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2/27/06

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 March 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 March.

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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 Andorra.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Inter-religious Dialog has also been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was The Jewishness of Mary.  Expect more sections to follow.

We have also updated our material on the Marian shrine to Our Lady of Penrhys in Wales.

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  News from the Marian Library

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: lapagedemarie.org; lapaginademaria.org; marypage.org; themarypage.org; marypage.udayton.edu; and themarypage.net.  The original address on the University of Dayton site, www.udayton.edu/mary, 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.  CatholicWeb.com highlights items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News.  Catholic.net 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 commenced on February 20.  The course schedule for this semester is now available.

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Food For The Sould

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Office of the Rector at the University of Dayton is sponsoring a series of talks in March on "Mary, A Woman for Today." 

Our Images of Mary--Tuseday, March 8
Our Lady of the Pillar--Wednesday, March 14
Mary's Storyline--Wednesday, March 22
Mary and Justice--Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Each will be held in room 310 in Kennedy Union from Noon - 1 pm with a light luncheon provided.  RSVP required.
For reservations or more information call 937-229-2409.

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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Feast Fit for a Seminary
Madonna della Fiducia
Vatican City, February 23, 2006

During this first year of Benedict XVI's pontificate, Romans have been delighted to see the continuation of many of Pope John Paul II's traditional appointments in the city. This Feb. 25, the Saturday before Lent, the Holy Father will commemorate the feast of the Madonna della Fiducia, at the Roman Seminary.


The Madonna della Fiducia is a simple little devotional image (see right), painted by a religious sister in the 18th century, which has accompanied the Roman Seminary from its first home in the Collegio Romano to its present home at St. John Lateran.

The Madonna's fame grew during World War I when the Roman seminarians, after being drafted into service in the Italian army, gathered in her chapel and made a vow to her before being taken off to war. Only one seminarian returned and the dog tags of the fallen were incorporated into the image as rays around the Madonna and Child.

Over the decades, many popes have visited the small chapel from time to time, but John Paul II visited the Roman Seminary and the Madonna della Fiducia every year during his pontificate. And now the seminarians are busily preparing for the first visit of Benedict XVI.

An out-of-the-ordinary alumnus returned for the Madonna of Fiducia this year--the last American priest to have been ordained from the Roman Seminary. Father Christopher Smith was ordained July 23, 2005, and is now serving at St. Mary's Parish in Greenville, South Carolina, which was celebrated in George Weigel's 2004 book, "Letters to a Young Catholic."

I asked Father Smith about his own devotion to the Madonna della Fiducia. "When I first went to the seminary, I was struck by my fellow students keeping vigil day and night in the chapel," he replied. "'Fiducia' means 'confidence' and for us it meant confidence to pursue our vocation." He then added an intriguing observation about the Madonna's continuing role in his ministry. "As a newly ordained priest, I find myself trying to help people in various life crises," he began, "and when faced with complicated problems, instead of thinking I can come up with all the answers, I give people the holy card of the Madonna so we can pray to her together."

Father Smith also noted that the Madonna della Fiducia "helps people to reorient their thinking towards God's providential design in their lives which the Mother of God can give them confidence to see."

Sister Lucia's Remains are Moved to Shrine
Fatima, Portugal, February 20, 2006

The mortal remains of Sister Lucia, witness of the 1917 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, have left the Carmelite Convent of Coimbra, to rest in the Shrine of Fatima. The body of the nun, who died a year ago at age 97, was taken Sunday to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. According to the Portuguese Catholic news agency Ecclesia, some 250,000 people accompanying the arrival waved white scarves, a custom in the farewell procession in large pilgrimages to the shrine.

