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11/4/08

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


Mary in Books, Films and Music

Dan Lynch on EWTN

Dan Lynch is the Director of the lay apostolates of The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Jesus King of All Nations devotion. He is a retired judge, author, video and audio producer and a public speaker. He has appeared many times on radio and television and has spoken at conferences throughout the world.

He will appear on Johnnette S. Benkovic's program, Living His Life Abundantly, and discuss his book, Saints of the States at the following times, Monday, November 3 at 10 pm, Tuesday, November 4 at 4 am, Wednesday, November 5 at 2 pm, and Friday, November 7 at 10 am. 

For more details, click into jkmi.com.

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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, November 5, 2008, Francesca Franchina speaks with Maryknoll priest and prolific author, Father Joe Healey of Nairobi, Kenya, Beth Lang-Sletten, and Tanya Stagers about the mission and plan of Small Christian Communities throughout the world focusing on the recent World Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI, his planned trip to Africa, March 2009, his recent emphasis on Bible Study and how Small Christian/Church Communities dove-tail with all these topics. 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 radiomaria.us [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.

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 www.radiomaria.us from anywhere in the world. Send email to Francesca with questions, comments, suggestions at fran@866333mary.com. 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.

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Alumni Update

Gloria Falcao Dodd, a graduate of IMRI, recently had the following paper published by the Academy of the Immaculate, "A Pre-Vatican II Theology of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces" in Mary at the Foot of the Cross VII: Coredemptrix, therefore Mediatrix of All Graces--Acts of the Seventh International Symposium on Marian Coredemption.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

The Virgin Mary in the Qur'an (by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.)

Contemporary interest in Islam and the Qur'an, its sacred book, runs high.  Qur'an means literally a book, a reading, a recitation; and is sometimes less accurately transliterated from Arabic to English as Koran.

Among the queries raised concerning the Qur'an is the place Mary the Mother of Jesus occupies in Islam.  For the past two millennia people have given many faces to Mary.  Some of the most impressive images of her are found in the Qur'an.  And ample evidence exists to indicate that the sources of the Marian references in the Qur'an are found in early Judaic and Christian traditions.

Muslims believe the Qur'an has a mysterious origin.  It is the word of God that brings deliverance to those who believe in it.  It enlightens the soul.  It is the "guarded tablet" that no one can imitate.  It is the new Revelation "in the Arabic language" that came to "confirm" previous revelations contained in the Torah and the Gospel.  This is the reason Jews and Christians are called "People of the Book."

In the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) the prophets are considered bearers and interpreters of God's word, God's instruments.  They transmit the divine message by human means.  Christians, in contrast, regard Jesus as the Eternal Word who did not come "with a book," and remains a living and active Person.

The central idea of the Qur'an is that everything comes from God (Allah in Arabic), the universal Creator, and everything returns to God.  God is the Creator of the universe, angels and demons, and of all persons.  Through the prophets God spoke to the people and taught them the laws of human conduct and of worship.  For reward or for retribution in the life to come, he will raise them up for judgment.  The Qur'an explains that God wishes to reveal himself to people.

The Qur'an mentions the Torah and the Psalms, recognized as books of early revelation, and the Gospels.  In the Muslim view the Qur'an was given to complete and confirm the truths of these earlier books.  It states that the prophets preached the One Only God, and that two of the prophets, Adam and Jesus, were born by direct intervention of the Creator.  The Qur'an also records other humanly impossible conceptions that were announced by angels: those of Abraham and Sara, of Zachariah and Elizabeth, and Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Mary and her son Jesus the prophet hold a privileged place in the Qur'an.  Mary is the only female whose name is cited.  While other females are not named at all, Mary's name is repeated frequently.  The expression "Jesus son of Mary" appears thirteen times, and "Jesus, the Messiah, son of Mary" is found three times.  About forty-five times we find Mary's name or references to it.

According to the Qur'an, God made Mary and Jesus a sign, a witness to faith: "And We made the son of Mary and his mother a portent" (S. 23:50; S. 21:91).

Three suras (chapters) in the Qur'an bear titles recalling various aspects of Christian tradition: Sura 3, The Family of 'Imran; Sura 5, The Holy Table, concerning imagery recalling Jesus' miracles; and Sura 19, Mary, giving prominence to Mary and Zachariah.

