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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.


  News from the Marian Library


Mary in Books, Films and Music

Picturing Mary, a stunning new high-definition documentary to debut next month on public television, explores how images of the Virgin reflect numerous traditions, devotional practices, and cultures.  The one-hour program leads viewers on a pictorial journey through history from the earliest times to the present day and presents a stunning array of art from twelve locations in eight different countries.

Picturing Mary is a joint effort of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Catholic Communications Campaign (CCC) and New York public television station Thirteen/WNET.  The documentary follows their previous collaboration on the 2001 Emmy award-winning "The Face of Jesus in Art."  The documentary is narrated by actress Jane Seymour and features quotations read by actor James Keach.

A Spanish version can be accessed using SAP (Secondary audio program) television control.

Picturing Mary will be distributed to public television nationwide by American Public Television (APT) in December.  Already more than 100 stations, including stations in all top 10 markets, have scheduled it to air in December. (For a list of air dates and times, visit  DVD copies will be available for purchase at $19.95 from USCCB publishing (or call 800-235-8722).


For more information, visit or, or contact Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB at 202-541-3200.

A film on the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe and its impact on Mexican life was released Dec. 8 in the United States.

The movie "Guadalupe" was released in the context of celebrations for the 475th anniversary of the apparitions to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac.

Director Santiago Parra, a native of Ecuador, filmed scenes of the movie in Europe and the Americas. The film was produced by the company Dos Corazones (Two Hearts).

Parra said the film tries to capture the Guadalupan fervor of Mexico by a foreign director who is able to see profoundly what many Mexicans do not see.

His team and cast members were advised by the Higher Institute of Guadalupan Studies.

The world premiere took place in 150 cinemas of Mexico on Nov. 30.  The film's official Web page is


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Radio Maria From The Marian Library

Francesca Franchina, long time member of the Marianist Family, will be doing a series of Marian broadcasts through the local station for Radio Maria WHJM (FM 88.7) in Anna, Ohio.  Called "Francesca AND Friends: WHY MARY?" the program airs every Wednesday from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM EST focusing on: What in the world is going on about Mary; how to speak with others about Mary; and Mary in Scripture.

On December 13, Francesca Franchina, MS Ed., interviewed Nick Clooney, former Cincinnati Radio and Television personality, on the situation in Darfur, humanitarian efforts in Africa, Advent, Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc.  This episode will be replayed on December 25, 2006.

The broadcast may also be heard on-line at [Click on the BVMary photo ... Scroll down to RADIO MARIA USA (English) ... Click on the windows icon or which ever media program you have on your PC.].  The web site also provides access to some previous broadcasts.  We'll keep you informed about future programs.  Encores of each show are broadcast Monday nights from 8:30-9:30 pm EST two weeks after the original.

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New Exhibit

The Marian Library is hosting The Nativity Through Children's Eyes, a display of children's art in our Gallery through January 28, 2006, on weekdays from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm or by special arrangement [call 937-229-4214].  The art was created by children in the local Dayton area as well as children from Germantown and Xenia  Over 500 pieces of artwork were received.  Judging took place last week and a total of twelve cash prizes were distributed to the top winners.  Click here to see the virtual exhibit.

Creches as well as Quilts from Saint Simon's Quilting Group in Cincinnati 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.  Creches will be on display 8:30 am to 4:30 pm now through Jan. 28 in The Marian Library Gallery; noon to 4 pm now through Jan. 31 at Gallery Saint John at the Bergamo Center; and 10 am to 4 pm Saturday through Wednesday and 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday now through Jan 1 at the Dayton Art Institute.  Admission is free at each location.

Creches from the Marian Library Collection are also on display at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York.  Booklets showing photographs of the pieces displayed along with descriptive text are available at The Marian Library.  Ask for the title: A Celebration of Nativity Creches 2006.

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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 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.

