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.

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New Resources

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was Austria.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Ecumenism and World Religions has also been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was an Introduction to Mary and Inter-religious Dialog.  Expect more sections to follow.

We have also posted a summary of the first encyclical of Benedict XVI, God is Love.

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Father James McCurry, O.F.M.Conv., past president of the MSA, has been assigned by the Minister General of the Conventual Franciscans to be General Delegate of the Order for Great Britain and Ireland.  This new position involves ministry comparable to that of a regional superior and necessitated his transfer to London, England.

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Current 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.  Click here to view the virtual exhibit.

Creches and Straw Madonnas are also on display in our museum.  Patrons with RealPlayer may also view a streaming video showing the sets which were on display during the 2005 Christmas season.

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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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Praying with the "Rules for Discernment" by Saint Ignatius of Loyola for everyday decisions and life choices

This discernment retreat will be held at the Saint Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska on February 17-19, 2006 from 7:30 pm Friday night to Sunday, concluding with Lunch.  Teresa Monaghen, IMRI student and National Pro Sanctity Director, as well as other priests and religious, will be available for spiritual direction.  For more information call Teresa at 402-289-2670 or email her at

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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Holy Father Grieves Over Stadium Stampede
Vatican City, February 5, 2006

Benedict XVI expressed his grief and assured his prayers for the victims of a human stampede in a stadium in the Philippines.

"Entrusting you and your people to the protection of Mary Queen of Peace, the Holy Father imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of strength and comfort in the Lord."

Compendium of Catechism Available on March 31
Washington, D. C., February 7, 2006

The new Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be available starting March 31, says the U.S. bishops' conference.

The 200-page synthesis of the 1992 Catechism will be published exclusively by USCCB Publishing, the publishing office of the episcopate.

USCCB Publishing will launch the Compendium in English and Spanish at the 2006 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The paperback version will be available first with the hardcover to follow shortly after.

The Compendium consists of 598 questions and answers, echoing to some degree the format of the popular Baltimore Catechism which was a standard text in many Catholic parishes and schools from 1885 to the 1960s.

Monsignor Daniel Kutys, the episcopate's deputy secretary for catechesis, noted that the Compendium "is not meant to replace religion textbooks, but to augment and complement them."

The Compendium is available for order at

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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.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Music for the Virgin Mary
[Source: Daily Telegraph (London), January 21, 2006]

Concerto delle Donne
Signum Classics SIGCD073, pounds 8.99

Concerto delle Donne are performing a valuable service for those who relish the byways of Baroque music by exploiting little-known repertoires to which their three beautifully-matched soprano voices are uniquely well suited. In this case, the music was composed for fashionable Parisian convents, whose sung services were much frequented by devout noblewomen.

Simply scored for voices and organ, the pieces on this delightful disc display an engaging combination of tenderness and deeply felt devotional fervour, whether in the plain and un-dramatic Stabat mater, playful duets such as Sicut spina rosam and Gaude felix Anna, with their lilting triple-time passages in thirds, or the joyful alleluias of Regina coeli.

These shorter pieces are complemented by a miniature Christmas oratorio, Frigidae noctis, which tells the story of the angel and the shepherds with a nice mixture of awe and joyful excitement, and ends with a charming pastoral carol. The singers' delectably pure, sweet sound, rhythmic liveliness and stylish ornamentation perfectly capture the spirit of some beautiful and inventive music, ideally suited to its very specific purpose.

Faith on the Web
[Source: Newsday (New York), January 21, 2006]

France's Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which is why pilgrims traveled there in her honor. At, a website run by a University of Pittsburgh professor who teaches the history of art and architecture, visitors will find more than 3,000 images of the cathedral, along with detailed descriptions, as well as interactive diagrams of windows, floor plans and sculptural details.

Snapshots of the Supernatural
[Source: Irish Times, January 9, 2006]

Oxford's Ashmolean Museum is as intriguing as the photographs of reputedly miraculous religious art in its current exhibition, writes Angela Long

Rosa Mosto was in childbirth. The 30-year-old Italian woman was in severe pain and the doctor seemed helpless. It was 1771 and a woman who had difficulties delivering her child had few options. "If I am going to die, leave me alone and stop tormenting me," the resigned woman told the medic. So he went home. A midwife brought to Rosa's bedside a picture of a statue of the Virgin Mary in the local church at Recco, near Genoa, Italy. Rosa gathered her last strength to kiss the picture.

But then she began to feel better. "After a few minutes the pain had passed," she recalled 50 years later. She revived and the child was born. Her family went to the church to give thanks, and the surgeon admitted that without the help of Mary, "my skill could do nothing."

