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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

Women's Bible Study Focuses on Mary

Laura Wells' A Marian Bible Study (Our Sunday Visitor, 2006) provides readers with a bible study experience that is both orthodox and inspirational.  The study, which carries both the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, examines scriptural connections between the Blessed Mother, Old and New Testament characters, and our own lives.  The author credits her own study of Marian related Scripture to developing a stronger relationship with Mary and encourages others to take up Bible study as a means of supporting their own vocations as parents.

Helpful aspects of the work include its succinct, easy-to-read format, study of relevant Old and New Testament passages, memory verses, and an inspirational closing prayer for each chapter.  In addition, each study segment commences with a personal story by Wells designed to relate the scripture topic to today's 'real world' predicaments.  The book opens with a comprehensive guide filled with suggestions for holding a bible study.  Appendices to the book contain answers for all of the study questions and a section of frequently asked questions about the Blessed Mother.

For more information, see Lisa Hendey's interview with Laura Wells on  To order the book, visit

ML/IMRI in the News

Father Johann Roten, S.M., Director of ML/IMRI attended a 'Christmas Off Campus' brunch sponsored by the University of Dayton and mentioned in the U.D. Quarterly for Spring 2007.  He brought with him 16 crÍches from the Marian Library's collection.  Also, Father Roten just returned from Washington, D.C. where he was inducted into the National Catholic Education Association's Hall of Fame.

More on Mary from Christine Granger

Christine Granger, a Canadian artist, has been painting icons for decades.  In 1998 The Marian Library hosted an exhibit of her work called Icons of Mary.  The next exhibit in our gallery, which opens on April 1, will show more recent pieces of her Marian art.

She has also provided the illustrations for a book of Marian meditations published by Novalis in 2006, Mother and Child: Images and Words, Ever ancient, Ever new.  This enchanting gift book by artist Christine Granger is a full-color miniature gallery of stunning icons that moves from mothers and children in general to Mary and Jesus in particular. A book that all who have a devotion to Mary will treasure and refer to again and again, Mother and Child: Images and Words, Ever ancient, Ever new is both a gallery for reflection and a prayer book for contemplation. Click here for more information.

Walk with Mary

As we pray the Stations of the Cross, we walk the path that Mary walked, watching her son be crucified.  For the first time in English, "Mary's Way of the Cross: Walking With The Mother of Jesus" by Irma Pfeiffer (translated and adapted by M Jean Frisk) takes a different tack on the venerable prayer:  You can talk directly to Mary who embodies the vocation that Christ has entrusted to us as his disciples.  Readers walking beside Mary--following the format of the booklet--converse with the Blessed Mother on her way to Calvary.  The stations, one at a time, allow readers to listen as Mary helps them master the anxieties and limitations they encounter on their own way of the cross.  Compact and readable, the book is perfect for a Lenten Bible study, or for anyone seeking a Marian devotion.  Cost: $4.95 from Pauline Books and Media.

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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 Wednesday, March 28, from 11:30 AM -12:30 PM, Francesca Franchina will speak with Father Edward Burns, Campus Minister at Wright State University on Lenten observance and the upcoming Paschal Triduum.

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 one week after the original.

Her series, Through The Tummy To The Heart airs every Tuesday except the First Tuesday from 5:00-5:45 PM on RADIO MARIA WHJM and also online. The series encores Saturdays from 3:00 - 3:45 pm.  Tune in 88.7 FM (WHJM) in the northern Archdiocese of Cincinnati and on line at from anywhere in the world. Send email to Francesca with questions, comments, suggestions to Send email while the programs are going on if you cannot get through or if you are listening outside of the USA. CALL IN TOLL FREE; PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM (during the live show); 1-866-333-6279.

In this week's program on Tuesday, March 27, Fran will continue her discussion on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Padre Pio and the Blessed Mother, and on using Holy Week to prepare for Easter.

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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.

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 Spring 2007 semester will conclude on March 30.  Expect the Summer course schedule to be posted soon.

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New Resources

During the season of Lent. Dr. Virginia M. Kimball will be providing us with a daily poetic meditation on Mary.  Those published on The Mary Page this past week were: No One But a Mother; Spring Gospel; Mother to Mother; Incarnation, Act I; Incarnation, Act II; Incarnation, Act III; and Announcing the Time.  Stay tuned for more!  We encourage you to let us know what you think about this series.

We have posted information about the upcoming annual meeting of the Mariological Society of America: Program; Registration Form; and Bus Tour Form [these require Adobe Acrobat Reader].  We have updated our information on Marian Shrines in Korea.  We have also posted two articles by Father Roten on controversial contemporary Marian art, The Pieta Revisited?, and Angelina Jolie versus Our Lady.

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Mary in the Catholic Press

Catholic Take on EU Anniversary
Zenit, March 22, 2007

This week, the Capitoline Hill, symbol of Roman greatness since antiquity, has sprouted dozens of flags as brightly colored as any of the spring blossoms in the Eternal City. They are there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that established what was to become the European Union, on the Capitoline Hill on March 25, 1957.

Conferences, concerts and exhibitions are all under way to celebrate this important anniversary, with special festivities for the new countries that joined the European Union only within the past few years.

The European Union has even designed a special logo for the event. It is the word "together" written with different typefaces and colors.

The interpretive text explains that this "expresses in a simple and immediate way what was originally bound by the idea of Europe: not only politics, or money, or geographic boundaries, but most of all cooperation and solidarity."

The fact that the letter "r" is the symbol for registered trademark, however, seems to indicate that the glue of the European Union is indeed economics.

