News from the
Marian Library
Mary in the
Secular Press


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 February 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 February.

The Eucharist with Mary

Eucharist with Mary is an answer to John Paul II's proclamation of "a special Year of the Eucharist" (2004-2005).  This feature will explore facets of Mary's relationship with the Eucharist and will be updated frequently throughout this year.

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New Resources

A section on Mary in Doctrine 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 Sr. Marie Azzarello on Visitation-Pentecost Spirituality in the Congregation of Notre Dame.  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 added material on the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in New Brunswick, and also posted the answers to two reader questions: Is there a votive Mass to Our Lady of the Sea? and Who is the Madonna del Terzito?

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  News from the Marian Library

Call For Papers

There is a call for papers from the American Academy of Religion for their annual meeting November 19-22, 2005, in Philadelphia, PA. The Christian Systematic Theology Section listed their 3rd topic as "Mary and divine creativity: considerations of the history, theology, and iconography of Mary as aesthetic keys to understanding and formulating the Christian doctrine of God." In order to present a paper, one must be a member and submit a proposal by March 1, 2005.  All pertinent information should be on their website,

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Current Exhibit

Sacred Dolls: Re-Imaging Our Lady, a display by Dianne Marlene Hargitai, will be exhibited at The Marian Library Gallery through Feb 28, 2005.  For more information call 937-229-4214 or click here to see a virtual exhibit.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Spring 2005 semester will begin on February 14.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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Marianist Heritage Celebration Location: University of Dayton Date:
through February 16, 2005

A month-long celebration of the University of Dayton's Marianist heritage, coordinated by the office of the rector, will feature art and music, teach-ins and panel discussions.  The celebration includes several open invitations to join a Marianist for lunch and conversation on a variety of topics.  For more information, click into

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

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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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This evening in the Paul VI Hall, members of the community of the Pontifical Major Seminary of Rome participated in their traditional meeting for the feast of their patroness, Our Lady of Trust. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, read the address prepared by the Pope who followed the ceremony from his room in Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic.

"'To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the 'program' which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization. You have chosen to take these words of mine as the theme for reflection for your feast day."  The Holy Father goes on to affirm that "in the year of the Eucharist, celebrating Mary means, for you, putting the sacrifice of her divine Son at the center of attention, a sacrifice that becomes sacramentally present whenever Mass is celebrated."

After recalling Jesus' words to St John before His death on the Cross: "behold, your mother!" John Paul II writes: "I also repeat to you today: behold, your mother, who must be loved and imitated with complete trust, so that you become priests capable of pronouncing, not once but always, the decisive word of faith: 'here I am,' 'Fiat.' May the prayer, 'Mater mea, fiducia mea!' be the profound and simple synthesis of your days, days you pass contemplating Christ with Mary!"




In the Vatican Basilica yesterday, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Archbishop Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the Pope's name.

Before the start of Mass, the liturgy of light took place, with the blessing of candles and the procession. Following a recitation from the Gospel, Archbishop Rode read a message from the Holy Father. It concluded by calling on the Virgin Mary, "Eucharistic woman" to "help those called to a special intimacy with Christ to be assiduous frequenters of the Mass and to obtain for them the gift of ready obedience, faithful poverty and fruitful virginity. May she make them saintly disciples of the Eucharistic Christ."


From Zenit

Students Poised to Join Holy Father at Prayer Vigil
March 5 Event to Prepare for World Youth Day

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2005 (

John Paul II is scheduled to preside March 5 at a Marian vigil and pray the rosary with European university students, in preparation for this year's World Youth Day.

The vigil will be held for the 3rd European Day of University Students. It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Paul VI Hall and will be linked with cathedrals and churches in nine cities: Lisbon, Portugal; London; Madrid, Spain; Berlin; Zagreb, Croatia; Bucharest, Romania; Kiev, Ukraine; Tirana, Albania; and Bari, Italy.

Among the prelates who will preside at the prayer vigils in the various cities are Cardinals Josip Bozanic, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Lubomyr Husar and Maximilian Sterzinsky.

The theme of this edition of the European Day of University Students is "Intellectual Search, Way to Encounter Christ." It is being organized by the Vicariate of Rome.

The Vatican Television Center will be responsible for the satellite connection between Rome and the cities mentioned.

The 3rd European Day of University Students aims to sensitize the academic world about the World Youth Day, to be held Aug. 16-21 in Cologne, Germany.

A ticket is required to attend the vigil in Paul VI Hall. Tickets may be requested from the Office of University Pastoral Care (telephone in Rome: (06) 69886342; by e-mail:, or from university chaplaincies, parishes, university colleges, and ecclesial movements, associations and groups.

The meeting may be followed on television or on the Web page


Madonna of Medicine
By Elizabeth Lev
ROME, FEB. 3, 2005 (

Healthy Reminder

Last Sunday a special celebration took place, co-hosted by the patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major and the city of Rome. Together they commemorated the feast of the transfer of the icon Madonna Salus Populi to its present location, the Borghese chapel of St. Mary Major.

The icon, whose name means Our Lady Health of the People, has been in the church for 1,500 years. Legend attributes its creation to St. Luke, physician and Evangelist, who is held to have made the first portrait of the Madonna and Child and for this reason is the patron saint of painters. According to medieval guidebooks, this icon would be that portrait.

The icon earned its title during the plague of 597. Rome's population was being decimated by illness. Seeking intercession from the Blessed Virgin, Pope Gregory the Great organized a procession bearing the image from St. Mary Major to St. Peter's Basilica.

