Liturgical Season 12/15/04 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
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Marian Library
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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 December 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 December.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Dogmas has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Immaculate Conception. 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. Sam Maranto on The Marian Charism of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.  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 Bibliography.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have also posted A Christmas Carol, a poem by G. K. Chesterton.

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  News from the Marian Library

Marian Screen Savers!

The Marian Library has been selling Marian PC screensavers.  You may buy one (on CD) for $3.00 or two for $5.00.  You may purchase these screensavers at The Marian Library, which is located on the 7th floor of U.D.'s Roesch Library.  The Marian Library is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, closed on holidays.

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute (ML/IMRI) has created two different Marian PC screensavers in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The first is called "Symbols of Grace" and is a series of 11 classical emblems symbolizing the Immaculate Conception.  The emblems evoke a sense of mystery, with scenes of people, angels, animals, and nature representing God's supreme gift of grace to Mary.  Each emblem is accompanied by the Bible verse which inspired it.

The second is entitled "Visions of Grace" and is a collection of 13 different art pieces, ranging from 17th century Mexican to modern Chinese to classical European.  Each piece is a unique artistic interpretation of The Immaculate Conception, and is accompanied by a Marian verse from the Bible.

These lovely screensavers will inspire meditation on the mysteries of God all year long, and make nice "stocking stuffers" at Christmas time.

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Alumni Update

Dr. Ted Sri, a former IMRI student, will be coming to the Marian Library on Dec. 21 and 22. He is bringing two of his students to do research.  Also, Dr. Catherine O'Brien and her husband (Thomas) plan to visit the Marian Library next week for some research. They live in England. She is a member of the MSA; and they have visited here in the past.

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Current Exhibits

Crèche Exhibit Schedule

Marian Library
University of Dayton
7th floor of Roesch Library
300 College Park, Dayton OH
On display: Nov. 29, 2004 through Jan. 7, 2005
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Closed on Dec. 23, 24, 27, 30 and 31.

St. John Gallery at the Bergamo Center
4400 Shakertown Road, Dayton, OH
On display: Nov. 28, 2004 to Jan. 5, 2005
Hours: Noon-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday or by appointment

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
325 W. 8th Street, Cincinnati, OH
On display: Nov. 28, 2004 to Jan. 2, 2005
Hours: Weekdays: Noon to 2 p.m.; Saturdays: 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays Nov. 28 and Dec. 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
All other Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Special arrangements may be made for groups.

Dayton Art Institute
456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, OH
On display: Wed., Nov. 24, 2004 through Jan. 6, 2005
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (including holidays); 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays

For more information, and to see samples, click into udnativity.org.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2004 semester concluded on November 19.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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Marian Events

Painted Prayers: Books of Hours from the Morgan Library
Location: Saint Louis Art Museum
Date: October 8, 2004 - January 9, 2005

Some of the most important artists of the late medieval and Renaissance periods are represented in this extraordinary exhibition of Books of Hours from the Morgan Library.  These exquisite prayer books, produced in Europe from 1259 to 1550, were intended to inspire personal devotion to the Virgin Mary.  Lavishly designed, illustrated, colored, and gilded, Books of Hours were the "bestsellers" of their day, and no expense was spared in their production.  Two of the books in the exhibition--the "Hours of Catherine of Cleves" (c. 1440) and the "Farnese Hours" (1546)--are acclaimed to be among the greatest works of art ever produced.

For more information on the exhibit, click into slam.org.  Also, click here for more information on illuminated manuscripts.

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

From Zenit

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.

Cheesy Jesus to go on tour for our sins [Source: The Herald (Glasgow), 12/2/2004]

What a wondrous world we live in! A woman who found an image of the Virgin Mary in her cheese toastie is £ 14,000 the richer, after selling the sacred object on the internet auction site, eBay. Not only that, Diana Duyser and her 10-year-old toasted cheese sandwich are set to visit the UK as part of a world tour. Yes, a world tour for a cheese sandwich.

The holy toastie was bought by an online casino whose executives said they were willing to spend "as much as it took" to own the sandwich. Steve Baker, chief executive of the Canada-based GoldenPalace.com, said breathlessly: "We knew right away we had to have it. We think our customers around the world will really get a kick out of seeing the sandwich at the Taj Mahal, at Red Square, at the Eiffel Tower." I'm sure he's right. Beside the cheese toastie, the Taj Mahal will fade into insignificance.

Asked if there were plans to bring the relic to Scotland, Mr Baker replied: "Sure. We want the whole world to share in this miracle." Quite right, too. I would hate to think that Scotland might be excluded from viewing a 10-year-old toastie. This column believes that the sacred object should be borne aloft down the Royal Mile, followed by Martin O'Neill with his arm around a vulnerable Queen and a procession of Scottish entrepreneurs, Cosla representatives, lunatics and senior clerics.

The toastie should then be laid before an awed Holyrood, while Cardinal O'Brien and the Moderator lead a grateful nation in prayer. Donald Dewar, thou shouldst be living at this hour! He would have simply scoffed the sacred sandwich.

Ten years ago Mrs Duyser, from Hollywood, Florida, was so certain it was the image of the Virgin on the toastie that she kept it in a plastic box above her bed to watch over her. Yes, dear friends, she's been watched over by a cheese sandwich in a Tupperware box all that time. I find that deeply moving. Thankfully, she unselfishly decided to share the toastie with the world.

In modern terms, that means flogging it on eBay. There were 100,000 hits on the site when she put her Virgin Mary apparition up for sale. Who says that religion is dying? There's more.

The face of Jesus has appeared on a fishcake in Canada. It's worth reading that glorious sentence again. Fred Whan, from Ontario, burned the fishcake last year while he was making his dinner. It was his son who first spotted the likeness to Jesus Christ on the charred object. It's not every day that you see the Son of Cod. Now Fred has decided to share his fishcake with the world. Yes, it's on eBay.

