News from the
Marian Library
Mary in the Catholic Press Mary in the
Secular Press


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

Alumni Update

Dr. Sohia Choi informed us that the Suwon Marian School at which she teaches held their fourth graduation Mass and ceremony during which thirty-five students received their diploma.  She adds that most feel sorry to leave and that future meetings have been arranged for interested graduates on a monthly basis.  The school will re-open in March, 2009.  Please remember this intention in your prayers. 

Return to Top

Mary in Books, Films and Music

Book: Forty Days With Mary by Frank Padilla

This book is a Marian pilgrimage of faith and joy. Written by a layman, it examines Bible passages that relate to our Blessed Mother and provides insights and reflections. A good resource to meet the most extraordinary woman in the whole world.

Frank Padilla is the Servant General of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life. He and his wife Geraldine are members of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He is based in Manila, Philippines.  Visit the CFC-FFL website at

Return to Top

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, December 25, 2008, Francesca Franchina dialogues with Jack Davis about Mary and the Incarnation focusing on the Blessed Mother's personal preparation, what she did to prepare for the Birth of the Messiah in her personal devotion and interaction with the Word in her womb, as written in the Mystical City of God, the autobiographical volumes dictated by the Blessed Mother to Sister Mary of Jesus of Agreda, Spain (Imprimatur 1902/1949) This is Part III of a three-part Series on the Incarnation of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. For your perusal: The three programs in this Advent 2008 series will cover Incarnation Volume II pp. 146-392 in the Mystical City of God. CALL IN TOLL FREE; PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM (during the live show); 1-866-333-6279.

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.

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 at 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.

Return to Top

From the Marian Treasure Chest

Our Lady of Prompt Succor (by Brother John Samaha, S.M.)

The people of New Orleans have a special protectress in Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  They turn to her in times of trial and danger.

Mother St. Michel Gensoul, an Ursuline Sister in France, aspired to teach in New Orleans, but her bishop refused to grant her permission.  She petitioned the pope, and prayed to our Blessed Mother that, if this favor were granted, she would promote devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  The pope gave permission.  Then Mother St. Michel commissioned a statue of Mary holding the infant Jesus.  In 1810, she took the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor with her to New Orleans.

Two years after the arrival of the Ursulines, their New Orleans convent was threatened by a raging fire.  When the statue was brought to the window and, after Mother St. Michel had prayed with her community, the wind shifted and changed the fire's direction.  Recourse to Our Lady of Prompt Succor was responsible for other favors in later times.

During Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the shrine where the statue rests suffered extensive roof damage.  However, the following January 8, the feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, the 192nd annual Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated at the shrine.  One hurricane victim quipped that Our Lady was temporarily away from her desk on August 29.

Return to Top

Current Exhibits

Glory Offering: An Artist's Prayer

The Marian Library gallery will show works of Margaret Werlinger [photo at left] from November 18, 2008 through January 15, 2008. For more information, click into the article from UD's Campus Report or click here for virtual exhibit.

The artist has brought some packets of Christmas cards showing her award-winning renderings of the nativity scene.  These are available for purchase at The Marian Library for $8.50 for each set of ten with proceeds going entirely to pro-life work.

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.

The Marian Library will also be displaying Nativity scenes in our Gallery, as well as off-campus at Gallery Saint John, and around the state in Ludlow Falls and Akron. Our creches will also be shown in a Christmas Eve greeting on a billboard in the Cincinnati area.  Click here for details.

Return to Top

Additional Web Addresses for The Mary Page

In order to make our web site more accessible, The Mary Page may now be reached at the following URLs:;;;;;; and  The original address on the University of Dayton site,, remains active as well.

Return to Top

Web Collaborators

Two important Catholic websites have added The Mary Page to their list of Media Partners. highlights items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News. includes a Mary Channel on their navbar with 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.]

Return to Top

In keeping with the season, we recommend Thoughts on a Christmas Card, a Christmas poem by written Dr. Virginia M. Kimball.  We have also posted the IMRI course schedule for Spring 2009.

Return to Top

Icon of Mary Travels Down Under for 2009
Entrusted to Young People by John Paul II
Source: Zenit (Rome), December 15, 2008

An icon of Mary entrusted to youth by Pope John Paul II will be in Australia for the coming year. One young Australian says having the image is like St. John receiving Our Lady at the cross.

This was the impression expressed by Kelly Edmunds to ZENIT on Thursday, when she formed part of the Australian delegation to receive the icon at the traditional Eucharistic celebration for Roman universities in preparation for Christmas. The Mass was presided over by the Holy Father's vicar for Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini. At the end, Benedict XVI addressed the students.

The icon, known as Sedes Sapientiae (throne of wisdom) will be in Australia as a follow-up to last July's World Youth Day in Sydney. The image is of the Virgin with the Child Jesus, and travels to schools and universities, as the Holy Father wished.

Each year, the icon is given to a new group of students in Rome. This year, a delegation from Romania gave the image to the Australians.

Cardinal Vallini told the young people, "In your life of study and investigation, constantly turn your gaze to her: throne of wisdom who continues to communicate to the Church and humanity the events and words of salvation kept in her heart."

Sharing the faith

Edmunds took the message to heart, expressing her excitement at receiving the icon: "It makes me enthusiastic to be able to bring Mary to Australia and share my faith with university students."