Radio Maria broadcasts from Milan Italy, heard in 49 countries; WHJM broadcasts out of Louisiana across USA, including FF 88.7, an affiliate station in Anna, Ohio (north of Dayton) which airs regular Marian talks from UD's Marian Library every Wednesday at 11:30 am EST.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2006 semester concluded on November 17.  The course schedule for the Spring 2007 semester is now available.

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

We have posted a meditation on Mary's Immaculate Conception by Father Raneiro Cantalamessa.  We have also updated our answers to the following questions: Can Mary Page articles be copied?; What is the identity of the nun that Mary appeared to regarding her home in Ephesus?; What is the latest news about Mary's House in Ephesus?; and What is the latest news about Kibeho (Rwanda)?

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From Zenit

Public Session of Pontifical Academies: Mary Immaculate
Vatican City, December 7, 2006

The Holy Father, said Cardinal Bertone, takes this opportunity "to encourage all students of Mariology to ever greater commitment and more intense activity, both in study centers and in the field of academic publications, taking care to ensure that their methodology respects a fruitful interaction between the 'via veritatis' and the 'via pulchritudinis,' which come together in the 'via caritatis.'

"Welcoming the proposal of the pontifical academies' coordinating council," the cardinal added, "the Pope is pleased to award ... the pontifical academies' prize to the 'Section Africaine pour les Congres Mariologiques,' which is affiliated to the Pontifical International Marian Academy, and is made up of young students and teachers of Mariology from various African countries."

The cardinal secretary of State also remarked how the Pope had awarded a pontificate medal to Fr. Fidel Stöckl O.R.C. of the Philippines for his work: "Mary, Model and Mother of consecrated life. A Marian synthesis of theology of consecrated life based on the teachings of John Paul II."


Cardinal Bertone clarified that this theme "seeks to underline precisely the singular participation of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of all men, in the mystery of God, sublime mystery of beauty and charity."

"God, One and Triune, who diffuses his beauty and charity in the world he created, communicates, in a particular manner these qualities of his to human creatures through the most perfect Mediator, his Son Jesus Christ, molding them and sanctifying them with the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they will be holy and immaculate in his presence through charity," the message continued.

However, the cardinal added, "Mary of Nazareth is distinguished among all creatures as resplendent mirror of divine beauty as, having been 'preserved' from original sin and full 'of grace,' she is so animated and penetrated by the charity of the Holy Spirit that she has become the prototype of the human person, who in the most total manner and without any reservations, receives the Son of God in the tragic hour of his passion and in the resurrection.

"Being profoundly united to Christ, crucified and risen, Mary is revealed as Mother of the whole of humanity and, in particular, of the disciples of the Son."


Cardinal Bertone quoted Benedict XVI's encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," which states: "Mary has truly become the Mother of all believers. Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavors.

"They constantly experience the gift of her goodness and the unfailing love which she pours out from the depths of her heart. The testimonials of gratitude, offered to her from every continent and culture, are a recognition of that pure love which is not self-seeking but simply benevolent."

Through the message, the Holy Father encourages everyone to study the figure of Mary to go further in their discovery of the "path of truth" and "of beauty," which are contained in the "path of charity."

Pope Places Society in Mary's Hands
During Homage to the Immaculate Conception
Rome, December 8, 2006

During his visit today to the image of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza de Spagna, the Pope prayed: "Show yourself a mother especially to the neediest: the defenseless, the marginalized, and the excluded, the victims of a society that often sacrifices man for other ends and interests."


Benedict XVI prayed to the Virgin Mary to watch over the citizens of Rome, to be a "vigilant guardian of Italy and Europe, so that from the ancient Christian roots people will be able to draw the sap to build their present and future."

"Show yourself a provident and merciful mother to the whole world so that, respecting human dignity and rejecting every form of violence and exploitation, firm foundations will be laid for the civilization of love," the Pope prayed.

