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 Paraguay.  Expect more countries to follow.

We have revised our material on Marian Pilgrimage Sites with Fountains and Wells.  We have also added a Marian Litany by G. K. Chesterton, Virginia Kimball's account of a family visit to La Salette shrine, and a summary of the first encyclical from Benedict XVI.

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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:

I check the web site almost every day and am always so pleased.  I found a topic I plan to research.

Sister Ann Marie

Alumni Update

Gloria Falcao Dodd taught Sexual Ethics for the summer session of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College in Front Royal, VA (  In the fall she started full-time teaching Catholic Doctrine/Reverence for Life for 123 freshmen at Bishop Dwenger High School ( in Fort Wayne, IN.  For the spring of 2005 she will teach Church History for 123 sophomores.  In 2005 her first scholarly work was published--a chapter, "The Nuptial Meaning of the Body in the Marriage of Mary and Joseph," in a book The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body (

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New Exhibit!

"Dark and Beautiful," an exhibit of paintings by Father Jim Hasse, S.J., will be on display at The Marian Library Gallery from February 1 - March 20, 2006.  Several of his works may be viewed at

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

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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

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.)

Additional 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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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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Fourteenth San Francisco International Marian Conference

This conference will be held from June 30 - July 2, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza Conference Center in Foster City, California.  For more information call 1-800-456-4197 or 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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Sri Lankan Shrine Rebuilt After Tsunami
Rome, January 18, 2006

The shrine of Our Lady of Matara, one of the main shrines in Sri Lanka, has been substantially rebuilt after it was destroyed by the 2004 tsunami.

Completion of the reconstruction was reported by the shrine's rector, Father Charles Hewawasam, who survived the tidal wave on Dec. 26, 2004.

More than 20 people at the shrine died when the waters struck.

The receding tide also swept away the much-venerated statue of Our Lady of Matara. It was recovered three days later on the seashore.

In a letter sent to charity Aid to the Church in Need, which helped to rebuild the shrine in the Diocese of Galle, the priest stated that urgent work still needs to be done, including a new roof for the church and a new presbytery to replace the one badly damaged by the tsunami.

On Week of Prayer For Christian Unity
"We must not doubt that one day we will be 'one'."
Vatican City, January 22, 2006

Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address today at midday when praying the Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

... The expression, "God is love," in Latin "Deus Caritas Est," is the title of my first encyclical, which will be published next Wednesday, Jan. 25, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. I am happy it coincides with the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. On that day, I will go to St. Paul's Basilica to preside at Vespers, in which representatives of other churches and ecclesial communities will take part. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us.

... Among the many concerns for the international situation, my thoughts go today again to Africa and, in particular, to Ivory Coast where grave tensions persist among the country's different social and political components. I invite all to continue with the constructive dialogue to attain reconciliation and peace. I entrust these intentions to the intercession of the Holy Virgin, so loved by the Ivorian people.

Benedict XVI Hails Swiss Guard on 500th Anniversary
Military Unit Arrived in Rome in 1506
Vatican City, January 22, 2006

On explaining the reasons for the creation of the Swiss Guards, Cardinal Sodano quoted a phrase Ulrich Zwingli, founder of the Swiss Reformed Church, said before leaving the Catholic Church: "The Swiss see the sad situation of the Church of God, the Mother of Christendom, and consider it grave and dangerous that any tyrant, out of greed, can attack with impunity the common Mother of Christendom."

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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.

Thousands Revere Virgin
[Source: San Antonio Express-News, December 13, 2005]

With skin scraped raw and bloody, the most fanatical of the brown-skinned Virgin Mary's devotees crawled on their knees.

They gingerly made their way along the pavement and into the holiest of sites for Mexican Catholics.

With the pain, the pilgrims said, they showed devotion.

Before dropping to their knees for the last 100 yards, some walked more than 100 miles. Shoes were shredded. Faces were flushed. Bodies were dehydrated.

Alejandra Ramíírez, 15, fought back tears as she leaned on a framed image of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

She used it like a crutch to steady herself. She had rolled up the legs of her jeans, as if to hit the turbo button for agony.

