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 August 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 August.

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.  Our latest addition is Saints on Mary and the Eucharist.

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New Resources

A section on Children's Resources has been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was a coloring book, Mary, Mother and Believer. Expect more sections to follow.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was Mary in the Writings of Francis Libermann. Expect more articles to follow.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to About Mary page.  The latest added was Raphael's Madonnas on Stamps.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women is now under construction in our About Mary page.  The latest addition was Women Role Models.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have added the following items: Marian Shrines in Korea; Mary in Anglican/Catholic Dialog; The Whole Mary; and Who is Our Lady of Pochaev?

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  News from the Marian Library

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Father Philip Hoelle, S.M., director of The Marian Library from 1954-1967, died on August 13.  He was 93 years old and in the 75th year of religious profession as a Marianist.  Services will be held on August 20 at Queen of Apostles Chapel followed by burial at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery at Mount St. John.  For more details see U.D.'s Campus Report.

Alumni Update

Sr. M. Marcia Vinje has assumed a new position with the Diocese of Madison as Associate Director of the Office of Religious Education and the diocesan designate for the USCCB Secretariat for Evangelization.  Her responsibilities will include the formation of permanent deacons, the formation of laypersons for service in parish ministries, evangelization, coordinating the St. Therese Lecture Series, and collaborating with the Office of Vocations to foster vocations to the consecrated life for women.

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New Web Addresses for The Mary Page

In order to make our web site more accessible, The Mary Page may now be reached at the following URLs:;; and  The original address on the University of Dayton site remains active as well.

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Web Collaborators

Two important Catholic websites have added The Mary Page to their list of Media Partners. highlights items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News. includes a Mary Channel on their navbar with Mary Page articles. Please visit these site in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

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Polish Madonna Prints Now For Sale

Note: This is an obsolete article maintained for archival purposes.  As of November 2009, the images below are not available for purchase at The Marian Library.  

Nine different prints are now available of Wislawa Kwiatkowska's "Polish Madonnas in Art and Poetry" which were featured in the June issue of St. Anthony Messenger. Each picture measures 10" x 12 ¼" on a sheet of 80#  11" x 14" paper.

The pictures available are:

1) Golden Green Mother of God (at left)

Mary and Baby Jesus sit in a dill garden. Mary looks tenderly after her children with the same attentiveness that she looks upon the cherished golden-green dill of her garden.

2) Madonna of the Mountains (at left)

This snowy scene shows Mary in solidarity with all creation; she knows what it is like to be cold and hungry, yet she is determined to overcome all the wintry trials of life. In her basket she carries two little bears that are eager to see Baby Jesus.

3) Madonna Riding on a Deer (at left)

Based upon a Polish legend, this picture shows Mary and Baby Jesus being whisked away from danger by a swift and noble deer.

4) Mother of God of Lichen (at left)

Features Mary as Queen of Poland and Queen of Nature. Mary wears the insignia of the Polish eagle on her chest. The animals are drawn to Mary because of her kindness and goodness.

5) Madonna of the Sowers (at left)

From the lilac heather, through the morning fog, the wind pulls threads from Mary's shawl and wraps them around the trees and branches, protecting the autumn seeds.

6) Madonna Covered With Cherry Blossoms

Delicate cherry blossoms frame the faces of Mary and Baby Jesus while butterflies--symbols of the Resurrection--circle around them.

7) Mournful Mother of Czestochowa

In this portrait of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Baby Jesus tries to comfort his mother as she mourns for the fate of the Polish people. Around Mary's shoulders is a blue and gold ribbon from which hangs the Virtuti Militari--the highest Polish Military honor that is given in recognition of bravery. (The two slashes on the face of the original icon were inflicted by Hussite soldiers in the fifteenth century.)

8) Madonna of the Mushrooms

These mushrooms of autumn are attractive but deadly; Mary draws out the poison and warns against the allure and perniciousness of sin.

9) Our Lady of the Birches

The white of the birches symbolizes the purity of Mary, while the storks gathered round her represent prosperity and the hope for children.

The prints are $5 each, and there is an additional charge of $5 for each quantity of 9 prints or less to cover postage and handling.  Here is an example of the postage and handling rates:

1-9 prints: $5
10-18 prints: $10
19-27 prints: $15
28-36 prints: $20
37-45 prints: $25

Specify which prints and the quantity you want and make a check or money order out to "The Marian Library." Mail it to:

The Marian Library
Attention: Robin
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469-1390

We also have a "Polish Madonna" Windows PC screensaver that shows all twelve of the pictures that were in the June 2005 St. Anthony Messenger article.  It sells for $5.00, which includes postage and handling.

If you have any questions, please call 937-229-4254 or 937-229-4214.

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Last Chance to see Current Exhibit!

You have until September 8 to see The Marian Library's "Polish Madonnas in Art and Poetry" exhibit at the Roesch Library.  Each of the 50 oil paintings in the exhibit is based upon a Polish poem about Mary.  In every painting, Mary is accompanied by trees, plants, flowers, animals, or insects, reflecting her role as the New Eve who lives in harmony with nature.

