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 September 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 September.

Return to Top

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.

We are in the process of posting extensive new material on Teachings of the Popes and Councils on the Virgin Mary.  The latest addition was Documents up to the Council of Trent.  Expect more sections to follow.  N.B. Javacript must be enabled in your browser!

We have posted a meditation by John Stokes on  Reparation Through Flowers and also an article on the Holy Land, In the Footsteps of Mary of Nazareth.

Return to Top

  News from the Marian Library

Next Exhibit

"Mary--A Feminine Touch," a retrospective exhibit of works by the late Beverly Stoller, will run from October 1 through November 17 at the Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  The exhibit is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  To view the display outside of normal operating hours, call 937-229-4214.

Creches 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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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 sites 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.

Return to Top

International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2006 semester will commence on October 9.  The course schedule for the Fall semester is now available.

Return to Top

Family Rosary Rally II

Date: Sunday, October 8, 2006

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Location: University of Dayton Arena

To receive further information click into

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

Return to Top

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!

Return to Top


Pope Gives His Cardinal's Ring to Mary at Altoetting
Presents It at 14th-Century Image of the Black Virgin
Altoetting, Germany, September 12, 2006

Benedict XVI gave his cardinal's ring to the Black Virgin of Altoetting, at the most famous shrine of Germany and the "religious heart" of Bavaria. The Holy Father made the gesture Monday. As Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, he received the cardinal's ring in 1977 from Pope Paul VI, who named him cardinal of Munich. Vatican sources said that the ring was kept by the Holy Father's brother Georg, 82, who is also a priest and who lives in Regensburg. Monsignor Georg Ratzinger gave the Pope the ring on Monday, to give to the Blessed Virgin, to whom he is very devoted. Benedict XVI feels very much linked to Altoetting, which is 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Marktl-am-Inn, his birthplace.

The Ratzinger family often visited the shrine, and the Pope once said that he had the good fortune to be able to visit the church regularly, especially the Chapel of Graces (Gnadenkapelle), where the Black Virgin is venerated. The image of the Black Virgin is a small wood carving, so named because it has been blackened over the centuries by the smoke of the votive candles lit by the faithful. The statue of the Blessed Virgin dates back to 1330. The shrine, visited annually by 1 million people, is famous for two apparitions of the Virgin in 1489.

The chapel at the shrine houses a silver urn with the hearts of all the Bavarian kings. The first thing the Holy Father did when arriving in Altoetting was to prostrate himself at the foot of the Blessed Virgin.

Papal Address at Munich's Mariensaule
"A Beast of Burden"
Munich, Germany, September 11, 2006

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered Saturday at Munich's Mariensäule (Virgin's Column), during which he once again entrusted Bavaria to the Mother of God.

Lady Chancellor and Mr. Minister President,
Dear Lord Cardinals, Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and Priesthood,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters:

It is particularly moving for me to be in this most beautiful square again at the foot of the Mariensäule, a place that, as has just been mentioned, on two other occasions has witnessed decisive changes for my life.

Here, as mentioned, almost 30 years ago, the faithful welcomed me with joy and I placed in the Virgin's hands the journey I was to undertake, as the step from a university chair to the service of archbishop of Munich and Freising was an enormous leap.

Only with this protection and with the evident love of the inhabitants of Munich and Bavaria did I dare to assume that ministry, succeeding Cardinal Döpfner. Then, in 1982, I bid farewell here. Present was the archbishop of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Hamer, who would later be cardinal, and I said to him: "The inhabitants of Munich are like the Neapolitans, they want to touch the archbishop, they love him." He was impressed to see here, in Munich, so much cordialness, to be able to know the Bavarian heart in this place, in which I, once again, entrusted myself to the Virgin. ...

And so I find myself again at the foot of the Mariensäule, imploring the intercession and blessing of the Mother of God, not only for the city of Munich and for my beloved Bavaria, but for the universal Church and for all people of good will.