Mary Found Favor in God's Eyes, Says Pope
Highlights Humility of Mother of the Redeemer
Vatican City, December 8, 2006

Before praying the Angelus today on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father said the feast is "one of the most beautiful and popular feasts of the Blessed Virgin."

Speaking from the window of his study, the Pope said: "Not only did Mary not commit any sin, but she was also preserved from that common inheritance of the human race which is original sin, because of the mission to which God had destined her from all eternity: to be the mother of the Redeemer."

According to the Bishop of Rome, the biblical foundation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception "is found in the words the angel addressed to the maiden of Nazareth: 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!'"

A Papal Trip to Fatima?
Interview with Shrine's Rector
Rome, December 3, 2006

In this interview with ZENIT, Father Luciano Guerra, rector of the shrine since 1973, speaks of the new challenges facing the pilgrimage site, and his hopes for a papal visit.


Q: John Paul II visited the Fatima shrine three times: in 1982, 1991 and 2000. In your opinion, what was the contribution of John Paul II's visits to the shrine?

Father Guerra: I think the main contribution was above all his having carried out the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary together with the bishops of the world, as he was asked from the point of view of the message. Then it was his profound conviction that he was really saved by Our Lady's intervention, given that it was on May 13, the day of Our Lady's invocation.

Once again we return to the experience, to the awareness of the presence of God in our lives. John Paul II was consistent in his manifestation of a great love for Fatima because he was convinced that Our Lady wished to manifest to him, with the force of the message, with the force of her presence in Fatima, that she was beside him.

Q: Looking at the future, what activities and projects do you have in mind?

Father Guerra: I don't have any long-term plans. I think the main plan is to continue to receive pilgrims adequately. It is true that pilgrims are increasingly sensitive to climates and environments of prayer and silence. As we make a great appeal to adoration of the Most Blessed Trinity, in addition of course to Marian devotion and worship of the Most Holy Eucharist, I think that the future of the shrine lies in encouraging pilgrims to be ever more recollected in adoration of God, of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Most Blessed Trinity. Therefore, it means emphasis on formation and essential expression of the faith.


Q: What are your thoughts on Benedict XVI's relationship with the Fatima shrine?

Father Guerra: Without a doubt, he has a very great relationship with the shrine. Not only because he has visited prior to being Pope, but also because he wrote that commentary [cf. "Theological Commentary to the Third Secret of Fatima," by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, edn]. It was not a decision of little value, even admitting that it was requested by John Paul II.

I frankly hope that Benedict XVI will go to Fatima. I would very much like him to go as early as next year for the inauguration of the church of the Most Holy Trinity and, if possible, for the canonization of the children.

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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.

Mary, Mother of Jesus: Not Just for Catholics Anymore
Catholic News Service (Washington), December 8, 2006

As publications from Time magazine to Christianity Today have discovered recently, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not just for Catholics anymore.

Features on Mary are perennial favorites for editors looking for a religion-themed story before Christmas, and in the last few years many of these articles have focused on the increasing popularity of Mary among Protestants. [see, for example, The Invisible, Protestant Mary].

Marianist Father Thomas Thompson, editor of the Marian Library Newsletter at the University of Dayton in Ohio, points out that the expanding Protestant acceptance of Mary is based upon a strictly scriptural view of her, rather than on any change in Protestant theology.

Some Catholic doctrines about Mary, such as the Immaculate Conception--the belief that she was conceived without sin--remain controversial among Protestants, Father Thompson said. But as anti-Catholicism has waned among Protestants, the barriers to Episcopalians, Baptists and evangelicals turning to Mary have faded as well.

"We're very happy to see others taking an interest in Mary," he said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service.

Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, a Baptist college in Birmingham, Ala., wrote recently that "it is time for evangelicals to recover a fully biblical appreciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the history of salvation, and to do so precisely as evangelicals." George's comments appeared in the December 2003 issue of Christianity Today and in a 2004 collection of essays by various theologians, "Mary: Mother of God."

