Liturgical Season 10/11/04 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 October 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 October.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Dogmas has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Assumption.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper by Fr. Eamon Carroll on The Marian Spirituality of Carmelites.  Expect more articles to follow.

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

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

We have also revised our answers to two reader questions: Is there such a Marian title as the "Divine Shepherdess"? and Who is Our Lady of York?

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  News from the Marian Library

MSA Call for Papers

The next meeting of the Mariological Society of America will take place at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, Maine, May 18-22, 2005.  The theme will be "Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church."

"Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church" is the title of a section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (972) and also of an address of Pope John Paul II given on March 21, 2001.  This MSA program will develop the following: Mary as Type of the Church, as Image of Freedom, as Model for the Church's Identity and Mission; the Assumption as Human Destiny and Anticipation of the Resurrection; Mary's Queenship and Role as Intercessor.

Papers are welcome which explore these images in Scripture, the Christian spiritual tradition, art and iconography, classical and contemporary theology.  Submit a 500 word proposal which should include a tentative title and a description of the thesis.  If you are proposing a panel, please include a list of the participants (no more than 3) and a description of each person's role.  Proposals must be submitted to MSA Secretariat (Marian Library) by December 1, 2004.

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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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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2004 semester will commence on October 18.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

Also, Michael Duricy is scheduled to facilitate an on-line course on Mary geared to catechists which will be offered through U.D.'s Institute for Pastoral Initiatives.  The course will run from October 17 - November 20.  Registration for this course ends October 12.  For more information call 937-229-4654 or click into VLCFF.

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Marian Events

Maria di Nazareth accoglie il Figlio di Dio nella storia

The 21st International Mariological and Marian Congress will be held at the Lateran Pontifical University in Rome on Dec 4-8, 2004.  The theme will be "Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God."  For further details visit the PAMI website.

The Mariological Society of America (MSA) will coordinate the English-speaking section of the above conference.  For more information (including submission of proposed English language talks) contact Fr. Thomas A. Thompson, S.M., at 937-229-4214.

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



Yesterday afternoon in Frankfurt, Germany Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, announced that John Paul II will release a new book, "Memory and Identity. Conversation between Millenniums," in the Spring of 2005. It will be published by the Italian publishing house, Rizzoli.

Rizzoli, which published the Pope's "Opera omnia filosofica," a volume of over 1,000 pages, as well as other texts on literary criticism written by Karol Wojtyla, owns the world rights of the book. During the Frankfort International Book Fair, which began yesterday, there will be negotiations for its publication in other languages.

The book, according to Navarro-Valls, is a work on the philosophy of history in which the Pope considers topics such as modern democracy, liberty and human rights, the diverse concepts of nation, fatherland and the state, the more than functional relationship between nation and culture, the rights of man, the relationship between Church and state. The common theme is one that characterizes all of John Paul's philosophical and literary works: the great mystery of man.

Asked how the book came about, the director of the Holy See Press Office explained that it is a result of conversations the Polish pope had with two Polish friends, Professors Josef Tishner and Krystof Michalski, in his summer residence at Castelgandolfo in 1993. "The two intellectuals asked the Holy Father questions and he responded," said Navarro-Valls. The conversations were recorded and later transcribed. The manuscript was saved for some years until the Pope read it and decided to make it into a book after having made some corrections.

Although the book makes reference to situations and facts on other continents, the Pope, said Navarro-Valls, is primarily thinking of Europe, in the dynamism of ideas that sometimes remain latent over the centuries and that explain realities that would otherwise be inexplicable. Among the questions that the Pope addresses are themes on life and modern thought. The Pope answers these questions with intellectual rigor. "We must learn," he writes, "to go to the roots."

In "Memory and Identity," says Navarro-Valls, the Pope looks for these roots, and at his relationship to the terrible moments in our recent history, as well as the "innumerable positive fruits" which have been the result of Western history. The book causes the reader to think about the great problem of finding the meaning of history. From this point of view, the author makes an inestimable contribution to understanding the great historic questions of our age.