Why did Rosa Mosto recover? She and many of her compatriots have no doubt it was divine intervention - a miracle. The statue, subsequently known as Our Lady of the Nativity and of Prayer, still stands in the Recco oratory, and is carried through the streets of the Ligurian coast town every September 8th in a festive firework procession.

The mystery and mysticism of such stories, all from an area around Genoa, is the subject of a small but fascinating exhibition at one of Britain's most extraordinary museums, the Ashmolean in Oxford.

Spectacular Miracles: Images of Supernatural Power from North-west Italy is a curious exhibition. As one reviewer noted, it could be said to be more of a hint of an exhibition than an exhibition--all the "exhibits" are photographs of the statues and images reputed to have extra-terrestrial powers. And they are presented in a coy, oblique manner, viewed in a keyhole-camera fashion through a 3.5m (10ft) high, white rectangular box that takes up a long narrow room. Only one person at a time can view the image. The effect is a little alienating, and slightly eerie.

Two academics, who also happen to be married, Dr Gervase Rosser and Dr Jane Garnett, are the authors of the exhibition and a forthcoming book on the same subject. "We work in history and history of art, and this came out of a sabbatical year we spent in Italy several years ago," says Dr Rosser.

They chose the area around Genoa deliberately, because it is not the deeply religious and traditionally poorer south of Italy, where such beliefs would be expected to have a stronger hold. "In fact, when we were visiting one civic leader, and explained what we were looking for, there was a long silence. Eventually he said, 'I really think you should go south'."

Genoa, an industrial and port city of 700,000, has a proud left-wing tradition - so there was reluctance to be seen as superstitious zealots on a number of levels. "They don't like to be associated in the same breath with some of the cults of Africa and South America."

Yet, Rosser says, he and Garnett found that devotion to the miracle-icons was strong, and cut through all levels of society. "Devotees of the cults appear even in the most cosmopolitan and industrialised sections of the middle class." Rosser and Garnett have also found examples of new cults emerging, and fusions, for example in South America where a holy image (or copy of one) brought from Italy by emigrants ends up in a natural setting, such as a tree, regarded as mystical by native peoples.

They have not yet extended their research to Ireland, although they are aware of marvels such as the moving statue of Ballinspittle in Cork. "We do know a little about what has happened in Ireland, but I'm afraid so far we have concentrated on what you might call warmer climates.

"One of the things that has pleased us about the show is that it has attracted a lot of interest, and a lot of that has been hostile, with some remarks to the effect that this is not what one comes to a museum to see!" Rosser says, happily enough. "But it stimulates thought." And is that not a worthy enough aim for any exhibition?

THE CURIOUS exhibition is a good match for this venue, for the Ashmolean itself is a curiosity. It sits grandly in the centre of Oxford, a stone neo-classical building from the 19th century facing the Randolph Hotel. But inside it is a crazy mixed-up kid, a little bit of this, a little bit of that; Chinese screens, Egyptian antiquities and "posy rings", romantic Victorian bits of jewelry with messages of eternal devotion inscribed upon them, all rubbing edges.

Britain's oldest museum, it was founded in 1683, in an earlier building, and is now the subject of a 15 million (EUR 22 million) redevelopment project. The name comes from Elias Ashmole, who presented to Oxford University a collection largely amassed by his friend John Tradescant. Officially, it is a museum of art and archaeology, and it bears the stamp of a time when interesting objects could be presented just like that--"Here are a lot of interesting objects!"--without the need for a theme and expert classification. Once it was very much a happy clutter, with access to ostrich eggs and a stuffed dodo to delight the Victorian visitor. It has more manners now, but cool and minimalist it is not.

The quirkiness of the museum has liberated it into staging new and different shows, such as Spectacular Miracles. The next exhibition to open, Pilgrimage, from January 11th, looks at the role devotional journeys play in the world's major religions, utilising items such as illuminations of the Canterbury Tales and miniature representations of Mecca.

Oxford is only about an hour from London on the train from Paddington, which costs about 30/EUR 44 for a standard day return; longer on bus services such as the Oxford Tube, which is frequent and cheap (13/EUR 20 return). Wander through the city of dreaming spires to the Ashmolean, and dream of another magical city, bustling in the sun, but beneath the commercial thrust, intermittently beholden to its subterranean spirituality.

Spectacular Miracles runs until Jan 29. The Ashmolean is at Beaumont Street, Oxford (0044-1865-278-000); Admission is free. The Moving Image: Zones of the Miraculous in Italy and the Mediterranean World 1500-2000 is to be published in 2007

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