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 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 international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to About Mary page.  The latest added was Panama.  Expect more countries to follow.

We have posted several new Christmas poems by Virginia Kimball as well as her latest one for 2005.  We have also updated our material on The Hail Mary in Various Languages.

We have also enhanced our search utility to allow users to examine the holdings of The Marian Library.  Please try out the new feature at Search and send us your feedback.

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Sr. M. Jean Frisk, an IMRI graduate and long-time MSA member, is once again working as a full-time staff member at The Marian Library.  We all welcome her back!

Dr. Carl Winderl, who has contributed many poems to The Mary Page over the years, has published several of his works in Mary Speaks of Her Son: Poems by Carl Winderl (2005) from Finishing Line Press of Georgetown, Kentucky.  The Marian Libary has a copy of the text.

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Polish Madonna Prints Still Available!

While the note-cards are now out of stock, seven different 11" x 14" prints are still available from Wislawa Kwiatkowska's "Polish Madonnas in Art and Poetry" exhibit.  All pictures are printed on 80# paper.

The pictures available are:

Madonna of the Sowers

Madonna Covered with Cherry Blossoms

Mother of God of Lichen

Mournful Mother of Czestochowa


Madonna of the Mushrooms

Our Lady of the Birches



Madonna Riding on a Deer


These 11" x 14" prints are $5 each.  There is an additional charge of $5 for each quantity of 11 prints or less to cover postage and handling.  Here is an example of the postage and handling rates:

1-11 prints: $5 per ORDER (not per print)

12-22 prints: $10

23-33 prints: $15

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

The Marian Library
Attention: Prints
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 St. Anthony Messenger article.  It sells for $5.00, which includes postage and handling.

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

Print Descriptions

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.

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.

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

Madonna of the Sowers: 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.

Mother of God of Lichen: Mary fingers her rosary and gazes prayerfully at the insignia of the Polish eagle on her chest, as the animals are drawn to her loving maternal presence.

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.)

Our Lady of the Birches: The white of the birches symbolizes the purity of Mary, while the storks gathered around  her represent prosperity and the hope for children.

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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Current Exhibit

"Lost in the Beauty of Her God," the inspired works of Sister Marie Pierre Semler, M.M. (1901-1993), will be displayed in The Marian Library Gallery through January 20, 2006.  Visitors are welcome weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or by special arrangement.  For details call 937-229-4214.  Click here for a virtual exhibit.

Copies of Oasis in the Night: Art Works and Writings by Marie Pierre Semler, M.M., as well as holy cards and packets of note cards based on the exhibit are available for a limited time at The Marian Library.

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 Spring 2006 semester are scheduled to begin on February 20.  The course schedule for this semester is now available.

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Living With Mary Today

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute plans to hold a four day symposium on Mary in July 2006.  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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Vatican City, December 9, 2005

Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, for the death of the German Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk, who passed away yesterday in Munich at the age of 85. In his telegram, the Pope recalls the priestly commitment and scholarly erudition of the deceased prelate, as well as his tireless dedication to theological research and to the preaching of gospel truth.

Abandoning Oneself to God Does Not Mean Loss of Freedom
Vatican City, December 8, 2005

In the Vatican Basilica today, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Benedict XVI presided at a Eucharistic con-celebration to mark the fortieth anniversary of the closure of Vatican Council II. Forty cardinals and 80 bishops concelebrated with the Holy Father.

At the start of his homily, the Pope recalled how Blessed John XXIII inaugurated the Council on October 11, 1962, which at the time was the Feast of the Divine Maternity of Mary, and how Paul VI closed it on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1965.

The moment in which Paul VI proclaimed Mary as the Mother of the Church "remains etched in my memory" said Pope Benedict. "The Council Fathers rose spontaneously from their chairs and applauded, paying homage to the Mother of God, to our Mother, to the Mother of the Church."

The Holy Father affirmed that Mary "not only has a special relationship with Christ, the Son of God Who, as man, chose to become her Son; but being totally united to Christ, she also belongs completely to us."

With reference to the designation "Immaculate," Benedict XVI pointed out how "today's liturgy clarifies the meaning of this word using two great images:" the announcement to Mary of the coming of the Messiah, and the struggle between man and the serpent, in other words, "between man and the powers of evil and death. It is, however, foretold that the 'descendant' of woman will one day triumph crushing the serpent's head, underfoot."

It emerges however that "man does not trust God," the Pope continued. "He harbors the suspicion that, in the end, God takes something from his life; that God is a competitor limiting our freedom, and that we will only be fully human when we have definitively put Him aside; that only in this way can we fully realize our freedom."

Man, he went on, "wants to draw from the tree of knowledge the power to create the world, to make himself a god at the same level as Him, and to triumph over darkness and death. He does not want to rely on love, which he sees as undependable, and so he relies solely on his own knowledge as giving him power. Rather than on love, he counts on power with which he seeks to control his own life autonomously," but in doing so "he trusts lies more than truth."

After highlighting the fact that love "is not dependency, but a gift that allows us to live," the Pope said: "Only if we live with one another and for one another can freedom develop. ... If we live contrary to love and contrary to truth--contrary to God--we destroy one another and we destroy the world."

Benedict XVI pointed out that "within each of us is a drop of poison," which we call original sin. "It is precisely on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception that the suspicion arises in us that a person who does not sin at all is, in the end, a little boring, that something is lacking in his or her life: the dramatic dimension of being autonomous."