The history of the apparitions was recounted during the brief ceremony, beginning with the first, on May 13, 1917. Sister Lucia is buried next to Blessed Jacinta, another of the Fatima visionaries. Blessed Francisco, the other witness of the apparitions, is buried in the same basilica. A stone to be placed on Sister Lucia's tomb reads: "Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart, to whom Our Lady appeared. March 22, 1907--February 13, 2005. Translated to this basilica on February 19, 2006."  On the stones of the other two little shepherds there is, in addition, an inscription that states: "Beatified on May 13, 2000."

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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.

Why aren't Catholics reacting to Blasphemies?
[Source: Manila Standard Today, February 23, 2006]

Would you believe that in a recent national ranking of the country’s most competitive cities, the predictable names emerged--Davao, Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa and Marikina. But, nowhere was Cebu City, the Queen City of the South, mentioned.

I have been to Cebu many times, and I consider it as a dynamic metropolis, with all its assets and amenities, not to mention its fabulous beach and hotel resorts. It’s in fact a tourist and investment destination. How come that even midsized cities (more than 200,000 population) like Bacolod, Iligan, Iloilo and San Fernando, Pampanga showed up in the survey?

Santa Banana, among lesser cities with less than 200,000 population, like Dagupan, Koronadal (South Cotabato), Legaspi, Iligan, Naga, Surigao and Tagum were listed. The city government and Cebuanos should protest.

The nationwide survey was conducted by the Asian Institute of Management Policy with the assistance of the US Agency for International Development and Germany’s Technical Cooperation Unit. Obviously, they have a bias against Cebuanos and Cebu City. I can’t believe they are that stupid and ignorant of Cebu.

* * *

I have been wondering why Christendom--Catholics and Protestants alike, and others--does not react as violently as the Muslims do with the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in a political cartoon in a Danish newspaper and followed up by other European newspapers when Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin and even God Himself are blasphemed all over media.

First, consider Dan Brown’s bestseller Da Vince Code which has been made a movie by Hollywood, and soon to be shown in local theaters depicting Jesus Christ as having married Mary Magdalene and that the Holy Grail--traditionally known as the chalice where the Host and the Wine were transformed into the Body and Blood of the Christ during the Last Supper--was actually Magdalene. This is blasphemy of the first order, and to make a movie out of it is even worse. And it’s the Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, being blasphemed, not a prophet.

But, are Catholics and Christians reacting as violently as the Muslims do? Santa Banana, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is not even raising a whimper with the upcoming Da Vince Code movie starring Tom Hanks.

Now comes the out-rightly blasphemous cable feature on the Jack TV Channel, depicting Christ as a nitwit, who cannot even do the illusion of multiplying loaves of bread and fish in an apparent reference to the miracles recounted in Luke 9:16. The blasphemy is made worse when the Blessed Virgin was shown standing with the red liquid flowing between her feet, and a voice-over was heard saying: "She’s a virgin, indeed!"

And tragedy for us Catholics is that Movie and Television Ratings and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairman Consoliza Laguardia has not lifted a finger. The tragedy becomes worse with the CBCP, that is so vocal on political matters, is so tight-lipped on the blasphemy.

As a Catholic, I’d say that if ever Christians in the Philippines react, their anger should be directed not only on those behind it, but more so on people of the MTRCB who have become inutile and Catholic bishops who have their priorities screwed up.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hit the nail right on the head when she told the Foreign Correspondents Club of the Philippines that with Charter Change and the shift to a parliamentary unicameral system of government, the country would no longer be beset with coup attempts and Edsa "ad nauseam."

To me, this removal of coup threats and more Edsa is the best and most urgent proof of the need to do away with a degenerate political system where the legitimacy of an elected president is always questioned by those who lost. In this country, there are two kinds of candidates after every election--the winners and those who claim they were cheated.

In a parliamentary unicameral system, an incompetent and corrupt official can always be removed by a mere “no confidence” vote by his peers. No more Edsas ad infinitum, and no more coup threats. We may have a "revolving door" type of government, but certainly that’s a lot better than Edsas and coup threats. Besides, look at Thailand. They had nine changes of prime ministers, but look at it now, a developing country.

