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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.


We have received a number of emails from readers commending our Mary Page web site. Thank you all for your encouragement and support. The following comment is a typical example:

Thank you for the very helpful website! I return to it often.
Jessica K.

Mary in Books, Films and Music

Opera of First Christmas

Amahl and the Night Visitors, a one-act opera about the first Christmas, is also a first for the University of Dayton community. "This is first faculty opera we've produced," said Linda Snyder, coordinator of voice studies. It is also the first time this opera will be performed at UD ...

Amahl and the Night Visitors tells the story of a shepherd boy and his encounter with the Wise Men who stop by his home for shelter. Inspired by the Wise Men's tale of a kingdom based on love, Amahl is inspired to bring a gift to baby Jesus and receives a special gift in return. ...

Click here to see the entire article from the December 4, 2009 issue of Campus Report [then go to page 5].

Also relating to opera at UD, please note that Dr. Eric Street, Professor in UD's Department of Music, will speak on The Virgin Mary in Opera: Apparitions and Intercessions in Kennedy Union Room 222 at Noon on Monday, March 15, 2010.

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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, December 16, Francesca Franchina speaks with Father Terry Schneider, Pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish in Beavercreek, Ohio about Advent and Christmas Joy: What is it; How to get it, keep it and give it away; and what in the world is going on in Catholicism, the Body of Christ, and his large suburban parish on the move?  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  The website 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.

Fran's series, Through the Tummy to the Heart, (T5H) 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.

On Tuesday, December 15, at 5:00 PM, Fran speaks with Tatiana, about her beautiful musical ministry, Christmas music, and her spiritual journey from her native country under Communism to America as composer, musician, and compelling witness to God's great healing love, raising a family as wife and mother of young children while she and husband Matt share responsibilities in  promoting her concerts and their production company.  Francesca shares her favorite Italian recipes for Christmas entertaining and dolce giving: Strufoli and Bows (the mounded little balls covered with honey and the Christmas Bows covered in honey and nuts).

Living With Mary Today! Live: Thursdays and Fridays 2:30-3:00 PM EST: From the Pontifical International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) at the University of Dayton Marian Library, internationally-known Mariologists Fathers Johann Roten, Francois Rossier, Thomas Thompson, and Bertrand Buby of the Society of Mary (Marianists), and other IMRI faculty; Schoenstatt Sisters Jean Frisk and Danielle Peters, Michael Duricy and Brother Erik Otiende will discuss Marian themes such as The Blessed Mother and Ecumenism; Mary and The Family; Mary and Suffering, Marian Teachings and Writings of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI; Mary and Scripture from the Founder of the Marianists, Blessed Wm. Joseph Chaminade; Mary and Vatican II, Marian Apparitions and others. The Marian Library at the University of Dayton houses the largest collection of Marian books and artifacts in the world, and IMRI is the site of post-graduate studies in Mariology for the Doctorate, STL and STD. Find out more by visiting The University of Dayton; The Marian Library and IMRI are collaborators with the International Satellite Radio Maria Network and Radio Maria Ohio.  Click here for the complete schedule of future programs planned to date.

This week's programs:

Father Bert Buby, S.M., Thursday, December 17, 2:30 PM on Mary in the Gospel of Matthew

Father Johann Roten, S.M., Thursday, December 18, 2:30 PM on Mary in Christmas Art

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Islam and Mary: A Different Perspective (by Brother John Samaha, S.M.)

Non-Muslims sometimes harbor a pejorative view of Islam.  This presentation offers a different perspective, a Marian outlook espoused by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in his book, The World's First Love, and shared by other devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Islam's creed

Islam is the only great post-Christian religion of the world.  Since it originated in the seventh century under the leadership of Muhammad, it was possible to include some elements of Christianity and Judaism along with some customs of Arabia.

Islam seems to use the doctrine of the unity of God, his majesty and his creative power, to reject Christ as the Son of God.  Not understanding the notion of the Trinity, Muhammad recognizes Christ as a prophet announcing himself, that is, Muhammad.

Christian Europe, the West, barely escaped eradication at the hands of the early Muslim jihadists.  At various times the Muslims were repulsed near Tours, Vienna, Lepanto and other areas.  The Church across North Africa was destroyed by Muslim invasions.  Presently Islam is again on the rise and flexing its power.

If Islam is a heresy, which Hilaire Belloc declared it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined.  Rather, it has rebounded.  Other heresies experienced a period of vigor and influence, but later declined and lapsed into doctrinal decay at the death of the leader, and eventually faded away as a social movement.  Islam, on the contrary, endured and has not declined in numbers or in the loyalty of its followers.

