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 January 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 January.

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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 Christmas poems by Virginia Kimball as well as her latest one for 2005.

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

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our Mary Page web site.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following comment is a typical example:

What a great resource The Mary Page is.  I constantly discover new things there.  Thanks for all you do.

Brother Gene

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

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.)

New Employee at The Marian Library

Sr. M. Jean Frisk--Art Exhibits and Special Programs

Sister Jean comes originally from Upper Michigan (near the Canadian border).  She joined the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Milwaukee and spent twelve years in Germany with the International Secretariat of the Schoenstatt Movement, leading pilgrimages, giving retreats, and translating.  Upon her return from Germany, she came to UD for the Master's in Religious Studies.  She also received the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from IMRI.  Her field of concentration was an examination of religious textbooks.  She has authored eight books--two winning awards from the Catholic Press Association of Canada and the United States.  Her most recent book is Joyous Expectation: Journeying Through Advent With Mary.  Her responsibilities in The Marian Library include continuing her contributions to The Mary Page web site, making the arrangements for and mounting art exhibits, promoting special programs, publicity and publications.  We know that her work will reflect the special character of her congregation--Schoenstatt--which means "beautiful place."

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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.

Also, the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has added the Gallery section of The Mary Page to the Exhibits section of their on-line museum, the Plethoreum.

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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.  Additional nativity sets are also on display at Gallery Saint John (4400 Shakertown Road in Dayton) from noon to 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday through January 8, 2006.

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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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Papal Homily at Vespers of First Sunday of Advent
"The Lord Always Wants to Come Through Us."
Vatican City, December 13, 2005

Excerpts of a homily improvised by Benedict XVI for the first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica on Nov. 26.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Taking as our model Mary Most Holy, who teaches us to live by devoutly listening to the Word of God, let us reflect on the short Bible reading just proclaimed. ...

To understand the meaning of this word, hence, of the Apostle's prayer for this community and for communities of all times--also for us--we must look at the person through whom the coming of the Lord was uniquely brought about: the Virgin Mary.  Mary belonged to that part of the people of Israel who in Jesus' time were waiting with heartfelt expectation for the Savior's coming. And from the words and acts recounted in the Gospel, we can see how she truly lived steeped in the prophets' words; she entirely expected the Lord's coming.

She could not, however, have imagined how this coming would be brought about. Perhaps she expected a coming in glory. The moment when the Archangel Gabriel entered her house and told her that the Lord, the Savior, wanted to take flesh in her, wanted to bring about his coming through her, must have been all the more surprising to her.

We can imagine the Virgin's apprehension. Mary, with a tremendous act of faith and obedience, said "yes": "I am the servant of the Lord." And so it was that she became the "dwelling place" of the Lord, a true "temple" in the world and a "door" through which the Lord entered upon the earth. ...

It is the Holy Spirit himself who formed in the Virgin's womb Jesus, the perfect Man, who brings God's marvelous plan to completion in the human person, first of all by transforming the heart and from this center, all the rest. ...

May Mary Most Holy, the faithful Virgin, guide us to make this time of Advent and of the whole new liturgical year a path of genuine sanctification, to the praise and glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Guadalupe Day Has a Special Emphasis in Canada
Time of Prayer for Native Peoples

Toronto, December 11, 2005

This Monday, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Catholic Church in Canada will observe a day of prayer for the country's native peoples.  The initiative seeks to promote in particular solidarity with the first peoples who inhabited this enormous country and who suffer relatively high levels of poverty.

This is explained in a letter written for the occasion by the Council for Reconciliation, Solidarity and Communion, made up of bishops, priests, a woman religious and lay people.

The letter presents Juan Diego, the 16th-century Mexican Indian who witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as an example of fulfillment of the "will of God exactly as it was communicated" by Mary.  Juan Diego is also "an example of the fidelity with which we are called to respond to the love of God today," the letter said.

A Journalist's Research on the Child Jesus
Vatican-Observer Andrea Tornielli Writes a Book
Rome, December 11, 2005

Who was Jesus, really? Did he really exist or is his story a pious invention? Journalist Andrea Tornielli, who covers the Vatican for the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, tries to answer these questions in a new book, "Inchiesta su Gesł Bambino" (Research on the Child Jesus). ZENIT interviewed the author about the book, which will be presented at the Catholic University in Rome on Tuesday. About the Blessed Virgin Mary he said:

"Suffice it to think of Matthew's account, older than Luke's, and probably coming from Joseph's family tradition. The evangelist does not hide at all the confusion caused by Mary's pregnancy, before her marriage to Joseph took place and they lived under the same roof. If the Gospels really were an invention of the first Christian community, why not censor this detail or, more simply, anticipate by a few days the angel's announcement to Joseph, avoiding the worrisome time of that pregnancy borne by the carpenter, [with the possibility of] having to reject his bride-to-be in secret?"

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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.

Vandalism on statue of the Virgin Mary by high school students unacceptable to church
[Source: The Guardian (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), October 29, 2005]

The Holy Redeemer parish is wondering what it must do to curb rampant student vandalism of its grounds, especially now that a statue of Mary at a shrine was toppled and broken.

"At noontime (Wednesday), some kids presumably from the high school or junior high school, knocked over the statue of Mary in the Marian Shrine area," said Father Eric Dunn, pastor of Holy Redeemer parish in Charlottetown.

The church is located directly across the street from Colonel Gray high school which in turn is close to Queen Charlotte junior high school.

The tumble of the concrete statue knocked the head off the Virgin Mary. Dunn said the local contractor who cast the statue has been contacted to see about a repair or replacement if required.