The director of the Holy See Press Office said that in the book John Paul II writes about the ideologies of evil, national socialism and communism, and he explores their roots and the regimes that resulted. In addition, he makes a theological and philosophical reflection about how the presence of evil often ends up being an invitation to do good. "Sometimes evil, in certain moments of human existence, reveals itself as useful. Useful in the measure in which it creates an occasion to do good," says the Pope in a excerpt from the book.

In presenting the volume, Navarro-Valls recalled that John Paul II has been the first Pope to have books published commercially. "Memory and Identity" is his fifth book after "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," "Gift and Mystery," "Roman Triptych" and "Arise and Let us be Going."

The book will be published in various countries next spring.




The three-day international theological-pastoral symposium that precedes the 48th International Eucharistic Congress (October 10-17) began yesterday in Guadalajara, Mexico under the co-presidency of Cardinals Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, and Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and the Holy Father's special envoy to the events in Mexico. The symposium's focus is the Pope's Encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia."

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health pastoral and member of the committee for Eucharistic congresses, is the general moderator of the symposium.

Yesterday there were presentations on the Sense of Faith in the Eucharist on five continents by Cardinals Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana (Africa); Bernard Law, emeritus of Boston, U.S.A. (America); Carlos Amigo Vallejo, O.F.M., archbishop of Seville, Spain (Europe); George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia (Oceania), and by Archbishop Carmelo D.F. Morelos of Zamboanga, the Philippines (Asia); There was also a general overview and discussion of the papal encyclical.

Scheduled for today are talks on the Eucharist, Mystery of Faith, the Apostolicity of the Eucharist and the Church and Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion. On the program for Friday, October 8 are talks on Decorum of the Eucharistic Celebration and At the School of Mary, Eucharistic Woman. Each day of the symposium starts with a celebration of the Eucharist.


From Zenit

Noting the Start of a Eucharistic Congress

"I Unite Myself Spiritually With This Important Event"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 10, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Here is a translation of the address John Paul II delivered today when praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

1. Inaugurated today in Guadalajara, Mexico, was the International Eucharistic Congress, which has as its theme "The Eucharist, Light and Life of the New Millennium." I unite myself spiritually with this important ecclesial event, with which the Year of the Eucharist also begins.

On the occasion of this special Year, I have addressed an apostolic letter to the whole Church that begins with these words, "Mane nobiscum, Domine -- Stay with us, Lord" (see Luke 24:29). May this invocation resound in every Christian community: that in recognizing the resurrected Christ "in the breaking of the bread" (Luke 24:35), the faithful will witness to him with concrete charity.

2. A favorite expression of the local Church's charity is the diocesan Caritas. In Rome, Caritas is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its foundation. I thank God for the numerous fruits of generosity that have matured in these years, and encourage the ecclesial community to continue with the work of formation and with activities in the service of the poor and needy.

3. We entrust these intentions to the intercession of Mary Most Holy, "Eucharistic woman" ("Ecclesia de Eucharistia," Chapter 6).

[After praying the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the pilgrims as follows:]

I send my greetings to the participants in the Social Week of Italian Catholics, held over these days in Bologna with the theme "Democracy, New Settings, New Powers." May the reflection of this important congress give new stimulus to the ecclesial community of Italy to offer an ever more incisive testimony in all the realms of the life of the country.

Next Sunday, in the afternoon, in spiritual communion with those who will conclude the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara (Mexico), I will preside in St. Peter's over a solemn celebration to open the Eucharistic Year throughout the Church. I invite the faithful to participate in great numbers in this important ecclesial event to offer joint homage to Christ, Light and Life of the new millennium.

[Translation by ZENIT]

Lithuanian Cardinal Extols Power of the Rosary

At the Theological Pastoral Symposium

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 8, 2004 (Zenit.org)

A Lithuanian cardinal urged participants at the Theological Pastoral Symposium to look to Mary, the "first tabernacle," and to contemplate with her the mysteries of the faith in Christ.

Cardinal Jonzas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, delivered that message during his homily at the start of the second working day of the symposium, being held in preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress.

Presiding at a Mass for the participants, Cardinal Backis made an analogy between the presence of Mary of Guadalupe in Mexico, and the presence of Mary Mother of Mercy, in the Shrine of the Gates of Dawn, in the walls of the old city of Vilnius.