On the surface of things, the missionary efforts of the Church with Muslims have failed.  They seem almost unconvertible. Muslims believe they have the final and definitive revelation of God and that Jesus Christ was only a prophet announcing Muhammad, the last of God's real prophets.

Currently, the hatred of Muslim countries toward the West is becoming hatred against Christianity itself.  There is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and bring with it the menace that will overcome the West that has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as the great anti-Christian world power.  Muslim literature says, "When the locust swarms darken countries, they bear on their wings these words in Arabic: We are God's host, each of us has ninety nine eggs, and if we had one hundred, we should lay waste the world, with all that is in it."

The problem is how to prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg.  Some believe firmly that these fears concerning Muslims will not be realized.  They believe that Islam will eventually turn to Christianity, and in a way that missionaries do not expect.  These Christians believe that this will happen not through the teachings of Christianity, but through inviting the Muslims to veneration of the Mother of God.  This is their line of reasoning.

Role of Mary

The Qur'an, the 'Muslim bible', contains many passages about the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It speaks of her Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth.  The third chapter details the history of Mary's family in a genealogy that goes back through Abraham, Noah  to Adam.  Comparing the Qur'anic description of Mary's birth with the apocryphal gospel version reveals a similarity that indicates Muhammad probably depended on the latter.  Both books describe the old age and sterility of Mary's Mother, Ann.  When Ann conceives Mary, she says in the Qur'an, "O Lord, I vow and consecrate to you what is already within me.  Accept it from me."  When Mary is born, her mother says, "I consecrate her with all her posterity under your protection, O Lord, against Satan."

The Qur'an makes little mention of Joseph, but the Muslim tradition appreciates him.  Joseph asks Mary, who is a virgin, how she conceived Jesus without a father.  Mary responds, "Do you not know that God, when he created the wheat had no need of seed, and that God by his power made the trees to grow without the help of rain?  All that God had to do was to say. 'So be it', and it was done."

The Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity are also included in the Qur'an.  Angels are depicted accompanying our Blessed Mother and saying, "Oh, Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth."  In the nineteenth chapter alone are forty-one verses about Jesus and Mary.  The defense of the virginity of Mary is so strong and clear in the fourth book the Qur'an that it attributes the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.


For Muslims, Mary is the true Sayyida (Lady).  In their creed only Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, would rival her.  After the death of Fatima, Muhammad wrote, "Thou shall be the most blessed of all women in Paradise, after Mary."  In a variation of this text, Fatima says, "I surpass all the women, except Mary."

This highlights another point; namely, why our Blessed Mother in the twentieth century should have revealed herself in the insignificant village of Fatima, Portugal, so that all future generations will know her as Our Lady of Fatima.  Because nothing happens without divine reason, some believe the Virgin Mary chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and sign of hope to the Muslim people, and as an assurance, that they who show her great respect will one day accept her divine Son too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the history of Muslim occupation of Portugal for centuries.  When they were finally driven out of Portugal, the last Muslim ruler had a beautiful daughter named Fatima.  She fell in love with a Catholic young man.  For him she not only stayed behind when the Muslims left, but she also embraced Catholicism.  Her young husband loved her so much that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima.  Consequently the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad.

The relationship of Our Lady of Fatima to Muslims is evident in the enthusiastic reception Muslim people in Africa, India, and elsewhere offered to the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  They attended prayer services in honor of her and allowed religious processions and prayers in front of their mosques.  In Mozambique some Muslims became Christians soon after the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

Missionary challenge

Increasingly we will see that the Christian missionary apostolate among the Muslims will be successful in the measure that it preaches Our Lady of Fatima.  Mary signals the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ himself is born.  It is sound apologetics, then, for our missionary effort to begin with something the people already accept.  Because Muslims are devoted to Mary, our missionaries wisely endeavor to enlarge that devotion with the realization that Our Lady will bring Muslims along the rest of the journey to her divine Son.  She never accepts any devotion for herself, but always brings the devotee to her Son.  As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.

Many missionaries, in Africa especially, have already broken down the hatred and prejudice of Muslims against Christians by their works of charity, their schools and hospitals, and other social services.

It remains now to employ this Marian approach: to interpret chapter forty-one of the Qur'an to show them it was taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke and that Mary cannot be seen as the most blessed of women if she had not borne the Savior of the world.  If Judith and Esther were prefigures of Mary in the Old Testament, we may assume that Fatima herself was a 'post-figure' of Mary.

Let us pray that Muslims acknowledge that, if Fatima gives place in honor of Mary, the reason is that Mary is different from all other mothers of the world and that without Jesus she would be nothing.  May they find refuge in the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was given to us by God himself. Mary should be a bridge between Islam and Christianity.