Yet, he went on, "evil always poisons, it does not raise man but lowers and humiliates him, it does not make him greater, purer and richer, but damages him and makes him smaller. This, rather, is what we should learn on the day of the Immaculate Conception: that the man who abandons himself completely in the hands of God, does not become a puppet of God, ... he does not lose his freedom," but finds it.

"The closer man is to God, the closer he is to rest of mankind," said the Holy Father. "We see this in Mary. The fact that she is completely with God is the reason she is also so close to human beings. It is for this reason that she is able to be the mother of all consolation and all help."

The Virgin, he concluded, addresses us all saying "do not be afraid of Him! ... Commit yourself to God, and you will see that precisely because of this your life will become more extensive and illuminated, not boring, but full of infinite surprises, because God's infinite goodness never runs dry!"

On Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
"In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"

Vatican City, December 8, 2005

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, before praying the midday Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day of intense spiritual joy, in which we contemplate the Virgin Mary, "lowliest and loftiest of created stature, fixed goal to which the eternal counsels run," as the supreme poet Dante sings ("Paradise," XXXIII, 3). In her shines the eternal goodness of the Creator who, in his plan of salvation, chose her to be mother of his Only-begotten Son, and, in anticipation of his death, preserved her from all stain of sin (cf. Collect Prayer). Thus, in the Mother of Christ and our Mother, the vocation of the human being has been perfectly realized.

All people, the Apostle Paul reminds us, are called to be immaculate saints in the presence of God in love (cf. Ephesians 1:4). When contemplating the Virgin, how is it possible not to reawaken in us, her children, the aspiration to beauty, to goodness, to purity of heart? Her heavenly innocence attracts us to God, helping us to overcome the temptation of a mediocre life, made up of compromises with evil, to direct us decisively to the authentic good, which is the source of joy.

On this day, my thought goes back to December 8, 1965, when the Servant of God Paul VI solemnly closed the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, the greatest ecclesial event of the 20th century, which Blessed John XXIII had begun three years earlier. Amid the exultation of numerous faithful in St. Peter's Square, Paul VI entrusted the application of the conciliar documents to the Virgin Mary, invoking her with the gentle title Mother of the Church. When presiding this morning at a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican basilica, I wished to thank God for the gift of the Second Vatican Council. Moreover, I wished to praise Mary Most Holy for having accompanied these 40 years of ecclesial life, rich in so many events.

In a special way, Mary has watched with maternal care over the pontificates of my venerated predecessors, each of whom guided Peter's bark on the route of authentic conciliar renewal, working incessantly for the faithful interpretation and execution of the Second Vatican Council.

Dear brothers and sisters, as the crowning of this day, dedicated entirely to the Holy Virgin, following an ancient tradition, during the afternoon I shall go to Piazza di Spagna, to the foot of the statue of the Immaculate Conception. I ask you to join me spiritually on this pilgrimage, which endeavors to be an act of filial devotion to Mary, to commend to her the beloved city of Rome, the Church and the whole of humanity.

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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.

Weeping Mary 'a miracle'
[Source: Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), November 28, 2005]

Dozens of the faithful are coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento, California for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle--a statue of the Virgin Mary that has begun "crying" a substance that looks like blood.

The first sign came more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away.

Before Mass last Sunday, people again noticed a reddish substance streaming from the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner who said he was one of the witnesses.

Since then, Mr Truong said he has been at the church day and night. He is so emotional he is unable to work at his job as a general contractor. He believes the tears are a sign.

"There's a big event in the future--earthquake, flood, a disease," he said. "We're very sad."

Yesterday, tables in front of the fenced-in statue were jammed with rows of potted plants, bouquets of roses and candles.

People sat silently praying on fold-up chairs while others sang Vietnamese Catholic hymns or hugged their children.

Reviews: Classical
[Source: The Guardian (London), November 26, 2005]

Rossini's Stabat Mater has had a somewhat chequered history. First performed in 1842, it became one of the most popular religious works during the 19th century. The 20th century saw a reaction against it, however, and the jury is still out as to its quality. The score, so the argument runs, is both too self-consciously operatic and too overtly melodic to form an adequate representation of the sacred. The upbeat mood it generates, moreover, is considered inappropriate to the text, which meditates on the Virgin Mary's anguish on beholding the crucified Christ.

Despite its flaws, this performance, with Paolo Olmi conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, revealed some of the criticism to be untrue. The idea that the score is too melodic to be religious is rubbish any way: one could say the same about the Messiah, Bach's Passions and Mozart's Masses. The charge that the work is operatic is harder to refute, though it derives from the quintessential Rossinian equation of violent emotion with vocal extremism. The juxtaposition of the spectacular outpourings of the soloists with the contemplative role assigned to the chorus is integral to its structure.

Olmi's conducting had tremendous sweep, and the playing and choral singing were at once meticulous and thrilling, above all in the whirling fugue with which the work closes. The soloists, however, were something of a mixed bag. Soprano Lucia Aliberti was buried in her score and communicated little. Mezzo Francesca Provvisionato revealed a fine, bright tone, though a darker sound is preferable in this work. The tenor and bass--David Alegret and Manrico Signorini--were outstanding.

Olmi elected to preface the work with Mozart's 40th Symphony, though he appears to be a variable Mozartian: the Andante and Minuet were impressive in their austerity; the outer movements were too four-square to have the requisite impact.

Sweetest Nativity Scene You Ever Did See
[Source: The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand), November 15, 2005]

Workers fashion baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary out of white chocolate at the Porto Food Fair in Portugal yesterday. Expected to be the largest chocolate nativity scene in the world, 15 workers started work on 12 tons of chocolate on Sunday. The scene is expected to be finished in a week.

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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, 12/14/2005 11:03:33 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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