsman, a third-generation painter who had the misfortune of being surrounded by stars such as Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Donatello and Fra Filippo Lippi.

To give context to the Di Bicci altar painting, Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM's European art curator, has organized a small exhibition around it, drawing mainly from the museum's Samuel H. Kress collection. In a smart introduction to the exhibit catalog, Ishikawa discusses the role of convention and formula in Renaissance painting, pointing out that much of the work being done during those golden years was not, in fact, highly innovative, despite our stereotypes of the period. Ishikawa put together some tasty paintings for the show, which spills over into the ongoing installation of the adjoining European art gallery, and includes Jacopo del Sellaio's enigmatic "St. Jerome" and for a pagan touch Lucas Cranach the Elder's "Judgment of Paris," with the three pouty-faced, bejeweled goddesses, Juno, Minerva and Venus, waiting for Paris to pronounce one of them most beautiful. But the exhibit doesn't offer any clues to where St. James Cathedral's mysterious di Bicci painting came from.

After consulting the art registry at Interpol, church leaders were reassured that it is not listed as a stolen work, but they have no documentation of how or when it arrived at the cathedral. Larry Brouse, an administrator at St. James, has done extensive research on the painting, though, and has some theories. The least likely, he says, is that somebody bought it in Europe in the aftermath of World War II and gave it to the church. More probably, he thinks, a particular art broker brought it to this country during the '20s or '30s and sold it to someone who then donated it to St. James. "I can see a pastor in the '30s being given this painting and not knowing what it was," Brouse said. It may have sat crated in the basement for a couple of decades before being spotted as plans were drawn for the church renovation. Of course, Brouse doesn't rule out the possibility of a miracle. After the SAM exhibition, the di Bicci painting will be returned, "with much pomp and circumstance," to its place on the north wall of the cathedral chapel at St. James to help celebrate the centennial anniversary of the church.

Lutheran man modifies rosary; Protestant unity with Catholics one of his goals [Source: Times Picayune (New Orleans, LA), 5/1/2004]

When Dennis Di Mauro's Catholic wife first introduced him to the rosary about seven years ago, he was suspicious. He is, after all, a Lutheran, and good Lutherans, like most other Protestants, don't pray the rosary. But after experiencing the rosary through a prayer group for Catholic couples, Di Mauro began to reconsider the centuries-old prayer to the Virgin Mary. Fingering the beads and repeating the prayers focused his mind, and meditating on Jesus' life and death stirred his soul. He got to thinking: Why is this so bad, after all? "The rosary is really something special," said Di Mauro, 39, a father of three. "It allows people to spend more time in prayer and meditate on what Jesus has done for us." Still, the idea of asking for Mary's intercession through the rosary troubled Di Mauro. He wondered whether there was a way to reconfigure the rosary but not "butcher it," in hopes that Protestants and Catholics might find unity in something that often has been divisive.

What resulted was Di Mauro's "Ecumenical Miracle Rosary," a set of prayers with nary a "Hail Mary." Catholic dogmas about her assumption or coronation as queen of heaven are replaced by miracles attributed to Jesus, such as raising Lazarus from the dead. "I don't want to put down the (original) rosary," Di Mauro said. "I just want to introduce it to new people. It's really not about my aversion to the original rosary." So, instead of 10 sets of "Hail Mary, full of grace . . . pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death," Di Mauro prays, "Oh my Lord, I know that you are always with me; help me to obey your commandments and lead me to share my faith with others, so that they may know you and love you." The same, but different Much of the traditional rosary remains intact--the same beads, some of the same meditative mysteries. What's missing are the most overt references to Mary, whose prominence in Catholic theology has been a stumbling block for many Protestants for 500 years.

Martin Luther, who launched the 16th century Reformation, had a mixed view of Mary. Scholars say he held her in high regard as a model of faith, and even believed in her perpetual virginity, but rejected her role as a mediator or intercessor between God and man. Even though tradition says he was buried with a rosary, and his symbol features a prominent rose, synonymous with the Virgin Mary, Luther deplored the church's promise of rewards in the hereafter for performing devotions such as the rosary. "The way Luther has been interpreted doesn't do justice to how positive he looked on Mary," said the Rev. Kirsi Stjerna, professor of Reformation history at the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa. "But it's safe to say that he would not have approved any kind of prayer to Mary with the hope that Mary would help us. Christ would help us." Winning over Catholics Catholics who have seen Di Mauro's ecumenical rosary don't seem bothered by the changes. If anything, they take satisfaction that other Christians are finding meaning in repetitive prayer. "There is a certain amount of freedom in the rosary," said the Rev. Thomas Thompson, director of the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. "It's not de rigueur that one has to do it exactly the way it's written."

Changes are not unheard of in the rosary. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added a fourth set of meditations--the Luminous Mysteries--to accompany 500-year-old meditations on Christ's life, death and resurrection. So far the reaction has been mostly positive, Di Mauro said. Conference calls to host group rosary prayers have included Catholics, and "no one has come to me and said, 'Boy, this is heresy.' " In 1999, Di Mauro launched a Web site, www.ecumenicalrosary.org, that gets 250 hits a day. He has mailed out 2,500 how-to brochures to Bible study groups, prison ministries and interfaith groups. Asked how much he has spent on the fledgling project, Di Mauro laughs. "I'd rather not say," said Di Mauro, a manager at Nortel Networks and member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reston, Va. Beaded prayer growing Di Mauro is not alone in his rediscovery of beaded prayer. Growing numbers of Protestants are employing prayer beads and repetitive prayer as a way to merge physical sensation with spiritual transcendence.

Last year, Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, Calif., made 400 sets of prayer beads for Lent. Each of the 33-bead sets contains Christian symbols of a cross, fish or dove. The church's pastor, Randall Wilburn, said initial resistance gave way to warm devotion by the 580-member church when people stopped seeing a rosary, or any beads, as idolatrous or superstitious. "That's what Lutherans are trying to do, so are Anglicans -- trying to figure out a way to have a decent theology of Mary, the mother of Jesus, without the tradition of magical thinking around this object," he said. Sue Swanson of Woodbury, Minn., has been on a similar spiritual trek. Swanson, a Methodist seminary student, stumbled on Di Mauro's Web site and found that it squared with her use of prayer beads, a practice she has shared with recovery groups, at bead stores and at retreat centers. "We have to remember that before the Reformation, we were all Catholic, so it's part of our tradition, too," she said. "If we can find some of those ancient traditions and revitalize them, they can bring meaning to our Christian faith." The Rev. Kurt Pritzl, dean of the School of Philosophy at Catholic University in Washington, said Catholics and non-Catholics alike are rediscovering the rosary, both with and without Mary. "It's not just little old ladies saying the rosary anymore," Pritzl said.

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