Lithuanians have always had confidence in the Mother of God and prayed the rosary, Cardinal Backis said. He recalled that during World War II, many Lithuanians showed their rosaries to the occupying German forces when asked for identity papers. The rosary was a sufficient identity document, he added.

When the Soviets took over and deported entire families to Siberia and elsewhere, the families took their rosaries along -- often one of their few personal items, the cardinal noted.

Lithuanian prisoners made rosaries out of bread, wetting crumbs, drying them and tying them with thread. "In my family home in Vilnius, we kept a rosary of those times," he added.

"Mary's faith in Christ's divinity encourages us also to believe in the mystery of the Eucharist, in bread and wine which here and now become Jesus himself," he continued. Later, the Vilnius archbishop recited a hymn to Mary's maternity as source and summit of all maternity.

"Mothers recognize their lost children, even after many years, by a lock of hair or a decaying piece of their clothing," he said. "Appeals can be made to medical instruments for a criminal investigation, but no one has ever succeeded in deceiving the heart of a mother."

"In Vilnius, the capital of my homeland, Jesus taught holy Mother Faustina how he wanted God's mercy for the world," he continued, referring to Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), apostle of Divine Mercy, who had a decisive influence on Karol Wojtyla.

"This message is especially important and urgent today, when the world is shaken by the horrible terrorism and blind malice of man," Cardinal Backis said. "The only salvation possible is total confidence in God's mercy."

He said that the testimony of the Mother of God crushes the most radical skepticism. And Mary wants us to pray the rosary because she wishes to show, through us, the simple and direct way to the Father's heart, Archbishop Backis said.

"Let us pray united, with perseverance, from the sources of the rosary, with words that children and the elderly understand," he added. "And let us be confident that never was it known that anyone who implored Mary's help was left unaided."


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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.

ST. MARY STILL STANDS, AND PEOPLE COME TO SEE [Source: Hartford Courant (Connecticut), 9/14/2004]

Some have come with flowers and cameras. Most have offered prayers, whispering them to the white marble statue of the Virgin Mary that was left standing among the ruins of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church. The church was reduced to rubble in an explosion Friday believed to have been caused by leaking propane gas, and since then hundreds have visited the ruins. Some have come to get a glimpse of the statue of Mary, her head bowed and hands clasped in prayer. The statue, just 25 feet from the church, was untouched by the blast.

As investigators tried Monday to determine what caused the propane leak, local police officers were forced to stop people from taking pieces of the church or touching the statue. One woman even asked if she could spread a family member's ashes there. "A lot of people from near and far are coming to see the statue," said Sgt. William Kewer, the resident state trooper. The 6:45 a.m. blast was so powerful it knocked over chairs in nearby homes and could be heard for 10 miles.

To believers, divine intervention kept anyone from being injured: The pastor, his pregnant wife and their 3-year-old son were sleeping just 50 feet away in the rectory, which received minor damage. "We believe it's a miracle," Ted Szarzanowicz of Newington said after he placed a vase filled with red roses at the statue. "I feel spiritually close to Mary. I feel she is the one thing watching over this world." Fedir Lazar thought it was a miracle, too. The 79-year-old parishioner drove to the church early Friday to peel potatoes for pierogies. He is always up before dawn, he said, so he arrived early. Lazar pulled into the parking lot and decided to go into the church's basement kitchen, rather than knocking on the pastor's rectory so early. "I put my leg out of the car, and VROOM!" Lazar said Monday from his Norwich home, where pictures of the Virgin Mary adorn the walls of his kitchen. His car shook from side to side as if there was an earthquake, he said. Lazar looked up and saw the church where he had worshipped for nearly 50 years explode in pieces. So much dust rained down on his car, he could barely see. "Another couple of minutes, I would have been in there," he said, beginning to sob. "I'm going to church every Sunday, and maybe God has a reason for it."