Aside from this beneficial effect of a parliamentary system, the country cannot go on any longer spending P5 billion for a presidential candidate expecting to win, an expense that promotes cronyism and graft and corruption. Where do you think a candidate who spends that much gets his money? From people who expect a return of investments and much more, naturally.

It seems the relentless efforts of the Optical Media Board (OMB) in fighting widespread audio-video piracy have paid off with the removal of the country from the US government’s Special 301st list of countries with no sufficient intellectual property rights protection. This is certainly great news for OMB Chairman Edu Manzano who, together, with his men and the Philippine National Police, has been tirelessly conducting raids on counterfeit dens nationwide.

I initially had reservations about Manzano’s capability to head an anti-piracy campaign, considering the schedule devoted to his career as an actor. This development speaks well of his ability to manage his time.

For the past five years, the Philippines has been on the US "priority watch-list" owing to the steady rise of piracy since 1999, and the seeming inability of our courts to try and convict infringement cases. That’s why GMA’s directive to the justice department to put up special courts exclusively for intellectual property right cases for their more speedy resolution is a major step in the campaign.

Under Manzano’s watch, the OMB has made significant strides in its battle against entertainment piracy. This, despite limited financial resources. Trade Secretary Peter Favila mentioned to US Rep. Rob Portman in their meeting in Korea last November that more than P1 billion worth of fake discs were seized by the OMB from January to September 2005.

On the same issue, there has been a brouhaha raised by some quarters over the 20 percent share that the President has allocated to the OMB from the gross revenues of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). One entity that’s whining over the new MMFF Sharing Scheme is the Film Academy of the Philippines whose share has been cut to 10 percent from the previous 30 percent.

It must be noted, however, that it is primarily the movie industry that benefits from the OMB’s antipiracy campaign. One reason why the movie industry in the Philippines has been languishing--in fact, now clinically dead--with only some 20 to 30 films a year from about 500 maximum 10 years ago, is the proliferation of pirated movies, both local and foreign.

Thus, it’s unfair that the OMB should be begrudged the extra financial assistance extended to it.

GMA’s view is that protection of intellectual property rights is protection of Filipino creativity. After all, how can our artists continue creating if they earn so little, or lose money.  The local movie industry must be saved, the campaign against piracy must be assisted, and best of all, taxes which have made movies a clinically dead industry must be reduced.

There were reports that a few days ago, former President Cory Aquino, the Makati Business Club and members of the "Hyatt-10," who have renamed themselves the "Black and White Movement," held a meeting with the predictable agenda of mounting protests and demonstrations demanding the ouster of GMA.

The cabal would expectedly come out with more insidious ways of kicking out the President who gets more defiant and determined to stay on in office every time some "conspiracy theory" emerges from the opposition and those lusting for power. In fact, as the President stated, there are those who claim they have a franchise--with obvious reference to Cory--to take advantage of the 20th anniversary of Edsa 1, thinking that every President after Mrs. Aquino should curtsy to her.

My gosh, are they that stupid not to realize that the people are truly sick and tired of them. Look at Cory, who is listening to her, and who is following her?

Man Recounts Holy Sightings
[Source: Chicago Daily Herald, January 21, 2006]

Hundreds flocked to Holy Family Parish in Inverness Friday night to hear Ivan Dragicevic describe the day the Virgin Mary appeared to him in Medjugorie.

Since the day Dragicevic and five other people say they saw the Virgin Mary in 1981, millions have made the pilgrimage to the town in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"The day is deeply imprinted in my heart," Dragicevic told the congregation through an interpreter. "There was our lady, holding the baby Jesus in her arms, floating on a cloud."

Dragicevic visited Holy Family as part of a nationwide tour to spread the messages he and the other visionaries said Jesus' mother has relayed to them.

The messages typically ask believers to pray for various causes and spread love, Dragicevic said.

