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The 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

Guess Who Just Turned Sixty-Five Years Old?

The Marian Library--founded October 23, 1943

On that day, Father John Elbert, then president of the University of Dayton, presented the first book for The Marian Library collection to Father Lawrence Monheim.

This message is posted in memory of Father Phil Hoelle, director of the Marian Library in the 1960s, who every year wrote or called to commemorate the founding event.

Mary in Books, Films and Music

New Book for Advent

Waiting with Mary: Advent Reflections for Those Who Hate to Wait, by Marge Fenelon, Catholic wife, mother and author, is available for purchase and should arrive just in time for Advent.  The thirty-six-page booklet is 5 1/4" x 7 1/4" and sells for $3.00 per copy + shipping and handling (with special discounts for bulk orders).  Below is an excerpt.

Do you hate to wait? Many of us do. Our world is packed with instant messengers, instant cash, and instant food mixes. We shop online so we don’t have to wait in line, send emails so we don't have to wait for "snail mail," and read summaries instead of full texts so we don't have to wait to find out what happens at the end. In general, we're not a very patient people.

On the contrary, Advent is all about waiting. It's about finding joy in longing. It's about waiting for the unexpected to become the expected. It's about anticipating the fulfillment of our desires. It's about finally opening our hearts and allowing them to become a crib for the Newborn King.

Mary understood this waiting. She understood the longing and anticipation. She had desires for which she sought fulfillment. She waited for the unexpected to become the expected. Then one day it happened. An angel appeared before her, proclaiming her graciousness and entrusting her with a mission like none other neither before nor since in human history. Her response was to open her heart, and it indeed became a crib for the Newborn King.

This Advent, join Mary in her waiting. It won't take long--just a few moments each day. As you work through these reflections, you'll find your mind and heart slowing down ... breathing ... absorbing. Gradually you'll become attuned to this most important time of waiting and growing. Before you know it, the crib of your heart will be ready for our Lord Jesus.

For more details, click into  To order call 414-769-6742 or email

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Radio Maria from the Marian Library

Francesca Franchina, MS. Ed., a long-time member of the Marianist Family, will be doing a series of Marian broadcasts through the local stations for Radio Maria WHJM (FM 88.7) in Anna, Ohio and WULM (AM 1600) in Springfield, Ohio.  Called "Francesca and Friends: Why Mary?," the program airs every Wednesday from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM EST focusing on what is going on in the world about Mary, how to speak with others about Mary, and Mary in Scripture.

On Wednesday, October 29, 2008, Francesca Franchina speaks with Father Antonio LaRocca and Father Javier Alson from Venezuela about their recent pilgrimage and presentation at Lourdes, the Blessed Mother's role in evangelization, their new religious order of Brothers and priests and the escalating world situation.

To participate in the program call in (during the live show) with comments, experiences, questions 866-333-6279. Toll Free.

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 whichever 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.  An encore of each show is broadcast Monday night from 8:30-9:30 pm EST one week after the original.

On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, Francesca Franchina talks with Gina Giambrone Loehr, native Daytonian, newly-published author of Real Women, Real Saints: Friends For Your Spiritual Journey, about evangelization, faith building, her life as a young mother and wife of a young dairy farmer living on their six-hundred-acre dairy farm in southeastern Wisconsin. Francesca and Gina trade Italian recipes using dairy products: Stuffed Sea Shells and Cannelloni, Bruschetta and Italian Fried Basket Cheese. Gina will have a book signing at Veritas Bookstore on Kemp Road, Dayton, Ohio on Saturday, November 1, 2008.

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Alumni Update

Father Antonio Larocca and Father Javier Alson from the Servicio Mariano de Comunicacion in Venezuela are visiting The Marian Library until November 3.  While here they will continue their research, speak on a Radio Maria broadcast and help revise and update the Spanish language section of The Mary Page.  Click here to see pictures of their community and the surrounding area.