Pope Homily at Mass at Altoetting
"Mary Leaves Everything to the Lord's Judgment"
Altoetting, Germany, September 11, 2006

Here is a Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave at the Celebration of the Eucharist today at the Kapellplatz Altoetting.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In today's First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel, three times and in three different ways, we see Mary, the Mother of the Lord, as a woman of prayer. In the Book of Acts we find her in the midst of the community of the apostles gathered in the Upper Room, praying that the Lord, now ascended to the Father, will fulfill his promise: Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (1:5).

Mary leads the nascent Church in prayer; she is, as it were in person, the Church at prayer. And thus, along with the great community of the saints and at their center, she stands even today before God interceding for us, asking her Son to send his Spirit once more upon the Church and to renew the face of the earth.

Our response to this reading is to sing with Mary the great hymn of praise which she raises after Elizabeth calls her blessed because of her faith. It is a prayer of thanksgiving, of joy in God, of blessing for his mighty works. The tenor of this hymn is clear from its very first words: My soul magnifies--makes great--the Lord. Making the Lord great means giving him a place in the world, in our lives, and letting him enter into our time and our activity: Ultimately this is the essence of true prayer. Where God is made great, men and women are not made small: There too men and women become great and the world is filled with light.

In the Gospel passage, Mary makes a request of her Son on behalf of some friends in need. At first sight, this could appear to be an entirely human conversation between a Mother and her Son and it is indeed a dialogue rich in humanity. Yet Mary does not speak to Jesus as if he were a mere man on whose ability and helpfulness she can count. She entrusts a human need to his power--to a power which is more than skill and human ability.

In this dialogue with Jesus, we actually see her as a Mother who asks, one who intercedes. As we listen to this Gospel passage, it is worth going a little deeper, not only to understand Jesus and Mary better, but also to learn from Mary the right way to pray. Mary does not really ask something of Jesus: She simply says to him: They have no wine (John 2:3).

Weddings in the Holy Land were celebrated for a whole week; the entire town took part, and consequently much wine was consumed. Now the wedding couple find themselves in trouble, and Mary simply says this to Jesus. She doesn't tell Jesus what to do. She doesn't ask for anything in particular, and she certainly doesn't ask him to perform a miracle to make wine. She simply hands the matter over to Jesus and leaves him to decide what to do.

In the straightforward words of the Mother of Jesus, then, we can see two things: on the one hand her affectionate concern for people, that maternal affection which makes her aware of the problems of others. We see her heartfelt goodness and her willingness to help. This is the Mother that generations of people have come here to Altoetting to visit. To her we entrust our cares, our needs and our troubles. Her maternal readiness to help, in which we trust, appears here for the first time in the holy Scriptures.

But in addition to this first aspect, with which we are all familiar, there is another, which we could easily overlook: Mary leaves everything to the Lord's judgment. At Nazareth she gave over her will, immersing it in the will of God: Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38). And this continues to be her fundamental attitude.

This is how she teaches us to pray: not by seeking to affirm our own will and our own desires before God, but by letting him decide what he wants to do. From Mary we learn graciousness and readiness to help, but we also learn humility and generosity in accepting God's will, in the confident conviction that whatever he says in response will be best for us.

If all this helps us to understand Mary's attitude and her words, we still find it hard to understand Jesus' answer. In the first place, we don't like the way he addresses her: Woman. Why doesn't he say: Mother? But this title really expresses Mary's place in salvation history. It points to the future, to the hour of the crucifixion, when Jesus will say to her: Woman, behold your son--Son, behold your mother (cf. John 19:26-27). It anticipates the hour when he will make the woman, his Mother, the Mother of all his disciples.

On the other hand, the title Woman recalls the account of the creation of Eve: Adam, surrounded by creation in all its magnificence, experiences loneliness as a human being. Then Eve is created, and in her Adam finds the companion whom he longed for; and he gives her the name woman. In the Gospel of John, then, Mary represents the new, the definitive woman, the companion of the Redeemer, our Mother: The name, which seemed so lacking in affection, actually expresses the grandeur of Mary's mission.

Yet we like even less the other part of Jesus' answer to Mary at Cana: Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come (John 2:4). We want to object: You have a lot to do with her! It was Mary who gave you flesh and blood, who gave you your body, and not only your body: With the yes which rose from the depths of her heart she bore you in her womb and with a mother's love she gave you life and introduced you to the community of the people of Israel.