In general the Qur'an focuses on two particular events in the life of Mary: her birth and her time in the Temple.  "The angels said: O Mary!  Allah has chosen thee and made thee pure and has preferred thee above all women of creation" (S. 3:42).

The same God who has chosen Adam, Noah, and the families of Abraham and 'Imran also chose Mary.  The texts indicate clearly three points: Mary is favored; she is pure; she is chosen over all women of the world.  In comparing Marian texts of the Qur'an with Christian sources we find some close similarities with the Protoevangelium of James and other apocryphal writings.

God chose Mary and prepared her for an important mission, "to adore and pay homage" (S. 3:43).  Mary was chosen to be a messenger of God and to bear a child through the Word of God rather than normal intercourse.

As their Christian counterparts did with the Bible, Muslim commentators embellished the Qur'an.  Muslim stories about Mary are based on the same apocryphal stories believed by Christians in countries where Islam replaced the Gospel.

The important point in Mary's genealogy for Muslim exegetes is that her family is from David's lineage, because Islam places great importance on lineal descent from the prophets.

Nothing is said about Joseph in the Qur'an, but he has a place in the Muslim tradition.

Mary's Annunciation holds special significance in the Qur'an, especially in suras 3 and 19.

Sunni, Shi'ite, and Sufi commentators all express profound reverence and deep appreciation for Mary.  Although the vocation and mission of Jesus, and Mary's association with him, are not clearly stated in Islam as in the Gospels, particularly Luke's, these beliefs are found in the Qur'an or indicated in commentaries.

Both the Qur'an and the entire Islamic tradition consider Mary the most blessed and prominent of women.  This belief reaches back to Muhammad as noted in Musnad by Ibn Hanbal.  The founder of Islam placed Mary above even his daughter Fatimah, and said Fatimah would have been highest among women were it not for Mary.

The Qur'an is clear that Mary was born without sin, and that Jesus son of Mary was born of a woman who had no relations with a man, since the common reference to a man in that culture is as son of his father, not of his mother.

Christianity and Islam are both missionary faiths originating among Semitic peoples.  They have this in common: belief in one God, who is just, merciful, omnipotent, omniscient, and who acts in history.  Accepting Jesus as prophet and Messiah, Islam thus elevates his mother, Mary, to a special position and role.  Since some Qur'anic statements about Mary do not exist in the New Testament, scholars look for other sources in existence at the birth of Islam.  The influence of canonical Christian Scripture on the Qur'an and Islam is minimal, but the apocryphal texts seem to have been a considerable influence, especially the Protoevangelium.

Even though Christianity and Islam grew from the same Near Eastern monotheistic tradition, and even though from its inception Islam recognized the common heritage--acknowledging both the virgin birth and Jesus as prophet--Muslims reject the divinity of Jesus.  The strong aversion of the Qur'an to Jesus being the Son of God might be attributed to the fact that its sources were removed from the truth of the Gospel.  Islamic unfamiliarity with the divinity of Jesus might be attributed to the fact that its sources were removed from the truth of the Gospel.  That unfamiliarity with the divinity of Jesus and the Gospel might also contribute to its anti-Christian attitude.

While Islam seems unwilling to delve deeper into Qur'anic textual sources, the similarity between the Qur'an and Christian Scripture might serve as the springboard of a fruitful journey of dialogue.  And mutual understanding of Mary might be a bridge.

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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: lapagedemarie.org; lapaginademaria.org; marypage.org; themarypage.org; marypage.udayton.edu; campus.udayton.edu/mary; and themarypage.net.  The original address on the University of Dayton site, www.udayton.edu/mary, 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.  CatholicWeb.com highlights items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News. Catholic.net 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 will conclude on November 14. The course schedule is now available.

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We have updated Marian Sayings of Benedict XVI through October 19, 2008.  In our Korean language section, we have updated Marian News though November 3, 2008 and also posted Marian Commemorations for November.

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Betancourt Trusting Our Lady for End to Conflict
Says Faith is What Gives Meaning to Life
Source: Zenit (Vatican City), September 4, 2008

Former hostage Íngrid Betancourt said she is sure that the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe will bring an end to the Colombian conflict and free those held captive by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Betancourt, a dual French-Colombian citizen held hostage in Colombia for more than six years, affirmed this to Vatican Radio and H20news after her meeting with Benedict XVI on Monday.