The shrine area cost close to $6,000 to create, money raised by the Knights of Columbus chapter at the church. Holy Redeemer is home to some 2,300 families, representing about 8,000 parish members.

"That is the tough part, there were so many people involved," said Dunn of the creation of the outside shrine area.

The shrine was dedicated on Aug. 14 this year.

"It was a sacred area and it was meant for people to come to an environmentally friendly area to pray, to meditate, to reflect or just to sit and do whatever they want to do," said Dunn.

"The police were notified," said Dunn. " They are going to increase surveillance and things like that."

He was eating lunch in the rectory kitchen at the time and was not aware of the vandalism despite the close proximity of the shrine to the rectory.

"We have had to have the police here on numerous occasions for various things," said Dunn.

The schools went smoke-free about two years ago and that is when vandalism on the church grounds really increased, said Dunn.

"They have zero tolerance for smoking and that means that the kids went off their property to smoke. I understand too that they have employed security people, especially at noon time and what's happening is, the kids are simply coming over here.

"They are smoking cigarettes, they are smoking dope," said Dunn. "We have about 2,000 students going through here morning, noon, and night; coming to school and then going at noontime over to the fast food outlets and back.

"We have a problem with garbage, we have a problem with smashing bottles on the pavement, pelting buildings with chestnuts, snowballs and so on, climbing up the roof of the church. How they do that, I don't know, but they do it.

"My maintenance person and myself discussed that with the principal and the vice principal only about two weeks ago and they would readily admit that what they have done has added to our problem," said Dunn regarding the no-smoking on school property.

Dunn said he sees that a popular activity in the parking lot of the church is to have a youth lie on the engine bonnet of a car, which is then accelerated forward a few feet before the brakes are slammed on to propel the youth forward off the car.

It is being done on purpose in the pursuit of thrills, said Dunn.

"Last year in one incident the ambulance had to be called," he said. "There was a slight concussion that the child had. There is going to be more of that. They are up to that trick this year and they are racing through the parking lot."

The church has tried to quietly deal with each issue as it arose over the past few years, said Dunn, but the destruction of the shrine this week has lowered the bar of their tolerance.

"This afternoon we are definitely looking at putting in video cameras," said Dunn. "You have to do something but it is a very costly thing to protect your grounds.

"Most of these kids are good kids, they really are, but like in any group of kids, ten per cent of them or so are going to be a problem," said Dunn.

"We have a problem with garbage, we have a problem with smashing bottles on the pavement, pelting buildings with chestnuts, snowballs and so on, climbing up the roof of the church." Father Eric Dunn

Don't Have a Cow, God!
[Source: Daily Star, November 25, 2005]

Here's bad boy Bart Simpson in a most unlikely role as baby Jesus.

He gets a halo in a Nativity scene for The Simpsons Christmas special, featuring parents Homer as Joseph and Marge as the Virgin Mary.

Sister Lisa sprouts wings as the Angel Gabriel, and the Three Wise Men are Principal Skinner, Dr Hibbert and Professor Frink.

Show boss Al Jean said: "We always do Hallowe'en and Christmas specials so this year we thought it would be fun to do a Nativity.

"The Simpsons are about as different as you can get from Our Lord's family, so we've had a lot of fun with it."

The special episode will be shown on Sky One at 6pm on Christmas Day.

Last year Marge took on the Queen with her alternative Christmas speech.

Comic Book on late Pope is bestseller
[Source: The Times (London), November 19, 2005]

In life John Paul II was a global superstar who produced several bestsellers, including memoirs, plays and poetry. Yesterday he proved that he had star appeal even in death as a comic book that tells his life story sold out as soon as it appeared in the bookshops.

Depicting the Pope as a superhero, the book is aimed mainly at the young. But bookshops on Via della Conciliazione, the boulevard leading up to St Peter's Basilica, reported that as many adults as children were buying it.

The 95-page book is published jointly by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishers, and Piemme, an Italian publishing house. It is drawn in a style that crosses Tintin with Disney, complete with "Ka-Boom" and "Crash" at one point as the departing Nazis blow up a church in Poland while retreating at the end of the Second World War.

The Life of John Paul II in Cartoons tells the story of Karol Wojtyla's childhood in Poland, his life as a worker and secret seminarian under Nazism and as a bishop and cardinal under communism, his election as Pope, the attempt on his life in 1981 and his global travels, including his trip to Jerusalem in 2000. It ends with the image of the pages of the Gospels fluttering in the breeze on his coffin at the funeral in April in St Peter's Square as the huge crowd called for his instant sainthood. Significantly the preface is by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who is in charge of the "fast track" procedure for beatifying and canonizing the late Pope.

The opening pages depict the moment in 1978 when the first non-Italian Pope in four centuries prayed to the Virgin Mary for the strength and courage to take up the papacy before being presented to the crowds from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica. "Holy Father, do you remember everything you have to do?" a cleric asks as he makes his way to the balcony. "I remember everything," the new Pope replies.

There follows an extended flashback to his early life, the death of his mother when he was 9 and the subsequent deaths of his brother and father. The young Karol, nicknamed Lolek, is shown playing football with Polish school-friends some wearing Jewish skullcaps -and later acting in a love scene in the theatre. He stops short of developing a relationship with his attractive co-star, instead discovering his vocation and studying in secret for the priesthood while working in a quarry and a factory as forced labor.

The book covers his subsequent rise in the Church and his consternation at being unexpectedly named Pope at a conclave where, by his own admission, he was mostly preoccupied with his gaffe in not wearing regulation scarlet socks--the text is largely taken from his writings. It ends with John Paul being received into the arms of the Virgin Mary after death and the inspiring messages he left behind.

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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 Thursday, 01/05/2006 14:55:10 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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