Also worth noting, Sister Phyllis Gronotte, Digitization Project Supervisor at The Marian Library, informs us that the Prioress of her community will visit The Marian Library on Wednesday, October 29.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

What About the Rosary? (by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.)

Origin of the Rosary

The Rosary, the blessed beads that quietly slip between our fingers as we pray over the mysteries of Jesus' redemptive life, has an ancient origin.  Most likely it originated in the ancient East, perhaps in India,  and not in the medieval West.  It was and still is a popular prayer device among the Muslims, who use the Arabic term masbahat, which means to give praise.  Devout Muslims used the masbahat in repeating the attributes of God, just as it was used by the early Christian hermits.  Following the Crusades the Rosary found its way to the West.  The missionary who worked hardest to spread this devotion was Abed El-Ahad, Saint Dominic, and his Dominican companions.

The Rosary became a popular method of prayer and spread quickly in the West during the Middle Ages.  For Christians it has always been "the Gospel strung on beads."   It is a simple and easy prayer that can be employed for vocal prayer or silent contemplation by individuals, families, and communities.

Papal Encouragement

Since the sixteenth century, popes have frequently encouraged the faithful of East and West to pray the Rosary.  The first was a Dominican pope, Saint Pius V, who wrote a papal letter about the Rosary in 1569 shortly after the Council of Trent, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the late nineteenth century, after the First Vatican Council the illustrious Pope Leo XIII wrote more than ten encyclicals and instructions promoting the use of the Rosary.

To make pastoral applications of the Marian teachings of the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI in 1974 authored the apostolic exhortation Devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus).  Paul VI discussed the Rosary at some length as a summary of the Gospel comprised of prayers based on Gospel texts.  He urged the faithful to pray the Rosary, and especially recommended the family Rosary in these words:

"We would like now to join our voice to the voices of our predecessors and strongly recommend the prayer of the Rosary in the family ... because the Christian family is a family church. ... If the family neglected this communal prayer, it would lose its character as a family.'

"In addition to the prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) ... the Rosary of the Virgin Mary would be the most preferable communal prayer for the Christian family."

Pope Paul VI concluded his recommendation by saying, "We would like to repeat that the Rosary is an excellent and magnificent prayer."

Pope John Paul II, enthusiastic devotee of our Blessed Mother, in 2002 issued  a pastoral letter entitled The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, in which he proclaimed October 2002 until October 2003 the Year of the Rosary, and put forth the Luminous Mysteries based on the public life of Jesus.

Our present Holy Father, Benedict XVI, values the prayer of the Rosary as a means of contemplating Jesus with Mary's eyes.  For him pondering the mysteries of the Rosary calms a "restless spirit, allows the soul to settle into tranquility…and grants a vision of God."  He associates the Rosary with consolation and healing, an inner refuge which enfolds us "in the rhythm of the prayer of the whole Church."  "I do it quite simply," he said, "just as my parents used to pray."

The Rosary Today

While some Eastern Christians who erroneously consider the Rosary foreign to Eastern spirituality, quite the opposite is the reality.  The Rosary is a prayer for all peoples and for all seasons.

Early on, the Rosary was a common method of prayer in the East among Christians and non-Christians.  Even though it came to us through Western missionaries, it was and still is an easy and rich method of prayer to help the faithful fathom the mysteries of God along the journey of salvation.  And we do so with a special companion, the Mother of God and our Mother.  Praying the Rosary, particularly in the family, is an excellent method of bringing us together in the faith under the protection of her who always and everywhere intercedes for all people.  Let us spare no effort to remain close to her.

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Current Exhibit

The Seasons of Our Lady

The Marian Library gallery will show works of Linda Schäpper of Orlando, Florida from September 15, 2008 through November 15, 2008.  Click to view a summary or virtual exhibit.

Visit also our year-long Crèche exhibit featuring paper nativities of Bill and Annie Baker and works of Malaika Favorite.