Why would she put herself through this?

"I promised," she said weakly, summoning the last of her energy.

Like hundreds of thousands of Mexicans who descended on the storied Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe for an annual celebration, she had her private reasons for being here and for suffering.

Monday wrapped up days of devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who Catholics believed first appeared to a peasant almost 500 years ago on a hilltop above what is now the basilica.

The sighting is considered a pinnacle moment in the Catholic Church's effort to religiously convert Mexico's indigenous population.

She is considered Mexico's patron saint and queen.

Carlos Triana, a priest from Colombia, said the Virgin's appearance to the peasant, now known as San Juan Diego, guided the blend of Catholicism with traditional Aztec gods and beliefs. Some scholars believe Guadalupe is the Aztec deity known as Tonantzin, earth mother and ancient goddess of the moon.

"The faith is in their blood," Triana said of Mexicans. "She gave them a new identity."

And so, as Ramírez, the 15-year-old girl who walked on bloodied knees, and 48 others from her community made their way past hundreds of vendors and into the compound, they were swept into a whirlwind of dance, prayer and emotional outpouring that marked the Aztec merger with Christianity.

Holy water was splashed on the sea of people who couldn't fit into a Mass and braved the sun.

Dancers clad in colorful pre-Hispanic costumes jumped and pranced as feathered headdresses swayed and ornate ankle bracelets, made of dozens of shells, shook in a rhythmic cadence.

Incense filled the air. Drums were pounded loudly, and their driving beat could be heard for blocks.

"This is who we are. This is me," said dancer Yolanda Murillo, 38, a native of Mexico City who works in Houston and came here for the festival.

"Somebody has to preserve our culture, who we are and where we are from" she said of why she practices dancing and annually makes the trip to the basilica.

Meanwhile, María Teresa Díaz, 42, a Red Cross worker, said she was awed by the self-inflicted suffering.

"They are exhausted. They faint," she said of pilgrims, noting 376 people had been treated as of Monday afternoon. "Imagine, I walk from here to the subway and I'm exhausted."

Bob Lum, a tourist from Hawaii, said he was moved by the devotion.

"There are so many people from so many places," he said. "But we all have one thing in common--faith."

Latinos Pay Tribute to the Virgin Mary
[Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 12, 2005]

Two miscarriages made Aurora Castrejon of Marietta seek the Virgin Mary even more.

In 1993, the Mexican transplant and her husband, Horbelin, visited an apparition site in Conyers. Soon came the "benediciones," or blessings.

"I received a lot," said Aurora Castrejon, 41, now the mother of three boys and a girl.

The Castrejons were among 3,000 Latinos, mostly from Mexico, who celebrated Catholicism's holiest matriarch Sunday afternoon at an outdoor Mass in Cobb County. During the weekend, cathedrals and churches across metro Atlanta and in other areas with large Latino populations honored the Virgin of Guadalupe, the brown-skinned patroness of Mexico who is said to have appeared in an apparition there 474 years ago and has since become a national emblem.

That fervor has reached Cobb County, where possibly metro Atlanta's largest Guadalupe celebration takes place yearly. There were three Masses, a six-member mariachi band serenaded all day, cooks sold homemade tamales and mothers dressed their children according to peasant custom. The fiesta was to continue until 3 a.m. today.

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Smyrna organized the event and held the three Masses at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta, drawing thousands of Mexicans all day. The evening was scheduled to climax with an extravagant Mass, traditional dances, mariachis and a procession, including a Living Rosary, in which people line up as the rosary beads, recite Hail Marys and light the candles.

All this for one woman who worshippers say reached Mexico's soul.

"We do not worship her; we venerate her," said Sarah "Sarita" Davila, a volunteer and longtime member of the congregation.

It took six weeks for volunteers to prepare for Sunday's activities, which reflected a gradual but dramatic transformation of one parish's demographics since 1998, when the church held one Spanish-language Mass every three weeks. Now, half of the 4,000 church members are Hispanic, Davila said.