As the procession approached the bridge to cross the Tiber River, legend has it that St. Michael the Archangel appeared over Hadrian's tomb (today known as Castel Sant'Angelo in honor of this event) and, before the eyes of all, re-sheathed his sword. The plague ended and from that moment on, the Madonna Salus Populi became the protectress of the city in times of pestilence.

The Madonna has since been carried in procession through the city many times over the years, the last time being in 1837 when Pope Gregory XVI led the faithful to pray for the end of a cholera epidemic.

During World War II, the faithful made frequent pilgrimages to the Madonna Salus Populi as bombing went on day and night on the outskirts of Rome.

The commemorative Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Bernard Law, archpriest of the basilica, was splendid, well worthy of honoring Rome's great protector. The mosaics shimmered in all their golden glory and the magnificent choir filled the church with sacred song, enhancing the grandeur of this age-old tradition.

The cardinal and several concelebrating bishops focused the soaring splendor around the altar. Their gold and white feast-day robes, with flashes of purple and red denoting their office, echoed the porphyry and gilt bronze of the canopy and altar.

Seated behind the celebrants near the choir were dignitaries in dark suits wearing the red, white and green sash of Italian magisterial office. This delegation from the city of Rome also had a part to play during the celebrations.

At the moment of the offertory, two Rome policemen in full dress uniform, with one side of their dark capes thrown over the shoulder to reveal a splash of red lining, came up the aisle bearing a golden chalice. This chalice is a gift offered annually by the city of Rome to the Madonna Salus Populi in thanks for her maternal care.

In these days that the Holy Father is hospitalized with a nasty chest flu, a bug which has been plaguing the city since early January.  It is a good time for all of us spiritual Romans to invoke once again the aid of the Madonna Salus Populi.

Athenaeum Antonianum Gets University Status
A Franciscan Institution of Higher Learning in Rome
ROME, FEB. 1, 2005 (
The Pontifical Athenaeum Antonianum now has the status of a pontifical university.

The Congregation for Catholic Education informed the minister general of the Order of Friars Minor of the granting of the title of pontifical university to the institution on the part of John Paul II through a letter of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, dated Jan. 11.

In the letter, according to the order's Web page, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, stresses that the title was granted "on the basis of the possession of the requisites traditionally required and in consideration of the appreciated service of academic formation carried out by the said athenaeum."

Father José Rodríguez Carballo, minister general of the order and grand chancellor of the athenaeum, officially announced the new status to the rector and deans of the athenaeum last week.

The official academic act of celebrating this event will be held March 18, in combination with the installation of a new rector.

The current pontifical universities in Rome are the Gregorian, the Lateran, the Urban, the Salesian, the University of St. Thomas Aquinas ("Angelicum") and the University of the Holy Cross.

Antonianum has schools of theology, biblical sciences and archaeology, and canon law. It is also the headquarters of the Redemptor Hominis Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality, the Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) and the College of Medieval and Franciscan Studies.

Located near the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the institution started in 1887. Pius XI declared it a pontifical athenaeum in 1938.


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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.

Lyon lights up to honour Virgin Mary
[Source: Euro News, 12/9/2004]

Candles, lights and lanterns blazed through the gloom in Lyon, transforming the French city into a vision of shimmering brightness. Hundreds of thousands of people were said to have descended onto the streets to celebrate le Fete des Lumieres--the Festival of Lights. It is a tradition honouring the Virgin Mary, which dates back to 1852. From now until Saturday several quarters of the city centre will be lit up in spectacular style. Neighbourhoods try to out-do each other with extravagant displays. The city's residents do their part. Almost every window of every apartment and house is illuminated by candles. It is estimated the festival attracted three million visitors last year.

Pope condemns attacks on Christian churches in Iraq
 [Source: Agence France Presse, 12/8/2004]

Pope John Paul II on Wednesday condemned anti-Christian violence in Iraq as he made a rare foray outside the Vatican to mark one of the most important days of the Roman Catholic calendar. Thousands of pilgrims thronged the area around the Spanish Steps in central Rome as the pope presided at a traditional prayer service before a statue of the Virgin Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. "Help us to build a world where the life of man is always loved and defended, every form of violence banished, and peace for all tenaciously sought," the head of the Roman Catholic Church said.

Earlier, John Paul II had prayed especially for the people of Iraq as he condemned the bombings Tuesday of two Christian churches in the northern city of Mosul. "That the dear Iraqi people can finally know a period of reconciliation and peace," he prayed at a special mass in St Peter's basilica to mark the feast. He told pilgrims that he felt "spiritually close to the faithful who were shaken by the attacks." Gunmen stormed into the city's Chaldean and Armenian churches on Tuesday and detonated bombs after rounding up the congregations, in the latest in a series of attacks on Iraq's minority Christian community.

During his annual trip across the River Tiber to the Spanish Steps for the December 8 ceremony, the 84-year-old pope appeared tired but managed to recite a special prayer marking the 150th anniversary of the papal proclamation raising the status of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary to dogma. The pope traveled to the Marian shrine of Lourdes in August to mark the anniversary of the papal proclamation that Mary was conceived free from the "original sin" with which, according to the Church, all humans are born.

It was following that declaration by Pius IX in 1854 that the Column of the Immaculate Conception, topped by a statue of the Virgin, was erected at the southern end of Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) in Rome. It has been a papal tradition to visit the monument on December 8 ever since the dedication of the statue in 1857. Earlier, John Paul II presided over a packed ceremony in St Peter's basilica to celebrate the special anniversary. The pope, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, read out only parts of his homily at a mass celebrated by Cardinal Carmillo Ruini. During the mass, attended by members of the Vatican diplomatic corps, the pope said he wanted to renew "the dedication of the Church" to the Virgin Mary and prayed for "the peace and salvation of all peoples."

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