The Marian Library Gallery is located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  Free and open to the public, hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm or by appointment.  Call 937-229-4214.

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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 articles from The Mary Page. Please visit these sites in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

Radio Maria broadcasts from Milan Italy, heard in forty-nine countries; WHJM broadcasts out of Louisiana across USA [including FM 88.7, an affiliate station in Anna, Ohio (north of Dayton) and AM 1600, an affiliate in Springfield, Ohio, which air 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 2008 semester commenced on October 13. The course schedule is now available.

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In relation to the season, see the following pages: The Rosary in Images and Texts; Rosary Information Index; and October, month of the Holy Rosary.

We have also posted information about a Marian apparition recently reported in Burundi.

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The Marian Paradigm for Welcoming the Word
Embracing the Word Made Flesh in Faith
Source: Zenit (Vatican City), October 23, 2008

On Tuesday afternoon when Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, and papally appointed auditor, finally addressed the full Synod of Bishops, he touched upon two very important topics that have emerged at this synod, and which can reveal either the full flowering or complete failure of the impact of the Word of God on the lives of ordinary faithful people.

The supreme knight echoed some of the Marian themes that were sounded during Cardinal Marc Ouellet's opening address to the synod on its first day. This address, which the archbishop of Quebec delivered in Latin, set the tone for the entire synod.

Carl Anderson spoke specifically about the art of 'lectio divina' and called for a renewed Marian devotion and piety. The supreme knight of the world's largest, Catholic, fraternal and charitable organization said, "For many years the Knights of Columbus has promoted a form of 'lectio divina' within the context of Marian devotion through the rosary and Marian Hours of Prayer. We consider such communal proclamation and meditation on the Word of God within the setting of traditional Catholic devotions--especially recitation of the rosary--to be part of an effective response to the advances of the sects especially in Latin America, where communities are disadvantaged because of a priest shortage."

Anderson touched upon a very important dimension of the Word of God: Its power to touch the lives of ordinary people through solid piety, authentic devotion and attentiveness to the living Word that is not locked in a remote past, enchained by scientific methods, presented in linguistic strangleholds or covered with archaeological inconsistencies. While the biblical stories we read and contemplate come from a past time, their message is current. Though the stories may be historically inaccurate, their writers were not authoring historiographies but living, theological messages that kept communities of faith alive. Given that archaeology has been so helpful in locating places, unearthing artifacts, confirming details in the text, the science of archaeology deals with dead stones and at times lost civilizations. The Word of God deals with the living communities of faith who have handed down the message to us, a message that keeps alive our community of faith.

For many people who do not have the luxury, privilege, money, time or perhaps desire to delve into serious Scripture studies, their only encounter with the Word of God might be through the liturgy or popular piety and devotion. For this reason, it is incumbent on those who teach and preach the Word of God to show respect and act humbly when we speak of piety and devotion. When I have attended countless gathering of the Knights of Columbus throughout Canada or the United States, one of the things that impresses me is the seriousness and openness of the knights and their wives in praying the rosary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, celebrating the sacraments and reflecting prayerfully on the Word of God. The question I have heard over and over again from them and many others is: "What is this Word asking me to do today?"


I must confess something here: In the world of the "academy," in the laboratories of theology and Scripture studies, not only have we often discounted, discredited and downplayed piety and devotions in the Church, but also we have failed to see these activities as golden opportunities to teach the Word of God.

I recall my first pastoral assignment twenty-three years ago. The ethnic communities in that parish were labeled as using outdated devotions and embracing "meaningless" pieties, especially because many members of these communities simply refused to attend the regularly scheduled "Bible-study classes" for the "enlightened." Going against the current, I decided to work with the ethnic groups, French and English, and "breathe" the Scriptures into their piety and devotions. The results were more than surprising. Not only did numbers of people increase for the piety and devotional activities, but also a hunger was created for the Word of God. We then formed "bible-study" groups for them!