The Web site also explains that "the different letters, using different typefaces, express the diversity in European history and culture and are kept 'together' by the meaning of the word itself."

Now, I don't want to be a party pooper, but what kind of togetherness is this? As the EU members struggle to explain what unites them, the answer stares at them from their flag and from the very date of their foundation.

Arsene Heitz, the Strasbourg artist who designed the flag of the European Union, gave an interview in which he stated that the idea for the stars came to him from the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Rue du Bac in Paris and the Miraculous Medal. The 12 stars that crowned Mary of the Immaculate Conception would be placed on a blue ground which throughout the history of Western art has been the color of grace.

Furthermore, the flag was adopted on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, in 1955. Although hundreds of sites have cropped up over the years to debunk this fact, given that the artists' own words confirm this story, it appears that some people just want to negate their own history and origins.

The signing date of the European treaty also seems pretty providential: March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, which until the mid-20th century was a holy day of obligation in Rome. Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer, two of the founders of the European Union, were devout Catholics, so the significance of the incarnation of a new union of European countries on the same day as the incarnation of God's Word would not have been lost on them.

Although the European Union has drifted far from its Christian roots, ignoring the pleas of Pope John Paul II to recognize their common bond in Christianity while drafting the constitution, there is always reason to hope.

In any case, the fact that the founders invoked the Blessed Virgin in their symbol and on the date of signing, means that she will be watching over Europe, whether it likes it or not.

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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.

La Divina Pastora
Source: Newsday (Trinidad and Tobago), March 19, 2007

SHROUDED in mystery, the La Divina Pastora statue of Siparia has not only had a significant impact on rural South Trinidad, but also on wider society where her impact can be measured through contributions in the areas of history, theology and anthropology.

Veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of La Divina Pastora, or the Divine Shepherdess, was brought to Siparia by a group of Catholic Capuchin missionaries who chose the area because it was a traditional meeting place of the Orinoco Indians.

But the origin of the La Divina Pastora statue, which is bronze coloured, standing 100 cm in height, is carefully dressed and decorated with gold and silver jewelery, flowers and rosaries, is shrouded in mystery, with many myths surrounding how it came to be placed in Siparia.

However, according to local historian, Theresa Noel, the impact of the La Divina Pastora on local society cannot be understated since the statue is venerated by not only Catholics during the feast days, but by Hindus who also perform pilgrimages to the Church on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Noel presented her findings during a panel discussion titled, "La Divina Pastora, Mother of all Peoples" at the La Divina Pastora RC Church, Siparia, last Thursday.

Other presenters included theologian Fr John Theodore and anthropolgist, Alison McLetchie.

Noel, whose paper was titled "A history of devotions of La Divina Pastora," traced the churchís intercession to the Virgin Mary to Seville, Spain, in 1703.

She said Capuchin monks took the tradition to Venezuela in 1715 and later to Trinidad with the establishment of a mission in Siparia. The Feast of La Divina Pastora took the form of a Mass, a procession through the streets of Siparia, benediction, followed by "merry-making."

She said with the arrival of East Indian indentured labourers, another distinct celebration was started with hundreds of Hindus making a pilgrimage to the parish hall to the statue which they called "Soparee Mai" or the Mother of Siparia during the Holy Week where Hindus offer prayers, infant boys are given their first haircut and the hair, in addition to money, rice and flowers, are offered to Soparee Mai. Their celebrations became known as "Soparee Mai Ke Mela."

Noel said Chinese immigrants also developed a devotion to La Divina Pastora in the 1850s, and actively participated during the fete days by playing San Chee and Mah Jong.

Fr Theodore, who spoke on the inter-religious dimension of the La Divina Pastora, said the church had undergone an evolution in their views of non-Christian celebrations using Christian saints and places of worship.

He said while the Church had previously viewed non-Christian traditions with condemnation, the church had now adopted a more open attitude to the non-Christian religions. He said the Catholic Church now saw non-Christian religions as another means of gaining the right position with God.

Meanwhile, McLethie, who holds a Masters degree in anthropology from Georgia University in the US, spoke on the social, historical and cultural perspective of the celebrations.

She said pilgrims to the La Divina Pastora shrine viewed themselves not as Hindu or Catholic, East Indian or African, but as Trinidadians and who believed the La Divina Pastora was for everyone.

Touching on the political divide within society, she said devotees also recognised the divisions between the political parties and "the corruption within them," but were also fully cognizant of who their neighbours were and who they were able to depend on in times of trouble.

The La Divina Pastora procession and Mass will take place on April 29, from 10am.

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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

Marian Commemoration Days

To celebrate the month of March with Mary:

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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Marian Events

World-wide Effort to Honor John Paul II's Anniversary (April 2, 2007)

The lay apostolates of The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Jesus King of All Nations Devotion are promoting a an Hour of Eucharistic Adoration beginning at 3:00 pm local time on April 2, 2007. This day being the Second Anniversary of Pope John Paul IIís death and the time being the Hour of Divine Mercy, a devotion to which Pope John Paul II was so dedicated to. There are many Cardinals, Bishops, Religious and Laity around the world who have embraced The Hour of Adoration of The True Presence of Jesus in The Eucharist in their diocese.

It is the sincere hope of all those participating that many graces will be bestowed upon mankind in an effort to further the Love and Devotion of The True Presence of Jesus in The Eucharist. The Press and Media are now being alerted of this Holy Event and it is very hopeful that it will receive much coverage and serve as a catechesis to the world about The True Gift of The Eucharist.

For more information, click into or email Dam Lynch at

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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, 03/27/2007 16:34:45 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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