She affirmed that faith in Christ and devotion to the Virgin Mary are the two pillars in her life after her long ordeal in the Colombian jungles. Betancourt was freed by a daring rescue mission in July.

"Without faith there is no hope, without hope there is no strength, no fortitude to continue fighting," Betancourt said. "Faith is everything; it's what gives meaning to life, especially faith in Christ."

Betancourt reported that she told the Pope she discovered who the Virgin really is through reading the Gospels.

And she affirmed that she trusts fully in the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the resolution of the conflict in her country.

"When I thought of the Virgin, I thought of the Virgin of Guadalupe," and "I always felt she was very close to me," Betancourt said. "I know she is close now and is helping us and will help all those who continue in captivity in Colombia. She will bring them out, you'll see; she will do this miracle for us."

Rosary-Prayers Aiming to Break Record
Say Faith is What Gives Meaning to Life
Source: Zenit (Rome), September 11, 2008

The founder of the Worldwide Rosary activity is ready to break a record and unite the largest group ever in praying the rosary.

The Worldwide Rosary, scheduled for Oct. 4, the first Saturday of October, is in its eighth year. The first Worldwide Rosary, held in 1996, was offered as a gift to Pope John Paul II for the fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood.

Twenty countries participated, and in Mexico, home of the founder, the rosary was prayed in 2,600 locations. Since then, it has enjoyed growth, with 140 countries participating in 2000.

Guillermo Estévez, the founder of the initiative, invites communities to organize a rosary on the first Saturday of October, "either as a mass event, in a stadium or church, in the family or with friends, in order to join many rosaries being organized worldwide."

Estévez urges groups that will organize these rosaries to seek the approval and support of their bishops or parish priests, and to advertise the initiative on the radio, television, the Internet and through the press.

 

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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.

Marian Miracles Plunge Christians Into Ferment
Source: The Times (London), November 1, 2008

The Pope is circumspect, the Archbishop curious--apparitions are proving potent in diverse ways.

Apparitions are in. It's official. Martin Shaw is to star as an exorcist in the BBC One programme Apparitions, a drama devoted to supernatural phenomena to be broadcast on November 13.

For the religious believer, apparitions of the Marian variety have proved a hot topic this autumn, in places as geographically diverse as Baltimore and Bosnia. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore has asked Gianna Tallone Sullivan, the alleged recipient of regular and apparently apocalyptic messages from the Virgin Mary, to stop publicizing their content. In Bosnia, the controversial apparitions of Medjugorje, the remote Balkan village where it is alleged that the Virgin Mary has appeared daily since 1981, resurfaced with the news that the Vatican had disciplined for sexual misbehavior a Franciscan who was once mentor to the shrine's six seers.

Apparitions, however, are not just a topic for Roman Catholics: for the first time in history a leader of the Anglican Communion, Dr. Rowan Williams, went on public pilgrimage recently to Lourdes, the French Pyrenean shrine where, according to the Roman Church, the Virgin Mary appeared on eighteen occasions in 1858.

This year--the reason for Dr. Williams' visit--Lourdes is marking the 150th anniversary of the visions reported by an illiterate thirteen-year-old named Bernadette. As Pope Benedict prepared to visit, he sounded a cautionary note regarding apparitions of Mary: the Vatican, he announced, was to tighten the process for evaluating alleged visions of the Virgin. Yet only months earlier, the Vatican endorsed as authentic a set of seventeenth-century visions in the French Alpine hamlet of Laus, thus proving the old adage that the Vatican works on a timescale that lasts centuries. Though reports of sightings of the Virgin Mary date back to the year 39 A.D., the Roman Catholic Church has approved fewer than fifteen in twenty centuries. So why does the Pope urge caution now?

Instability, even the credit crunch, may make the certainty offered by apparitions extra appealing, suggests Msgr. Keith Barltrop, director of the evangelization office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. "(Benedict) is aware that we live in an age with a great attraction to spirituality, and one which is very turbulent," he says.

The Pope may wish, Barltrop adds, to put apparitions in their proper place in a journey of faith: "While apparitions can be helpful in getting people's faith off the ground, we believe faith has to mature and not to rest too much on what we see and touch. If our faith is based too much on apparitions, it is not well-founded."