If this is our response to Jesus, then we are already well along the way toward understanding his answer. Because all this should remind us that in holy Scripture we find a parallelism between Mary's dialogue with the Archangel Gabriel, where she says: Let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38), and the passage of the Letter to the Hebrews which cites the words of Psalm 40 about the dialogue between Father and Son--the dialogue which results in the Incarnation. The Eternal Son says to the Father: Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me. ... See, I have come to do your will, O God (Hebrews 10:5-7; cf. Psalm 40:6-8).

The yes of the Son: I have come to do your will, and the yes of Mary: Let it be with me according to your word--this double yes becomes a single yes, and thus the Word becomes flesh in Mary. In this double yes the obedience of the Son is embodied, and Mary gives him that body. Woman, what have I to do with you? Ultimately, what each has to do with the other is found in this double yes which resulted in the Incarnation.

It is to this point of profound unity that the Lord is referring. Here, in this common yes to the will of the Father, an answer is found. We too need to progress toward this point; and there we will find the answer to our questions.

If we take this as our starting point, we can also understand the second part of Jesus' answer: My hour has not yet come. Jesus never acts completely alone, and never for the sake of pleasing others. The Father is always the starting point of his actions, and this is what unites him to Mary, because she wished to make her request in this same unity of will with the Father.

And so, surprisingly, after hearing Jesus' answer, which apparently refuses her request, she can simply say to the servants: Do whatever he tells you (John 2:5). Jesus is not a wonder-worker, he does not play games with his power in what is, after all, a private affair. He gives a sign, in which he proclaims his hour, the hour of the wedding feast, the hour of union between God and man.

He does not merely make wine, but transforms the human wedding feast into an image of the divine wedding feast, to which the Father invites us through the Son and in which he gives us every good thing. The wedding feast becomes an image of the Cross, where God showed his love to the end, giving himself in his Son in flesh and blood--in the Son who instituted the sacrament in which he gives himself to us for all time. Thus a human problem is solved in a way that is truly divine and the initial request is superabundantly granted. Jesus' hour has not yet arrived, but in the sign of the water changed into wine, in the sign of the festive gift, he even now anticipates that hour.

Jesus' definitive hour will be his return at the end of time. Yet he continually anticipates this hour in the Eucharist, in which, even now, he always comes to us. And he does this ever anew through the intercession of his Mother, through the intercession of the Church, which cries out to him in the Eucharistic prayers: Come, Lord Jesus!

In the Canon of the Mass, the Church constantly prays for this hour to be anticipated, asking that he may come even now and be given to us. And so we want to let ourselves be guided by Mary, by the Mother of Graces of Altoetting, by the Mother of all the faithful, toward the hour of Jesus.

Let us ask him for the gift of a deeper knowledge and understanding of him. And may our reception of him not be reduced to the moment of communion alone. Jesus remains present in the sacred Host and he awaits us constantly. Here in Altoetting, the adoration of the Lord in the Eucharist has found a new location in the old treasury. Mary and Jesus go together.

Through Mary we want to continue our converse with the Lord and to learn how to receive him better. Holy Mother of God, pray for us, just as at Cana you prayed for the bride and the bridegroom! Guide us toward Jesus--ever anew! Amen!

Return to Top

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.

Face to Faith
[Source: The Guardian (London), July 15, 2006]

Lourdes is a place that makes the secular world very uneasy. And why not? This is, after all, where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared before a 14-year-old girl out gathering firewood. It's where, in an age when medical science can reproduce, let alone prolong life, the church seeks to remind people of the power of faith over science with all those walking sticks and crutches hanging in the grotto after being cast aside by the halt and the lame. Surely, too, this is more profane than sacred, holiness defiled, with materialism lurking beneath the cloak of the spiritual in a religious Blackpool, crowded with tacky plastic statuettes of the Virgin, holy medals by the million, crucifixes of every size; Catholic kitsch at its best--or worst.