"We may not be able to recite the rosary or kneel down before statues of Mary, but we need not throw her overboard," George wrote.

In the magazine, he quoted an early 20th-century Southern Baptist New Testament scholar, A. T. Robertson, who said Mary "has not had fair treatment either from Protestants or Catholics." Robertson argued that while Catholics have "deified" Mary evangelicals have coldly neglected her.

"We have been afraid to praise and esteem Mary for her full worth," said George, citing Robertson, "lest we be accused of leanings and sympathy with Catholics."

George's article went on to explain historical, scriptural and theological reasons why Protestants should embrace Mary.

"We need not go through Mary in order to get to Jesus," George concluded, "but we can join with Mary in pointing others to him."

Another recent book, "Blessed One," is a collection of 11 essays about Mary by Protestant scholars.

In their introduction, editors Beverly Roberts Gaventa and Cynthia L. Rigby, professors at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas, respectively, said their goal for the book was to help Protestants think in new ways about Mary, "blessing her and being blessed by her."

"She is a person of faith who does not always understand but who seeks to put her trust in God," they wrote.

For Muslims, on the other hand, Mary has always been a part of the picture.

John Alden Williams, professor emeritus in the humanities of religion at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, is a Catholic historian who has studied Islamic civilization and religion. He and fellow William and Mary professor James A. Bill published "Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims" in 2002.

It notes that two sections of the Quran, the sacred book of Islam, are devoted to Mary, known there as Maryam. She is recognized as the purified woman chosen to be the mother of the promised Messiah. Islam considers Jesus an important prophet, but not the incarnation of God.

Williams explained in a phone interview that, like Catholics, Shiite Muslims, who are a minority compared to the vastly more numerous Sunni Muslims, believe in intercessory prayer through saints and other holy people. That includes Mary, who is highly revered as a mediatrix between humans and God, or Allah. Sufis, another Islamic sect, also believe in intercession.

In Sunni Islam, "the whole idea of intercession is disputed," Williams said, "just as it is among Calvinist Protestants."

Among the differences the leaders of the Protestant Reformation had with the Catholic Church was the growth during the Middle Ages of devotion to Mary. Reformers argued that Jesus was the only mediator between God and mankind and that "exuberant Marian devotion seemed to them to threaten the clarity of the Gospel message of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, through Christ alone," wrote Daniel L. Migliore, a theology professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, in his chapter in "Blessed One."

Muslims who seek Mary's intercession, on the other hand, see her in much the same way Catholics do, said Williams.

While living in the Middle East, he said he witnessed several striking examples of the reverence many Muslims have for Mary.

At the Convent of Our Lady, an Orthodox church in Sednaya, Syria, he watched devout Muslims roll out prayer rugs to join Christians in reverencing an icon of Mary that is reputed to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist and believed to have the power to cure illnesses.

And in the late 1960s, many Muslims were among the millions who gathered in a Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt, hoping to catch a glimpse of reported Marian apparitions, he said.

For more than a year starting in 1968, apparitions of Mary were reported over the domes of the Church of the Virgin Mary in the Zeitoun area of Cairo.

Williams went to the church once during that time and was surprised to see Muslims among the crowd, he said.

"I asked some people, 'Isn't it a little funny for you to be coming here to a Christian church?'" Williams said. They said they considered it only proper that Mary would appear at a church dedicated to her, but explained that they believed she was speaking to all Egyptians, not just Christians.

"They all saw it as a great sign of consolation after the war with Israel (in 1967) that God had not forgotten the people of Egypt," he said.

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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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Liturgical Season

To celebrate the month of December 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 December.

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Marian Events

Winter Solstice Celebration and Prayers for World Peace

Date: Thursday, December 21, 2006

Time: 6:30-8:00 am

Location: Marianist Family Room, Mount Saint John (Dayton, OH)

Cost: Donations accepted

To receive further information, call Sister Leanne Jablonski at 937-429-3582 or click into

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

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

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