Patrice Dempsey of Salem came to pray to the Virgin Mary for a miracle. Dempsey said her 9-year-old niece was born with spina bifida and is scheduled for surgery at the end of the month. She said she would go to Colchester to pray for her niece. "I can't believe out of all this rubble, the Blessed Mother is still intact," Dempsey said, wiping tears from her eyes. "It's as if she beckons to the people and tells them, 'I'm here and I won't let you down."' Others drove for miles to see the statue and offer a prayer. Nancy and Donald Libby came from Haverhill, Mass., to photograph the site. "I would call it a message from Mary," Nancy Libby said. "It is a miracle, really. A miracle no one was in the church and that this [statue] survived."

The Rev. John Gatzak is spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, which is not affiliated with the Ukrainian Church. He said he is not surprised that people devoted to Mary would attribute the fact that no one was killed to her intervention. "They personally might see Mary's intervention in this particular case," Gatzak said. "Whether it is actually or it's coincidence, we'll leave that up to God. If through this, people can be brought closer to him and to each other, I think some good can come out of this." Gatzak said the explosion could become "an opportunity for the community to rally together on behalf of that parish." By Monday, that had already begun to happen.

Church members propped up the slightly damaged gold cross that had been atop the gold-domed church, a symbol that their congregation and faith were intact. Gano's Power Equipment, just down the street, donated sweepers so volunteers could clean the debris-strewn parking lot. Others used brooms to sweep away the dust, while the pastor's son ran around in the parking lot. The church has been offered many places to worship, and donations to rebuild have begun to arrive. Bohdan Kachorowsky, who often helps the pastor, the Rev. Cyril Manolev, said he hopes to find a time capsule buried behind the church that has pictures of the church's ornate interior.

After investigators leave, volunteers will begin recovering what they can from the ruins, including pieces of the paintings of the Nativity and Creation done in 1981 by Vladimir Bachinsky. The New York artist painted the icons in the church in 1981. His artwork was valued at $250,000, but he charged only $45,000 for the project, according to accounts. At services over the weekend, held at another church in town, Manolev said he saw parishioners return who had left the church years ago. "We lost our building, but our church is even stronger," he said. Donations for rebuilding the church may be sent to St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 178 Linwood Ave., Colchester, CT 06415.

Full-bodied passion of the Virgin Mary restrained [Source: South China Morning Post, 9/12/2004]

Claudio Monteverdi's wildly popular 1610 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin is a choral and orchestral paean of love to the Virgin Mary. Last week, the Royal Albert Hall filled with 8,000 people for Robert King's and the King's Consort's non-stop 105-minute performance--rapt and attentive, the audience listened, waiting for the musically induced spiritual rush that would lift them on to another plane.

In Latin, vesper means evening, and the vespers is the Catholic evening prayer service. As in the original church service, Monteverdi's Vespers is a mix of psalms, hymns, canticles and chanted lessons. But Monteverdi, the father of modern opera, takes this traditional service and makes it grand and intensely dramatic. Dances and concerti are mixed with traditional sections, and celebratory cornets and sackbuts (medieval wind instruments) are added as choirs burst into song from elevated galleries, and scattered soloists sing out in startling stereo.

The Vespers mix of prayers, psalms and biblical texts includes Monteverdi's unforgettable setting of Nigra Sum, from the Song of Songs: "I am a black but beautiful daughter of Jerusalem so the King loved me and led me into his bedroom." Solomon supposedly wrote these words about a village girl he was infatuated with and later made one of his wives. Monteverdi uses this text to exalt the Virgin Mary in a full-bodied, Italianate way and James Gilchrist's singing caught the ambiguous passion that lies between flesh and spirit. Also from Song of Songs, the Pulchra es was sensuously entwined by sopranos Rebecca Outram and Carolyn Sampson: "You are beautiful my love, a sweet and comely daughter of Jerusalem."