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Current Exhibits

When Purple Meets All Other Colors, by Darel Sparling will be on display at The Marian Library Gallery from November 23, 2009 through January 28, 2010. Sparling's paintings present Christmas themes--the dusk and dawn of new birth, mystic stars, and trumpeting angels.  The gallery is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday by appointment by calling 937-229-4214. It is free and open to the public. Click here to see a virtual exhibit.

The Marian Library received its largest single gift recently from Australian collector, Elisabeth Van Mullekom-Cserep.  Employees and volunteers have been busy processing the gift which includes over twenty-three hundred items.  A selection of crèches from this outstanding donation will be unveiled in a special exhibition, At the Manger--World Nativity Traditions, during the 2009 Christmas season.  Opening on Thanksgiving weekend with a family-oriented open house from 1-4 pm on November 28, 2009, the displays will run through January 24, 2010.  Exhibits will be shown on the first and second floors of Roesch Library and the crèche room of The Marian Library.  Stop by often and enjoy these marvelous gifts.

UD Marian and Roesch Libraries Online Giving Page

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.

N.B. Prints and postcards related to the Exhibit of Polish Madonnas by Wislawa Kwiatkowska are no longer available for purchase at The Marian Library.

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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].

Mary's Gardens, the website of the late John S. Stokes, Jr. is in the process of being migrated to The Mary Page in accord with his bequest.  His children have also donated related physical holdings to The Marian Library.  Click here for more information.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Spring 2010 semester will commence on February 8, 2010. The course schedule for Spring 2010 and beyond is now available.

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In keeping with the season, we recommend Advent Poetry and Polish Christmas poems.

We have updated our material on the art of Guido Dettoni della Grazia, which now includes a link to a YouTube video on his Maria sculptures.

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Update on Defining Mary Spiritual Mother of Humanity
"Could Constitute a Historic Benefit of Grace and Blessing for All"
Source: Zenit (San Juan, Puerto Rico), December 8, 2009

Here is the letter sent today, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by Cardinal Luis Aponte-Martinez, the retired archbishop of San Juan, to the cardinals and bishops of Latin America on the petition to define the "Blessed Virgin Mary as the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, under its threefold aspects of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate."

... On January 1, 2008, five cardinals wrote to all bishops of the world to notify them of the petition made by an international group of cardinals and bishops assembled at Fatima to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, in humble request for the solemn definition of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, under its threefold aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate. Already in the past, hundreds of bishops and millions of faithful have made this appeal. Again many bishops have recently responded. As one of those five cardinals who sent this global petition, I now wish to provide you with an update concerning this universal Church request. ...

We all perceive a worldwide urgency for the greatest possible intercession of our heavenly Mother for the unprecedented crises of faith, family, society, and peace, which marks the present human condition. We see the papal definition of Holy Mary's Spiritual Motherhood of all peoples as an extraordinary remedy to these global crises which today threaten a great part of humanity. The more we freely acknowledge Mary's intercessory power, the more she is able to exercise this power for the peoples of the world entrusted to her care at Calvary.

I therefore invite you, dear brother, to join your brother cardinals and bishops from throughout the world in this renewed petition to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, by sending in your own letter for his prayerful discernment of what might constitute a next positive step for the solemn proclamation of the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary. Thank you for your own prayerful discernment of this most important work in honor of Our Lady, which we believe could constitute a historic benefit of grace and blessing for all humanity.

+Luis Cardinal Aponte Martinez
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Click here for the complete article.  For important background material on this issue click here.

Along similar lines, please be advised of the following request submitted by Gordon Lis, also on December 8, 2009:

Celebrate Life

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary's Song of Praise

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-49 (RSV)

Regarding the ensoulment of the human person, the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1711 states, "Endowed with a spiritual soul ... the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude."

By promoting the teaching of 'ensoulment' as a dogma, the Catholic Bishops in the United States can provide a major step in making the whole world aware of the dignity of human life, which begins ar the 'moment of conception'.

Focusing on the conceptions of Jesus and of Mary is the basis of the teaching of ensoulment.

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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.

Marie, l'oeuvre: La création de cette Icone par Guido Dettoni
Source: YouTube, (video clip) November 30, 2009

Nous désirons partager Noël en regardant l'œuvre MARIE et ainsi renouveler le choix de PAIX pour 2010 et pour toujours. L'équipe de Nesher.

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Prayer Corner Requests

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 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.

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Marian Events

Meet Father Bertrand Buby, Vowed Marianist Religious at U.D.

Title: My Marianist Story and an Advent Reflection

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at Noon

Location: Kennedy Union Room 310 (University of Dayton)

Sponsored by the Office of the Rector with a light lunch provided. Please RSVP 9-2409.

For more info click

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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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