She acknowledged that in a society as secularized as Australia's, "It is difficult to be Catholic when others think there is no reason to live the faith, but it is marvelous to be a witness of the faith and live it with joy."

Xavier O'Kane agreed. He told ZENIT, "It is absolutely incredible to be in Rome, and it is a blessing to have been chosen as a university student from Australia in the delegation of Catholic students. This makes me strengthen my faith."

Among the Rumanian students, Marcela Iacomi, an Orthodox youth, said the experience in Rome was motivating her to create more apostolate in her Church.

"In the Orthodox Church, we do not have such a strong experience among students," she said. "The new patriarch in Romania is very interested in developing the catechesis for the youth of Romania."

During Thursday's meeting with the Pope, a law student, Irene Piccolo, spoke on behalf of the young people in thanking the Holy Father for his support of youth ministry.

She said that both World Youth Day and the Pauline Jubilee Year have been opportunities that can "bring many youth confused by the relativism of this age closer to the Church."

Return to Top

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.

Many Takes on a Traveler's Tale
Source: The New York Times (, December 18, 2008

Sally Eliasen acquired her first crèche during the Vietnam War. Marooned at Fort Sill, Okla., in 1966 while her husband was in Officer Candidate School, Ms. Eliasen began dropping by the post's ceramic studio as the holidays approached, after working days as a housecleaner. She created, glazed and fired eight Nativity sets, seven of which she gave away.

The one she kept is now part of a Christmas-themed cabinet of wonders. Ms. Eliasen, sixty-six, who lives alone in Centennial, Colorado (her husband, Norm, died four years ago of blood cancer), has been collecting crèches ever since. One recent favorite, made of coal, has a consistency--shiny and "smooth like onyx"--that is a source of puzzlement and wonder. "I could not picture how you can carve coal," she said.

It turns out you don't. Janet Yoney, who owns Black Gold Coal Crafts in Glen Morgan, W.Va., with her husband, Ralph, explained that she molded Ms. Eliasen's crèche out of coal dust, which she picked up at a nearby plant. "Coal comes in a powdered form," Ms. Yoney said, "in fifty-pound bags." The Yoneys mix the powder with resin, then pour it into custom rubber molds.

It might seem an unusual material for fashioning a crèche, but these days Nativities are often made of even less conventional things--nails, spoons, gourds, cinnamon paste, mashed potatoes, cannoli tubes, auto parts and cattle horns--according to Friends of the Creche, an organization of crèche collectors, researchers and enthusiasts founded ten years ago in Bethlehem, Pa.

For many in that group, collecting crèches, particularly unorthodox ones, is a way not only of celebrating and sharing, but also of personalizing the story of Jesus' birth.

St. Francis of Assisi, who is credited with popularizing the crèche in the thirteenth century, might be surprised by what he has inspired. The earliest representation of the Nativity is probably an eighth- or ninth-century carving at St. Mary Major, a basilica in Rome, said the Rev. Johann Roten, director of the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton in Ohio. But St. Francis had the brilliant idea of creating a living tableau with an ass and an ox in a working stable in the Italian town of Greccio. The Capuchin-Franciscan friars, Father Roten added, served as "publicity agents," recreating the spectacle across the Continent.

The public relations campaign worked. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries saw a proliferation of crèches in the churches and palaces of Florence, Naples and Rome. Before long, Father Roten said, displaying the most elaborate Nativity became a "kind of competition" among European nobility.

Today's aficionados gather in more modest circumstances--Friends of the Creche holds its biennial conferences in rented hotel halls--but their pride and fervor are familiar. As Judy Davis, one of the group's founders, explained, the Internet has ushered in a new golden age of crèche collecting. ...

Click here to see the entire article.

Return to Top

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.  Please take a look! This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

Return to Top

Liturgical Season

Marian Commemoration Days

To celebrate the month of December 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 December.

Return to Top

Marian Events

Knights to Honor Our Lady in Phoenix

Title: First Annual Marian Conference on Our Lady of Guadalupe

Date: August 6-9, 2009

Location: Knights of Columbus Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona

The Knights of Columbus plan to conclude their annual convention this August with a First International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The events--including a congress and a festival--are expected to draw twenty-thousand people from the United States and Mexico. The event is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Archdiocese of Mexico City and the Center for Guadalupan Studies.

"The centrality of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Americas as 'the Christian Hemisphere' is clearly evident throughout North and South America," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will speak both at the Marian Congress and at the Guadalupe Festival. "Her message today is one that has as much importance and meaning today as it did nearly five-hundred years ago."

Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored as the Empress of the Americas and devotion to her is widespread throughout the hemisphere, and in a particular way throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

The lectures will focus on the meaning of the message, some of the scientifically inexplicable aspects of the image, and the relevance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in today's world. Speakers include José Aste Tonsmann from Peru, who has done extensive studies of the reflections in the image's eyes; Monsignor Eduardo Chávez, who oversaw the cause for canonization of St. Juan Diego--the visionary who saw Our Lady in 1531; and other experts on key elements of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her message.

The Guadalupe Festival will feature an afternoon of music, prayer and speeches by notables including actor Eduardo Verastegui, best-selling author Imaculee Ilibagiza, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. Performers at the festival will include Irish singer Dana, a mariachi band and matachina dancers.

For more information click into

Return to Top

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

Return to Archive


This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Friday, 01/02/2009 10:37:24 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

URL for this page is