Scripture scholarship bears fruit for the whole Church when it calls forth serious studies and discoveries, deep reflection, 'lectio divina,' personal conversions, authentic piety and rich, biblical based devotions for the People of God. We are not a people of the book, but a people of the Living Word of God that introduces us to a person who is Christ.

Scripture studies are dead in the water when they elicit discord, disunity, disbelief, indifference, complacency, pride, elitism, doubt and faithlessness. If I measure my success as an exegete or Scripture scholars by how much division and doubt I can sow among my listeners and students, woe to me.

This synod has helped us to take an honest look at the gulf that has widened over the past years when Scripture studies have become mere literary criticism divorced from the living, breathing, community of the Church. Several of the fraternal delegates and observers present here (from other Christian and ecclesial communities) have lamented the damage done to Scripture studies by groups such as the "Jesus Seminar," as well as how many young men and women preparing for ministry in the various Churches have been turned off by modern scriptural methods that have had no reference to theology of the life of the Church, not to speak of the doubt that is sown among the faithful.


Perhaps this is why the synod is calling for a new paradigm through which we approach the Word of God, and welcome that word into our own lives.

In his opening address to the synod, which set the tone for all discussions and deliberations, the 'relatore generale,' Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, said: "A woman, Mary, perfectly accomplishes the divine vocation of humanity by her 'yes' to the Word of Covenant and her mission. Through her divine motherhood and her spiritual motherhood, Mary appears as the permanent model and form for the Church, like the first Church."

Let us look briefly at the flesh-and-blood dimension of Mary, between the old and the new Covenant, who accomplishes the passage from Israel's faith to the Church's faith. Let us contemplate the Annunciation, which is the unsurpassable origin and model for self-communication with God and the experience of faith in the Church. This will be used as a paradigm to understand the dialogic identity of the Word of God in the Church.

The event of the annunciation and Mary's life illustrate and recapitulate the structure of the Covenant of the Word of God and the responsorial attitude of faith. They emphasize the personal and Trinitarian nature of faith, which consists in a gift of the person to God who gives himself through revealing himself. "This attitude is the attitude of saints. It is the same as the Church's who never ceases converting to her Lord in response to the voice addressed to her." This is why attention to the figure of Mary as model and even archetype of the Church's faith appears to be capital to concretely operate a change of paradigm in the relationship with the Word of God.

This change of paradigm does not obey the philosophy of the day, rather it is the rediscovery of the original source of the Word, the vital dialogue of the Triune-God with the Church, his Spouse, achieved in the holy Liturgy. "Effectively, for the accomplishment of this great work by which God is perfectly glorified and men sanctified, Christ is always associated with the Church, his truly loved Spouse, who invokes her as the Lord and who goes through him to give her worship to the Eternal Father."

Immaculate Conception

We are currently celebrating the special 150th anniversary year of the Marian apparitions in Lourdes, France. Benedict XVI's historic September visit to this little town tucked into the Pyrenees of southern France offered the whole Church a chance to look again at the story of Bernadette Soubirous and the "beautiful lady" in the grotto with new biblical, theological, pastoral and spiritual lenses.

When Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, he referred explicitly to the biblical story of the Annunciation in Luke’'s Gospel. The angel Gabriel's salutation, "Hail, full of grace," is understood as recognizing that Mary must always have been free from sin. No other human being collaborated in the work of redemption as Mary did. The Early Church wanted to explain in a plausible manner how God's Son could be "completely human, yet without sin." Their answer was that the mother of God must have been without sin.

Within the Roman Catholic tradition we have given this pre-eminent disciple many names and titles out of love and honor. We celebrate three great moments of her life knowing that they represent all of our lives. Through the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, God was present and moving in Mary's life from the earliest moments. God's grace is greater than sin; it overpowers sin and death. Through her Immaculate Conception, Mary was called for a special mission.