Well, not quite. For one thing, the crutches and walking sticks have long gone. The commercialism is confined to the town where you'll find the shops, restaurants and hotels. There, too, for a few euros you can visit Bernadette Soubirous's birthplace and the former town lock-up where she and her family took refuge when poverty made them homeless. The town is not very large, a pleasant enough place of winding streets that run down from the railway station to the domain, the 125 acres which contains the grotto, two basilicas, 20 other places of worship, and the accommodation for some of the ill and disabled pilgrims. In its one shop all you can buy there are commemorative coins and stamps, postcards, books and a not very eye-catching magazine.

Curiously, during the 18 apparitions or appearances which Bernadette witnessed, the Virgin Mary never once spoke of Lourdes as a place of physical healing. But despite that, it is understandable that that it should have acquired that association. It is in a part of the country where there had been medieval pilgrimage routes, as well as other, much older shrines not too far distant. It was an area where Catholicism and miraculous tales of the Virgin's intervention were mixed with animism, magic, wondrous story telling.

There have been only 66 validated cures which the Church has recognised in the past 148 years. Cures have to be sudden, complete and permanent. The domain has its own medical bureau. Its director carries out initial investigation of any claims. He may then refer the case for extensive analysis by the International Medical Committee and then, if they refer it to the appropriate diocesan bishop, there can be further investigation by that bishop's medical adviser.

There were only 65,000 among the 6 million pilgrims in 2004 were ill or disabled. People seek something else. One thing that any visitor will notice is that while there is the steady hum in the domain of people chatting with one another, laughing or saying the rosary, there is also an enormous feeling of peace and silence. To experience this is to realise that silence is not the absence of noise.

The relationship between faith and science continues to be contested but while they may be distinct, that does not mean that they are separate, still less opposed. Indeed, modern medicine stresses the importance of body, mind and spirit and their interaction in the cure of illness.

The devout believe that miracles happen. When they occur they are one sign of God's work in the world. But much more happens in Lourdes in people's souls than happens to their bodies. Many gain a sense of peace; others a strengthening of faith; some conversion; others a return to faith. These are other kinds of healing not open to the analysis of science.

A small statue, half way up a path behind the grotto, where few pilgrims stray, bears testimony to this. A blind man kneels and holds a cross. An Italian woman had it erected to commemorate her conversion at the grotto. The words, at the base, in Latin, French and Italian, say: "Regaining your faith is more important than regaining your sight." That, perhaps, is the true meaning of Lourdes.

Soccer Team Throws a Hail Mary Mass
[Source: Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2006]

Thousands of people wearing their Sunday best will flock today to the Home Depot Center, the site of a Major League Soccer game between Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Before a ball is dropped on the field, though, Chivas USA has arranged for an outdoor Catholic Mass that is expected to fill all 8,000 seats in a stadium next to the soccer field.

People will come to pay reverence to La Virgen de Zapopan, a small, 16th century statue of the Virgin Mary from the Mexican state of Jalisco that many believe has delivered miracles. The Mass will conclude an hour before the soccer game, then rivals Chivas USA and the Galaxy will play for the third time this season.

The Mass is among the first held in conjunction with an athletic contest by a modern-day professional sports organization. "It's the right match between the beliefs of our fan base and the roots of our organization," said Antonio Cue, a Chivas USA co-owner. "The Virgin of Zapopan is very important to Jalisco as well as all Mexicans."

In professional sports, where hitters point to the skies after home runs, football players huddle for post-game prayers and shooters make the sign of the cross before free throws, the line between athletic contests and religion has long been blurred.

But religion in its more traditional sense has recently shown a synergy with professional sports.

Some Major League Baseball teams offer faith nights featuring contemporary Christian music after games. The Atlanta Braves have scheduled three such nights, the Arizona Diamondbacks one, and the Florida Marlins are tentatively on board. Atlanta's star pitcher, John Smoltz, will speak before one of the Christian concerts, and the Braves are selling combination tickets for $16 that get patrons into the ballgame and the music performance.

Separately, the Church of Scientology announced its backing of a La Verne stock car driver who competes in one of NASCAR's developmental series.