However, some Protestant believers, such as the Rev. Jeremy Brooks, of the Protestant Truth Society, were "appalled" by the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to Lourdes, which, according to Brooks, represents "everything about Roman Catholicism that the Protestant Reformation rejected: apparitions, Mariolatry and the veneration of saints." He says, "While Mary does have a place in Protestant belief, apparitions do not. (We) reject them as wholly false, having no basis in scripture."

Yet for the Roman Catholic, apparitions and belief in them are only ever an option, rather than an "article of faith," as Barltrop explains. "While we believe strongly that God has given Our Lady a providential role that continues to this day, all the Church ever says is that you may believe in apparitions, not that you must."

He adds, "There is a difference between public revelation of Christ, which we believe ended with the death of the last Apostle, and private--anything after the end of public revelation is confirmation or illumination of what is already revealed."

Paul Handley, editor-in-chief of the Church Times, argues that the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lourdes visit reflects an evolution in traditional Protestant reticence on the place of Mary, saying: "I have detected a greater maturity about belief in Anglican circles in recent years, especially with the influence of ecumenical discussions and the general swoosh of postmodernism into contemporary thought. There's still an adherence to what people regard as the facts about Christianity, but a greater openness to the periphery." Even visions are no longer off the radar. "Many people can accommodate new aspects and interpretations of faith," Handley says.

More than eighty per cent of Anglicans, asked in a Church Times poll whether the Archbishop of Canterbury should have visited Lourdes, approved.

Martin Warner, guardian of England's national Marian shrine at Walsingham, says that spiritual devotion to Mary is not "widespread" but that Anglicans are increasingly fascinated by the Virgin Mary. "(Her) role is there in the Anglican tradition," he says, "but it is so understated that people are fascinated."

Every year a quarter of a million people visit Walsingham, once a leading place of pilgrimage in medieval Europe when it ranked alongside Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Jerusalem. Like Lourdes, it grew out of an alleged vision, claimed by a Walsingham widow who said that the Virgin Mary had taken her to Nazareth and asked her to build in Norfolk a replica of the house in which Jesus had grown up. As a result, Walsingham, which was revived in the late nineteenth century as two separate shrines, one for Anglicans and the other for Catholics, was known as "England's Nazareth."

Its tradition of the "Holy House" mirroring Jesus' home in Nazareth is part of the shrine's appeal, Warner argues. "There is a homely, domestic feel to the prayer here. That appeals to a basic human instinct in all of us, regardless of age. Mary represents a maternal dimension which speaks to people powerfully, especially when they see the break-up of not just the family but of their immediate families."

During the nine years that he acted as administrator of Walsingham's Anglican shrine, Warner noted a steady increase in visitor numbers. "What many who visit experience is a sense of peace which is almost palpable," as well as a "healing which touches the mind and the heart." The ecumenical encounter in Walsingham is also healing the historical fracture between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

"Many Catholics are surprised to find Anglicans engaged in the same sort of devotions they engage in, while Anglicans are delighted by the warmth of their Catholic brethren, to discover that Catholics are not strange," says Warner, who believes that this "shared devotion" makes a theological statement on Mary's "indispensable role in salvation" for all Christians.

This is a welcome development, says Msgr. Andrew Faley, director of ecumenical relations for the Catholic Bishops' Conference. "For Catholics, Mary is never seen as separate from her Son; she always leads us to him," he says.

Such was the experience of Peter Hutley, a Surrey businessman, who visited the shrine of Medjugorje--whose alleged visions have neither been approved nor condemned by the Vatican--while a believing if irregularly practicing Christian. Initially a skeptic, Hutley was taken by the "sense of peace" he found there, and an encounter with a visionary. "She talked to us in broken English but her genuineness and frugal life made clear she had seen the truth," he says.

Now Hutley stages vast outdoor dramatizations of the Life of Christ three times a year at his estate in Surrey, which include a Nativity at Christmas and the Passion at Easter.

"A quarter of a million people have now seen the plays that are performed here to help people know about Christ," he says.

"I thought I was a good person, had faith and did not need to go to church. Medjugorje had a tremendous impact on me. I discovered that being a good person was one thing, and being a good Christian was another."

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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 November 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 November.

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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 fathercorapi.com.

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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, 11/07/2008 15:35:04 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.