Dragicevic, who was 16 at the time, said he was trembling with fear when he first saw Mary.

Since then, he said he has witnessed daily appearances by Jesus' mother. He said he will continue to do so until the Virgin Mary reveals to him 10 secrets about supernatural signs and chastisements for sin.

The audience at Holy Family on Friday was able to watch Dragicevic experience a daily apparition, which he did silently.

"Just because I've seen our lady doesn't mean I converted overnight," said Dragicevic, who said his family struggled under the communist regime. "It's been a process, and I have to be persistent. It's a daily change to open myself to peace."

The Rev. Patrick Brennan centered Friday's Mass around Mary.

"Anyone who denies the importance of Mary simply does not know the scriptures," Brennan said. "The church was born at the foot of the cross where Mary stood with Jesus in his defeat."

Dragicevic will also pay a visit to St. Peter Damian Church, 109 S. Crest Ave., in Bartlett at 5:30 p.m. today.

To Pray for or Profit from Virgin Mary?
[Source: Portland Press Herald (Maine), January 27, 2006]

Her Catholic upbringing taught her that faith is priceless. But when you have the Virgin Mary in the back seat of your Pontiac Sunfire, temptation lurks around every corner.

"I don't know what to do," Veronica Dennis said Thursday, holding up the panel from her burned-out home that is either a sign from heaven itself or one creepy piece of wreckage. "To see this when I walked into my totaled house--I got the feeling everything was going to be OK. Do I really want to let go of that?"

There are two distinctly different answers to that question.

The first is to kneel down in front of Our Lady of the Faulty Space Heater and pray. The second is to offer it up ... on eBay.

Since Dennis's house fire first made headlines a week ago, Mainers far and wide have debated whether she should keep the likeness of the Blessed Virgin that appeared behind a print in her smoke-ravaged dining room, or strike while the icon is hot and sell it on the world's biggest Internet auction site.

For Dennis, it's hardly the no-brainer so many people seem to think it is. She's drawn comfort from what she truly sees as a divine message; she's just not sure if it was aimed at her soul or her checking account.

Meanwhile, the market awaits.

Dennis has heard about the grilled cheese sandwich bearing the Virgin Mary's likeness that sold on eBay for a staggering $28,000. It's one of many heavenly oddities purchased in cyberspace by the online casino GoldenPalace.com. Others include the water-stained plaster from Pittsburgh that looks a lot like Jesus Christ (a virtual steal at $1,999), the Doritos chip that could double as a Pope's mitre ($1,209) and the pretzel that captures the Blessed Virgin holding the Baby Jesus ($10,600).

Then there are the residuals: Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese T-shirts are now available online for a mere $19.99.

The problem is, this opportunity won't last forever. Contacted in Ontario at www.wesellit.ca., President Barry Triller said he thought he'd hit pay dirt last year when a customer came in with an old door featuring none other than Mother Teresa. He posted it on eBay with a required opening bid of $10,000--ignoring the heathens who said it looked more like the villain from the movie "Scream."

And?

"We couldn't get enough press in the U.S.," Triller lamented. "We had some interest up here, but the real market for this stuff is with your fellow patriots in the U.S."

In the end, Mother Teresa went for a paltry $270 to (who else?) GoldenPalace.com. "They would have paid a lot more," noted Triller, "but nobody bid it up."

All of which suggests that Dennis needs to make up her mind soon: Will the Virgin Mary image remain her personal reminder that life goes on? Or will it be the next miracle among eBay's "Weird and Bizarre" listings?

"I just haven't decided," she repeated as she carefully put the panel back in the car and wiped the soot off her hands. "I've been told by people who have seen other images that this is the most pronounced they've ever seen."

Thus, even at the risk of "sounding like a fruitcake," Dennis is taking her time. She might even put the question to a priest: Would it be OK to put the Blessed Virgin on eBay?

Or would it be too . . . cheesy?

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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, 03/01/2006 13:09:50 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.