People have traveled from Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Missouri, and California just to see these paintings; so why not come see them yourself?

The exhibit is free and is located on the first and seventh floor galleries of the Roesch Library.  The exhibit is open weekdays 8:30 am to 5 pm.  The weekend of Aug. 20-21 it is open noon until 4 pm.  The weekend of Aug. 27-28 it is open 10 am to 5 pm.  It is closed on Labor Day.  Prints and screensavers featuring the Polish Madonna pictures are for sale in The Marian Library on the seventh floor of the Roesch Library.

Call 229-4254 or 229-4214 for further information.  Click here for a virtual exhibit.

Creches and Straw Art are also on display in our museum.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2005 semester begin on October 10.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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XV International Mariological Symposium

Will be held at at the Marianum in Rome from October 4-7, 2005.  The theme will be: "The Theological Category of Compassion: Presence and Impact on Present Thinking about Mary of Nazareth."  For more information email

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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Benedict XVI at World Youth Day
Cologne, August 18, 2005

During this World Youth Day we will reflect together on the theme: "We Have Come To Worship Him" (Mt 2:2). This is a precious opportunity for thinking more deeply about the meaning of life as a "pilgrimage," guided by a "star," in search of the Lord. Together we shall consider the Magi, who, coming from various distant lands, were among the first to recognize the promised Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Virgin Mary, and to bow down in worship before him (cf. Mt 2:1-12).

May the Virgin Mary, who presented the Child Jesus to the Magi when they arrived in Bethlehem to worship the Savior, continue to intercede for us, just as for centuries she has kept watch over the German people from her many shrines throughout the German Länder.

Cologne Airport, Thursday, 18 August 2005

With Mary, say your own "yes" to God, for he wishes to give himself to you.

Cologne--Poller Wiesen, Thursday, 18 August 2005

A New Building Opens for Pilgrims at the La Vang Marian Shrine.
Vietnam, August 10, 2005 (AsiaNews)

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, in central Vietnam, can finally welcome a larger number of pilgrims and in better conditions thanks to the building of a new, long-awaited building.  The government, which has traditionally been hostile to the shrine, because of the ties it creates between local Catholics and the universal Church, granted the building permit in a record time, one month.

La Vang is one of the better known Asian shrines.  Thousands of pilgrims visit it, especially on the Assumption.  Our Lady of La Vang Shrine is very important to Vietnamese Catholics as John Paul II reiterated in 1988 when he beatified 117 Vietnamese martyrs.  On that occasion, the Holy Father said he hoped the shrine would be rebuilt.

Now the new "House of Pilgrimage" is the largest building of the Marian complex.  It will be inaugurated next August 15, but has been functioning and already welcomed an average of 600 to 1,000 pilgrims per day.

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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.

Virgin Mary Image Remains; but Crowds Depart
[Source: The Boston Globe, 6/2/2005]

It's been two years since an image of what looked like the Virgin Mary first appeared on a window at Milton Hospital.  In a spontaneous, pre-anniversary return visit, I recently slid my car into a parking spot just beneath what for a time was one of the biggest attractions in all of New England.  Since it first appeared in June 2003, the image has changed very little: a snowy outline of a veiled woman holding a child to her chest.  Back then her robe was colorless.  Now it seemed bluish in the sun.

This time, as I sat squinting upward through my windshield, there were no pilgrims nearby or prayer services.  Only colorful spring bouquets riot at the Madonna's feet, lining up against the wall like small supplicants in pink, white, and yellow.  The quiet parking lot contrasts with those early days when gawkers milled, cameras flashed, and immigrant Catholics shouted out Hail Marys while kneeling on the asphalt.  Now there was only a woman sitting in her SUV, two cars down, yelling into her cellphone, "Yeah, I just had my 10 o'clock appointment. It went fine. I said it was fine!"

Still curious, I returned to the scene a week later.  A maintenance worker confirmed the crowds have dwindled.  A small Sunday prayer service continues, he said, and a few folks still stop by on odd mornings.  The man, an 11-year employee at the hospital, confided he had been the one to place a tarp over the image, back when the huge throngs prompted hospital administrators to limit viewing hours.  Did he think the likeness was a miracle?  He laughed. "Not for a minute, and I'm a Catholic from Ireland," he said.

Walking nearby, Sarah Cobban of North Quincy piped up. "I know it's a miracle because it's in my heart," she maintained.  A bit later, a woman paused before the window, briefly bowing her head in prayer.  Identifying herself as "Rose from Randolph," she said she believes the image to be heaven-sent. "If it is a miracle, it doesn't hurt to pray.  Prayers don't hurt, no matter what religion you are," she said.

Joan Ryan of Canton, who considers herself a practicing Catholic, said she "never felt the need to begin praying," even though she found the likeness of the Madonna striking when it first appeared.  And two years later, the image's staying power still impresses her.  Still, she said, "I know God works in mysterious ways, but I'm hard pressed to think that He is revealing himself or His Mother by means of a window at the back of Milton Hospital."