And an Alabama minor league arena football team recently wore uniforms during warm-ups that pictured a Bible on the front of the players' jerseys and Bible verses on the back.

Supporters say the merging of sports and religion creates a more family-oriented atmosphere at sporting events. Critics argue that mixing the two excludes people who don't share the same beliefs.

"Some people may be offended by the presence of a religion," said Joseph L. Price, a professor of religious studies at Whittier College. "If this were the Oakland Raiders, the last thing you want is to try and convert their brawling fans. But if the object is to appeal to a particular team's demographic, Chivas is doing it."

Chivas USA, a second-year team attempting to connect with the largely untapped Los Angeles Mexican-American soccer fan base, is an unlikely focus of the debate.

The MLS team struggled to a 4-22-6 record last year and averaged 17,000 fans a game. Today's match is expected to sell out with 27,000 fans.

The local Chivas team is owned by the same group that owns Mexico's most popular soccer team, Chivas de Guadalajara.

In Mexico, the division between sports and religion is slight. At Chivas de Guadalajara's home stadium, there is a chapel for players and fans to visit.

Today's Mass will be said in the tennis stadium adjacent to the field. There will be a rededication of a golden soccer ball presented to La Virgen by a 1950s Chivas de Guadalajara team, followed by a procession to the soccer field for the Chivas-Galaxy match.

"We don't take it really as a promotion," said Cue, who was born in Mexico City. "I don't think it's mixing the two, it's more like the visit is complementing the beliefs of our fan base."

Father Luis Angel Nieto of Resurrection Church in East Los Angeles will be the celebrant of today's Mass. He said that scheduling the service with a sports event isn't awkward, and can serve as a way for the church to reach a broader audience.

"Our faith is in all the aspects of our life," Nieto said through an interpreter. "There will be a lot people that you can't find at any other place than at Home Depot Center. It will be a chance to serve a big congregation that you can't usually get."

Religion nights can be effective promotions for sports organizations, according to Price.

"It becomes not merely a celebration of a religious faith, but a marketing tool for the team itself," he said. "It's probably going to draw controversy, but I would bet that attendance is going to rise significantly as well."

The 13-inch La Virgen de Zapopan statue is lesser known than the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, but is revered by Mexican Americans in the Southland, many of whom immigrated from Jalisco.

The Zapopan statue is brought to Southland churches every two years.

Juan Pablo Garcia, a Chivas USA midfielder from Jalisco, prayed before the statue during one stop in Glendale. He scored the winning goal in a match that week and attributed the score to his visit.

"I'm a very believing person, and I always think she is going to help me because my parents raised me that way," Garcia said through an interpreter.

Chivas players helped promote the statue's pilgrimage by paying respects, and a team truck carried the statue to local churches.

The permanent home of La Virgen is a basilica in Zapopan, a bustling commercial municipality and part of Jalisco's Guadalajara metropolitan area. A priest brought the statue of Mary to the Indians after they were defeated by the Spaniards in the area during the 16th century.

"She is very admired by Mexicans," said Humberto Macias, a massage therapist involved with Chivas for nearly five decades, through an interpreter. "The importance of her coming here to this stadium is large."

At a recent Chivas game, many fans were excited about the statue's impending visit.

"It's hard to see her often, because I can't make it home," said Jose Loera, a Jalisco native. "To see her here will be inspirational. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

However, not everyone agreed the mix is a good idea.

"I come here to root for Chivas, have a cold beer and enjoy soccer," said Frank Guillen, 36. "The games are on Saturdays. All the church things, I take care of the next day."

After today, La Virgen will start her trek back to Zapopan. On Oct. 12, more than 2 million will attend a predawn Mass and procession as she starts her final leg home from the city of Guadalajara.

The eagerly awaited celebration will include drums, flutes, metal clogs and dancers lining the streets.

But first comes today's Mass before the soccer game.

"All these fans will go see La Virgen de Zapopan in the church, why not bring La Virgen to the Home Depot Center?" Cue said.

Return to Top

Our Mary Page web site is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see What's New.

  Return to Archive


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Friday, 09/29/2006 11:51:51 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

URL for this page is