The second moment of Mary's life is the Incarnation. Through the virginal birth of Jesus we are reminded that God moves powerfully in our lives too. Our response to that movement must be one of recognition, humility, openness, welcome, as well as a respect and dignity for all life, from the earliest moments to the final moments. Through the Incarnation, Mary was gifted with the Word made Flesh.

The Church celebrates Mary's final journey into the fullness of God's Kingdom with the dogma of the Assumption promulgated by Pius XII in 1954. As with her beginnings, so too, with the end of her life, God fulfilled in her all of the promises that he has given to us. We, too, shall be raised up into heaven as she was. In Mary we have an image of humanity and divinity at home. God is indeed comfortable in our presence and we in God's. Through her Assumption, Mary was chosen to have a special place of honor in the Godhead.

What happens to Mary happens to Christians. We are called, gifted and chosen to be with Jesus. When we honor the Mother of God under the title "Immaculate Conception," we recognize in her a model of purity, innocence, trust, childlike curiosity, reverence, and respect, living peacefully alongside a mature awareness that life isn't simple. It's rare to find both reverence and sophistication, idealism and realism, purity, innocence and passion, inside the same person as we find in Mary.

Something inside us yearns always for innocence, purity, freshness and trust. If we lose these we find ourselves cynical and disillusioned with an unhappiness that comes precisely from having been around, from having had our eyes opened, from having knowledge without innocence. We need to hold that innocence and experience in a proper tension. Mary, Mother of the Lord teaches us how to do just that. In Mary, Daughter of Zion, we have an image of humanity and divinity at home. God is indeed comfortable in our presence and we in God's. Through these Marian lenses, let us approach the Word of God, consume it and bear it for a waiting world.

Speaking about a waiting world, stay tuned for the final message to the People of God and the propositions that will be revealed to the world over the next two days!

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The director and editors of The 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.

The Hail Mary Vote
Source: National Review Online, October 9, 2008

The Catholic vote is a bit like an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is a clear article of faith to some, a murky delusion to others. Nevertheless, this block of sixty-seven million Americans is crucial to electoral victory and a prime target for both political parties this season. Pity that they don’t really understand what motivates these voters or how the messages they send out are being interpreted by Catholics.

Admittedly they are a mysterious lot, a group that is neither monolithic nor partisan. At present forty-nine percent of Catholics are Democrats while forty percent are registered Republicans. A portion of these voters are known to swing wildly in presidential elections. This year they represent a third of voters in do or die battleground states like Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. On the whole Catholic voters are offended by injustice, have a reflexive concern for the poor, and are committed to protecting life in varying degrees. Despite their diversity, there are cultural characteristics of Catholic voters that for whatever reason have been largely ignored or underappreciated by the two major political parties. Here are a few that I have observed in my travels and during conversations with Catholics across the country:

The Madonna Complex: The veneration of the Virgin Mary in Catholic practice has uniquely prepared the Catholic people, men and women, to warmly accept female leadership. Not just any leader mind you, but a leader who is at once nurturing and firm: a mother. This is one of the reasons Hillary Clinton trounced Obama fifty-nine percent to forty-one percent among Catholic voters in the Pennsylvania primary. It is also why Sarah Palin has caused such a sensation among Catholic woman, even self-described Democratic women. She represents an underground feminism that has long existed but is seldom celebrated. When I recently asked a bi-partisan group of Catholic women in California if they felt that Sarah Palin was like them, I was loudly corrected. "She IS us," they said. ...

To read the complete article, click into:

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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!

Please note that we recently celebrated a milestone, with over one-thousand individuals now signed up on our Prayer Circle!

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Liturgical Season

Marian Commemoration Days

To celebrate the month of October with Mary:

The 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 October.

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Marian Events

Call For a Rosary Novena

Date: October 27 - November 4, 2008

Father John Corapi of EWTN invites all to a pre-election rosary novena for pro-life and other pious intentions.  For details click into

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

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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 Friday, 10/31/2008 15:15:34 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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