There is a peedie problem here, mind you. Nobody has a clue what the Virgin Mary or Jesus of Nazareth looked like. None. The familiar images of a pale Mary clad in Italian robes are fantasies. The flesh-and-blood Mary would have been a dark-skinned 11 or 12-year-old Jewish peasant girl. So Our Lady of the Cheese Toastie might have borne a passing resemblance to a Renaissance painting of the Virgin, but that's about it.

And the Fishcake Messiah probably looked like Robert Redford with 60 degree burns. As institutional religion collapses, credulity rises. The study of Aquinas has given way to the raptured gazing upon a mouldy toastie. Jesus said if you really want to see his face, feed the poor and visit the prisoners--not quite the same as peering at a fishcake or even a bleeding statue. And when credulity meets venality, eBay, the great auction-room in the sky, is the perfect vehicle. Postmodern online shopping nirvana is only a mouse-click away.

Let me remind you of the Christmas story. When the Emperor Dubya heard of the birth of yet another swarthy trouble-maker, he calleth his Three Wise Persons, Rummi, Condi and Toni (with his blind guide, David) unto him. And he saith unto them: "Go follow the star on your GPS monitor and find the baby.'' And when they draweth nigh unto the byre, they presenteth to the child gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Then they texteth directions to the house of whiteness from their satellite phones. The Emperor's flashing neon sign in the sky, saying "Mission Accomplished," alarmed the shepherds in the fields, but while Dubya loadeth his thermonuclear Christmas present for Bethlehem, the holy asylum-seekers snucketh down to Egypt. Then Joseph, the boy's father--though he failed a DNA paternity test--looketh again at the gold, frankincense and myrrh, and saith unto himself: "I could get serious shekels for this little lot, I mean I would like to share these with the world." And it came to pass that he put them on eBay, and there were a million Hittites on the website. The eventual winner was Osama, a multi-millionaire, of 1 Main Street, Karachi, who turned out to be a former business associate of Rummi. And the angels saith, "Be afraid, be very afraid."

Pro-abort vandals suspected in church desecration [Source: Boston Herald, 11/29/2004]

Vandals spray-painted a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a Cambridge church this weekend and put a crown made of coat hangers on her head. The statue sits between the church and rectory, where it has been for more than 20 years. Near it is a plaque reading, "In loving memory of the unborn victims of abortion,'' which was placed by a local Knights of Columbus council.

The vandalism, which also included "Get yr religion off our lives!" spray-painted on the driveway in front of the church, occurred sometime during the day on Saturday. The coat hangers and the painted message made it appear to have been done by people motivated by the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion. "No matter where anyone stands on any issue, this is uncalled for. It's a desecration of church property," said the Rev. Charles Collins, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in North Cambridge.

All the graffiti was removed yesterday afternoon after police arrived to investigate. Collins said this is the first incident of its kind at St. John the Evangelist in the 11 years he's been there, and the church has not been a lightning rod for controversies about abortion or other issues. "If anything, we tend to be more of a progressive church," said Collins. Cambridge police are investigating the incident.

1983 MEXICAN 50-PESO PIECE WORKS WELL AS MEDALLION [Source: Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), 11/28/2004]

Dear Mr. Stebinsky: My 17-year-old son has a 1983 Mexican coin that says $50. Is it worth $50?--D.P., Whitehall

Dear D.P.: The photocopy you provided shows the Aztec moon goddess Coyolxauhqui on the front of the coin as well as the denomination, $50, and the date. The back shows the Virgin Mary surrounded by the legend "Virgen de Juquila--Oaxaca." A hole pierces the coin above Mary's head. Nothing about your son's coin is what it seems to be.

When the coin was issued, it was worth $50 but not 50 American dollars. It was worth 50 Mexican pesos. Mexicans also use the dollar sign to designate their main unit of currency. Nobody knows where the symbol came from, but many historians think Mexico used it first. Until World War I, the U.S. silver dollar and the Mexican peso traded roughly at par. Both coins contained about three-quarters of an ounce of silver. Currently, the U.S. dollar is worth about 11.5 Mexican pesos.

However, the 1983 peso is not worth the same amount as a 2004 peso. In 1994, the Mexican government revalued its money. One new peso is worth 1,000 old pesos. That means your son's coin has a cash value of a little less than half a cent in the United States. When your coin left the Mexico City mint in 1983, it didn't have the Virgin Mary on the back. It had an eagle perched on a cactus and the words Estados Unidos Mexicanos--the United States of Mexico.

Later, perhaps after the coin toppled into near worthlessness in 1994, an enterprising person shaved off the back of the coin and converted it to a religious medal by stamping it with an image of the Virgin of the Conception in Juquila. A hole was pierced in the coin so that pilgrims to the Virgin's shrine in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca could pin it to their clothes.

Every year about this time, pilgrims set out for the mountain village of Santa Catarina Juquila to celebrate the Dec. 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The especially devout spend up to a month walking to the isolated village and crawl the last mile over a stone path on bloody knees. Festivities center on the Capilla de Juquila, home to a statue of the Virgin Mary that has been venerated for 400 years.

In the early 1600s, reports began to circulate in the mountains that a statue of the Virgin Mary in the village of Amialtepec could work miracles. Interest intensified after 1633, when the foot-tall statue survived a fire that destroyed the village. Believers say the statue was found atop the ashes, unchanged except for its face and hands, which had turned from the pale color of European skin to the darkened color of the skin of the area's Indians, endearing it even more to residents.

GRAPHIC: Photo, FILE PHOTO/, A nearly worthless Mexican coin that has been converted into a religious medal

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