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 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 Mary and Judaism in Jewish-Christian Dialogue.  Expect more sections to follow.

We have also posted What About Saint Joseph?

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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:;;;;; 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 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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On Ash Wednesday
Conclusion of the address Benedict XVI delivered during the general audience in Saint Peter's Square
Vatican City, March 1, 2006

May Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, who is teacher of listening and faithful adherence to God, accompany us on this journey of penance. Purified and renewed in mind and spirit, may the Virgin Mary help us to celebrate the great mystery of Christ's Pasch. With these sentiments I wish all a good and fruitful Lent.

Approach Lent With a New Spirit
Vatican City, February 26, 2006

In comments before the Angelus, Benedict XVI spoke of the forthcoming period of Lent and concluded saying: "May our guide and teacher in our Lenten journey be Mary Most Holy, who, when Jesus went with determination to Jerusalem to suffer the passion, followed him with total faith. As a "new amphora" she received the "new wine" prepared by the Son for the messianic betrothal (cf. Mark 2:22). And, in this way, she was the first to receive under the Cross that grace, poured out by the pierced heart of the son, incarnation of the love of God for humanity, that she herself, had requested with a mother's instinct for the bride and groom of Cana (cf. "Deus Caritas Est," Nos. 13-15).

[After praying the Angelus, the Pope made this appeal:]
May all, through the intercession of the Holy Virgin, again encounter him, who is authentic peace!

Benedictine Shrine to Celebrate Jubilee Year
Montserrat, Spain, February 26, 2006

Benedict XVI has granted a Jubilee Year to the Benedictine Shrine of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain. Interview With Abbot Josep Marķa Soler

Q: The Virgin of Montserrat is patroness of Catalonia. What does this mean in the life of the believer?

Abbot Soler: It means a prolongation of the mystery of the Incarnation in Christian communities placed under Mary's patronage.

She, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, is present in peoples' lives also through the iconography with which each nation has wished to express the Virgin's protection over the local Church.

The liturgy says of Mary that "with her holiness, she honors all Churches." To be patroness means a spiritual relationship made up of love, solicitous care, and intercessory maternity. At the same time it means to be a model of Christian life.

Q: How can this year of grace and forgiveness contribute to pacify spirits in Spain?

Abbot Soler: The theme of this Jubilee Year is "Mary, Mother of Consolation and Hope," because the experience of pilgrims is that the encounter with her in this shrine, gives them consolation, invites them to draw near to Christ by celebrating his sacraments and infuses hope in them.

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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.

Small Maine Town Buzzing Over Virgin Mary Likeness
[Source: Portland Press Herald (Maine), January 22, 2006]

Nestled in a valley on the Androscoggin River, Mexico bills itself as the Gateway to the Western Mountains. Now the town of 3,000 can make another claim to fame: Home of the latest Virgin Mary sighting.

Ever since an image that some believe is a likeness of the mother of Jesus was found on Veronica Dennis' dining room wall after a fire at her home last week, residents have been abuzz.

Some wonder whether their sleepy little town will be turned upside down by an influx of pilgrims seeking miracles. Others hope the image is an omen of good things to come. Others are wondering what all the fuss is about.

Word of the sighting soon got out when the local newspaper published a story and photograph of the image that was beamed around the world by international wire services. Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, was quoted as saying the image was "amazing to look at." By Thursday, Dennis had become a local celebrity and townspeople had begun to refer to her home as "the house."

Overlooking Rumford and the steam-chugging Rumford Paper Co., Mexico appears largely unchanged from the Depression-era photographs taken on Main Street that line the hallway of the municipal building. The Catholic church around the corner, St. Theresa's, shares one priest with four other parishes in neighboring towns.

Here, opinions appear to be divided about the significance of the image. Some said they already have been changed by its appearance. Dennis' ex-husband, John, said he was not particularly religious before the fire. "I am now," he said.

Renee Diconzo of Mexico, a clerk at the One Stop on Route 17, said there is some sort of miracle going on but she is not just sure what. "I think what is pretty amazing is that it has been on the front page of the paper three days in a row," said Diconzo.

Fire department truck driver Marc Mayo, who was not at the fire, said the likeness has a perfectly rational explanation.

"It is just an image from foam and smoke," Mayo said.

Others said they do not know what to think.

"Hopefully it will bring them good things," said Leisa Young, eating lunch at Dick's Pizza.

Dennis, a home health aide in her early 40s, said if nothing else, she hopes the image is a sign that a run of bad luck that struck on Jan. 13, a Friday, has finally ended.

On that day, she said, she was let go from her job. The next day her daughter's boyfriend broke his leg delivering newspapers. On Sunday, as she and her daughter cleared ice off the driveway in anticipation of his return from the hospital, a fire broke out inside when a space heater ignited a bed.

Within minutes the house filled with smoke, flames crept up the walls and the heat started to melt the green siding.

When the fire had been put out by the largely volunteer Mexico Fire Department and the smoke had cleared, Dennis was allowed back in to collect a few personal items. The house was a wreck, filled with broken glass and burned furniture.