Legend has it that the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on Dec. 12, 1531, to a peasant, Juan Diego, in northern Mexico and left her image on his cloak. Dec. 12 is celebrated in Mexico with large pilgrimages and fireworks. Streets are filled with people, riding bicycles, sleeping on sidewalks and flocking to the plaza and basilica erected in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the site where she is said to have appeared.

On Sunday, the equestrian ring in Jim R. Miller Park became a makeshift church, with hundreds of folding chairs and a shrine of handmade sacred artwork. The podium displayed a massive portrait of the virgin on the hill where she appeared, and handmade cactuses and eucalyptuses dotted the stage. In the middle of the ring was a rocky hill, 15 feet tall and peppered with leafy saplings made with paper and fancy painting skills.

The celebration continues today, when St. Thomas will bless mothers and children and workers as well as their tools.

A Reminder of Home
[Source: The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), December 12, 2005]

As a young girl, Adriana Johnson worshiped with thousands of people who sang, danced and prayed together in the plaza outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Her family lived near the basilica, but many others had walked across miles of countryside to pay homage to the Virgin Mary in a religious event known in Mexico as the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The holiday takes place today.

When Johnson moved to Columbus in the 1980s, she longed to celebrate the traditions that were so popular among Roman Catholics in her homeland.

"I was feeling pretty lonely," she said. "I swear, I cried for a year. I'd say, 'Why am I here?'"

Church was one of few places that felt familiar.

A growing number of Catholic churches in central Ohio have recognized the need to serve Spanish-speaking parishioners. Johnson, who now works at St. Stephen the Martyr Church on the West Side, is among those welcoming them.

The Ohio Hispanic Coalition estimates that 60,000 to 80,000 Latino immigrants live in Franklin County.

At least three Columbus parishes have offered weekly Masses and programs in Spanish for many years, but the idea wasn't explored until recently in surrounding cities such as Delaware and Newark.

About 75 people typically attend the Mass celebrated in Spanish once a month at St. Mary Church in Delaware, Sister Cecilia Taphorn said.

"We have a lot of resources here in Delaware for the Hispanics, but to get the church word out isn't easy," Taphorn said. "If we had Mass every Sunday, I'm sure we'd have more people."

She works with those who do attend, and is taking Spanish classes at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Joining St. Mary Church helped Soraya Castaline feel part of the community when her husband's job at Bank One transferred her family from Tampa, Fla., to Delaware three years ago.

Castaline, a native of Nicaragua, said she tries to encourage other Spanish-speaking locals to attend.

"When you are far from home, (church) gives you comfort and gives you strength," she said.

Leaders of the Diocese of Columbus have noticed a higher demand for bilingual clergy members and are working to recruit priests from Central and South America, said Tom Berg Jr., a deacon and assistant chancellor of the diocese.

The majority of immigrants who settle here are from Mexico, where roughly 90 percent of the population is Catholic.

"We have a duty and responsibility to meet their spiritual needs and also feel we have a duty to meet their social needs," Berg said.

At St. Francis De Sales in Newark, that includes offering tutoring in English on Sunday mornings. Those who attend are welcomed to stay for Mass, and some do.

When immigrants arrive here, many wish they could attend Mass celebrated in their native language, said the Rev. Larry Herrera of the Pontifical College Josephinum. "I think it's very important and fair that they do."

Herrera has celebrated Mass in Spanish at churches across central Ohio.

"There's a pull in both directions, in that parents want their traditions. At the same time, they want their kids to grow up and ... to speak English and fit in the culture, too."

These days, Johnson devotes much of her time to planning celebrations that mirror the spiritual gatherings in Mexico.

"Most of my friends are from church," she said. "We have Dominicans, people from Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, from Colombia. ... "Before it was from Mexico, but now it's from everywhere."

Her latest event took place yesterday, when she and other members of her congregation walked through the streets of their neighborhood proudly waving flags symbolic of their native countries.

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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 Friday, 01/27/2006 16:02:26 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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