A divine apparition, or the random result of condensation caused by a ruptured window seal?  Personally, I see a mischievous grin.  To me, God has a sense of humor.  The image is in a false window on a brick wall of medical offices constructed in 2001.  The double-paned glass is purely decorative, with no access from the inside.  Two years ago, I wondered what second-floor office shared the exterior wall with the Madonna.  After snooping in the hallways, I was directed to Eye Health Services, Room 202, where a busy receptionist said: "Yes, it's outside one of our walls, but we can't see it from in here because it's walled off."  Eye Health Services.  Rather ironic, don't you think, given the arguments over science, faith, or a simple trick of vision?  I think maybe it's a divine yank on our chain, as if to say, "You see what you see, but you don't control anything."  I imagine God with a raised eyebrow, listening to explanations for why things happen, offered by those with no hand in their creation.  The joke's on us.  There in the quiet sunshine of the hospital parking lot, I winked back.

Theme Park of the Heart
[Source: The Standard, 6/11/2005]

Taiwanese investors are betting that devotion to a beloved Buddhist saint will be enough to bring a million tourists a year to a theme park built around two temples in a city deep in China's interior that doesn't even have its own airport.  Religion is fair game for entrepreneurs in China, say tourism experts, so the idea of a theme park dedicated to Guanyin, whose image is as ubiquitous in China as that of the Virgin Mary in the West, won't offend anybody and could well be successful.  In Buddhist teaching, Guanyin is a bodhisattva, a person almost fully enlightened who puts off entering paradise in order to help others attain enlightenment.  Of all the bodhisattvas, Guanyin is the kindest and most merciful.

We hope the theme park will be a reminder to visitors to show compassion to others,'' says Frank Yu, an investor and Guanyin devotee who is president of the Nanshan district of the Taiwan merchants' association of Shenzhen.  Guanyin is said to be capable of great transformations that allow her to give comfort and help wherever needed.  Fishermen, for example, pray to a Guanyin who holds a basket of fish, while childless women venerate one with a baby nestling in the crook of her arm.  Some believe she is even capable of multiple simultaneous manifestations.

According to one school of thought, Guanyin is actually three sisters.  In Suining, Sichuan province, there are temples dedicated to two of them, and Yu and his partners plan to build a theme park around them.  One legend has it that Guanyin was three sisters.  After they grew up, they went their separate ways.  The eldest strove for virtue at Lingquan Temple and the second at Guangde Temple, which are both in Suining.  The youngest, however, became Guanyin at the Putuoshan, a mountain in Nanhai,'' Yu explains.  Though most Buddhists believe the Guanyin cult originated in Nanhai in the east coast province of Zhejiang, there are some who trace its roots to Suining, whose temples date back 1,400 years to the Tang dynasty. 

Plans call for a theme park to be built in Suining in two phases.  Work is to begin in 2008 and be completed in 2010. The total cost is estimated at 150 million yuan (HK$ 141 million).  Suining is short on basic tourism infrastructure.  The nearest airport is in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, about 90 minutes away by road.  The first-phase investment of about 71 million yuan, in addition to buying land and compensating expropriated farmers, will go on building a five-star hotel, Yu says.  Currently, the city's hotel stock consists of two four-star properties and a total of 500 rooms.

The local government is behind the venture, though, and Suining recently secured a US$ 30 million (HK$ 234 million) loan from the World Bank to fund infrastructure improvements.  We hope to turn the two temples and the surrounding area, about 970,000 square meters of land in all, into a park that can accommodate 50,000 tourists staying for three nights and four days at a time,'' Yu says.  When not visiting the temples, they would be able to shop for antiques and souvenirs, attend live performances and sharpen their video games skills in the cyber entertainment city.  The investors say they can attract 200,000 mainland tourists and 800,000 overseas tourists per year.  With annual ticket income of 24 million yuan, and three million yuan from food and beverage, entertainment, leisure and retail, they expect to break even after 5 years. 

Song Ding, director of the center for tourism at the China Development Institute, a Shenzhen-based research agency that reports to the State Council, says there's nothing new about investors playing the religious card.  The prayer of these investors is to tap into a potential market of billions of people who live in China or nearby places and who worship Guanyin,'' he says.  But success won't be automatic.  Theme parks are hardly a novelty anymore.  There are more than 3,000 of them, small and large, across the country,'' Song says.

A 108-meter white statue of Guanyin was just unveiled in Nanhai in April.  It's very popular because it's located where most people believe Guanyin's true hometown to be.  And there's no admission fee either.''  Song says that if Suining wants to draw people who are not Guanyin devotees, it needs other attractions.  Yu believes he has that base covered.  Apart from the historic temples, there are mountains nearby, a long river called Fujiang, and an ancient salt lake in Daying county, known as the Chinese Dead Sea.''

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Wednesday, 12/02/2009 11:38:09 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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