The spiritual rush never quite came, however, and although the applause was long, it was not ecstatic. For all King's technical excellence, the passion had never really been let out of the bottle, no link made with Monteverdi's expressive secular operas and madrigals. Monteverdi wrote the Vespers to showcase his talents. He was 43 in 1610, fast running out of money and under attack in a polemic from a leading musical theorist, Giovanni Artusi, for "contrapuntal unorthodoxies." Artusi championed theoretical correctness over expressivity and Monteverdi was clearly getting far too emotional for him. It was time to move on, and Monteverdi started casting around for a new post. He had his eye on the position of master of music at St Mark's Cathedral in Venice and he wrote the Vespers as part of a successful campaign to get appointed there. That's why Duo Seraphim is in the Vespers--with no link to the Virgin Mary, Monteverdi probably included it because it was a motet of which he was particularly proud. Now 44, King has been widely acclaimed as a leading British conductor of his generation. His Proms conducting debut was in 1991 and ever since he has been wowing audiences with brilliantly vibrant performances of Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and Purcell. Strangely, his Vespers echoed an old controversy--too much theoretical correctness and not enough expressivity.

Pausing for prayer [Source: The Houston Chronicle, 9/11/2004]

A YOUNG Brazilian, her shirt decorated with the Portuguese word for "peace," stops to pray after lighting a candle to the Virgin of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil, in the city of Aparecida. On Wednesday, Vatican envoy Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales placed a new crown on a small statue of the Virgin Mary on the 100th anniversary of the statue's first coronation. The statue was discovered in 1717 by three fishermen.

Thief on run from nuns [Source: The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 9/8/2004]

TWO German nuns took the law into their own hands and recovered a picture of the Virgin Mary which had been stolen from their hospital, police said. The engraving had vanished on Saturday and Sisters Georgia and Isabella decided not to leave the case just to the police. "The two nuns took a car and scoured the local area on Sunday morning," a police spokesman said. "They got lucky and found the picture at a flea market. "When the seller asked for 500 euros they said they would have to ring to get someone to bring the money. Instead they called the police." The seller was being investigated for handling stolen goods.

Blueberries may not be sacred, but they're rich in nutrients [Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/8/2004]

Today's column is about blueberries, the birth of the Virgin Mary, ancient and modern culinary wisdom, and a chef's unmentionable breakfast. Shall I include the kitchen sink as well?

Today is the Feast Day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, which in earlier times was a widely celebrated holiday in the Catholic Church. Legend ascribed the color blue to the garments worn by Mary. It used to be common in parts of Italy to celebrate the day with a dish made with blueberries. Of course, this also was the time when blueberries were in season.

In a world that was largely illiterate, the ancient church kept the history of the faith alive by creating an oral tradition that assigned meaning to each day of the year. Most commonly, the days honored saints of the church. As time passed, specific foods and seasonal events were woven into the story of the Christian year. Foods could achieve a nearly sacred status. Eating blueberries became synonymous with honoring Mary.

Ritual foods vary from country to country, often because of differences in climate. For instance, the Nativity of Mary is celebrated in Hungary with paprika. The date coincides with the beginning of the paprika harvest. A friend and I recently amused ourselves with a conversation about things we eat and don't tell people about, or at least would never print in a food column. My contribution consisted of admitting that my typical breakfast consists of uncooked oatmeal. Over the years, I realized oatmeal really isn't much different from cold breakfast cereals. After I revealed my secret, I was accused of eating something intended only for horses. I assured my friend that processed oatmeal actually has already been cooked.

So what does all of this have to do with blueberries and the Virgin Mary? The "sacred" foods of our time are those that researchers have found to be particularly rich in nutrients. Scientific pronouncements have caused amazing increases in consumption of salmon, broccoli, almonds, oatmeal, soybeans, olive oil, tomatoes and red wine. Blueberries are now on the list of "super foods" in the fight against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Blueberries and cranberries have been found to be rich in resveratrol, which earlier brought red grapes and red wine to the forefront of nutritional news. My friend dared to try my uncooked oatmeal and became an immediate convert. However, if you prefer your oatmeal cooked, you can still enjoy the addition of blueberries.

Arlyn's Formerly Unmentionable Oatmeal: 1 serving-1/3 cup uncooked quick (5-minute) oatmeal, 1/3 cup nonfat yogurt, 1/3 cup nonfat milk or unsweetened soy milk, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 3 tablespoons almonds.  In a bowl, stir together the oatmeal, yogurt and milk. Mix in the blueberries and the almonds. Eat. What could be simpler?

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