Dennis and her family started pulling down singed family photographs and other pictures from the walls to take away. What they found behind a framed print of a palm tree made everyone gasp: Etched into the wall was an image resembling the Virgin Mary.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Fire Chief Gary Wentzell.

Wentzell said the image was much clearer than the famous grilled cheese sandwich that some say is emblazoned with the image of the Virgin Mary. That sandwich fetched $28,000 on

He said it was even more eerie when one of the firefighters picked a statue of the Virgin Mary off the floor and held it next to the image. "And it was the same size as the painting," said Wentzell, Mexico's fire chief since the early 1990s.

For Dennis, the image has been a mixed blessing. She said she is amazed and stunned by it, which she fervently believes is a miracle. But she said she is terrified that pilgrims will descend on her house.

"I can't have people running out and in," said Dennis, a divorced mother of two daughters.

All week her neighbors kept a close eye on the place. Police stepped up patrols by the house, after a neighbor reported someone pulling down the plywood nailed over the windows. It turned out to be the insurance adjuster. But a steady stream of curiosity seekers driving by convinced Dennis to take action.

That is why she and her friends returned to the pitch black house Thursday night, rigged up a generator and cut the panel with the image free from the wall, with permission from the insurance adjuster.

That is how it wound up somewhat worse for wear in the back seat of her friend Meggan White's Saab sedan Friday morning, protected by an umbrella and several blankets. The two tried to blow off some of the dust with a hair dryer. They said they haven't figured out what to do with it yet.

Only a handful of people have seen the image in person. It appears reddish gold by flashlight and a smoky greenish blue by daylight.

Dennis had said she does not intend to cash in on the image. But now she's apparently on the fence. The Sun Journal in Lewiston reported Saturday that she would consider selling the item. The article even included Dennis' phone number for prospective buyers.

"I wouldn't even know how to preserve the thing," Dennis told the newspaper. "If someone wants it, why not share it."

New Interpretation of Traditional Images
[Source: The Korea Herald, January 16, 2006]

With different styles but a common goal of finding cultural identity in art, two Korean female artists will show their interpretations of traditional images at their upcoming exhibitions.

Sunny Kim's "Perfectly Natural" and Kim Eun-jin's "The Wicked Icon" are separate exhibits but organized together by the Ilmin Museum of Art because the two offer realistic paintings through traditional images.

Sunny Kim, who spent most of her youth in the United States until graduate school, is famous for using traditional Korean images in her Western-style paintings.

Art critics here associate her name with Korean school uniforms which Sunny Kim used to express political or social repression.

Now, however, her paintings are peaceful landscapes, reminding visitors of Korea's past natural landscape. "The title 'Perfectly Natural' perfectly matches my intention. This time, I'm trying to throw away strong images that I used to put in my earlier paintings," she told The Korea Herald.

The first painting that greets visitors is "Floating World," where a pair of pine trees are surrounded by pale but peaceful looking hills. She used Korean embroidery patterns such as birds to reach a point of perfection.

Sunny Kim said she found it ironic that that a perfect image could also be fake.

"A perfect landscape that I created can be another creation of a fake. Isn't it funny?" said the Korean-American artist. On the upper floor at the gallery, Kim Eun-jin's oriental works stun viewers as provocative distortions of religious icons are vastly spread out on the gallery wall.

Twisting "holy" images of Catholic icons and taking a mischievous look at sexuality, Kim Eun-jin creates the wicked icons taken from various traditional concepts. Paintings like "The Virgin Mary has a headache" or "Jesus, adorning himself with jewels" directly question what holiness is. Asked if she is religious, Kim Eun-jin said she is Protestant.

"I don't mean to attack Catholics or anything. The reason I chose Catholic icons is because Catholics have developed abundant cultures in terms of art," she said.

One hand of the Virgin Mary in her painting is stained with blood which symbolizes man's sin and the other hand wears a holy-looking white glove. Between the two, the Virgin Mary is in so much in pain that her face is falling apart.

On the other wall, two pigs--a symbol of a male body and female body--look at each other, wearing crowns and jewels. "I think the weight of a body is the same as that of a soul. People tend to put more weight on the soul especially when it comes to religion. But I don't think so," said Kim Eun-jin. Another interesting catch is the twist of the sexuality depicted by the pigs.

The seemingly "pretty" one is actually male and the "ugly" other is female.

Viewers might question if the paintings are indeed based on oriental materials. Yes, they are; they are the outcome of constant oriental brushing and pigmenting on Korean paper. "It took so much time to produce colorful backgrounds on Korean paper, which is not a very ideal material for pigmenting," said the artist.

The director of the gallery, Kim Hee-ryung, said that the efforts to reproduce traditional motifs and painting techniques in modern terms are crucial to the development of visual culture. "We will continue to support those efforts," said the director.

Sunny Kim's "Perfectly Natural" and Kim Eun-jin's "The Wicked Icon" will be held at the Ilmin Museum of Art in central Seoul from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Monday. The gallery is near Exit 5 at Gwanghwamun Station on Subway Line No. 5. For more information, call (02) 2020-2055. (

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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 Tuesday, 03/07/2006 11:35:38 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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