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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 website, The Mary Page.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following is a typical example.

May God bless you and your work.


Thesis Defense

Laetitia Rhatigan, Mission Director at Holy Cross Family Ministries, successfully defended her S.T.D. thesis on the Marian Spirituality of Father Patrick Peyton on Friday, April 29, 2011, in The Marian Library Reading Room.

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Alumni Update

Dr. Virginia M. Kimball, President of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary-USA, and IMRI graduate, presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the New England and Eastern Canada Region of the Society of Biblical Literature entitled Windows to the Spiritual Sense: An Ecumenical Approach to Biblical Commentary Found in the Euchology of Ancient Liturgical Services. It was received well. She will attend the ESBVM-USA in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2011 and provided the following details about their upcoming conference and also about a recent publication.

May Meeting

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary–USA will hold its next meeting on Saturday, May 7, 2011.  The meeting will be held at Holy Rosary Italian Catholic Church, 595 Third Street NW, Washington, DC 20001-2703.

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM), an international society, exists to advance the study of Mary, the Mother of Christ, in Christian biblical and spiritual perspectives, and in the light of such study to promote ecumenical interchange and prayer.  Its aim is to show that, in Mary, Christians of many traditions may find a focus in their search for unity.

The meeting will begin at 9:00 am, with presentations and discussion in the morning, followed by lunch and a privately-led guided tour of Marian art at the National Gallery of Art at 1:00 pm (until 2:30 pm).

Speakers will include Dr. Ramzy Labib, a Coptic Christian, who will speak on St. Mary's Importance in Coptic Orthodox Theology.  The Rev. Karen Curry will speak about Baptist Views on Mary.  For details, please contact ESBVM-USA at or  [Please put "ESBVM" in the subject line.]

Recent Publication

Mary for the Love and Glory of God: Essays on Mary and Ecumenism
edited by Dr. Maura Hearden and Dr. Virginia M. Kimball
published by the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary-USA

Here is a collection of ecumenical essays by scholars representing various Christian denominations, presented at the International Congress of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary [ESBVM] in Pittsburgh, PA, in 2008.  The contributors in this book center attention on Mary, the Mother of Christ, who was the biblical disciple whose life brings us to the love and glory of God.  Contributing authors are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant.  These authors are: Very Rev. John Behr, Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York; Dr. Robert L. Fastiggi, Professor of Sacred Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit; Sister Nonna Verna Harrison, an Eastern Orthodox nun and specialist in Patristics and Orthodox Theology; Dr. Maura Hearden, a Roman Catholic scholar; Rev. Jennifer Mary Kimball, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC in Walton, NY; Dr. Virginia Kimball, an Eastern Orthodox theologian, President of ESBVM-USA; Rev. Dr. Donald Charles Lacy, United Methodist pastor and well-known ecumenical author and lecturer; Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick OSBM, a Byzantine Catholic Sister and vocation director for the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil in Uniontown, PA; Sister Mary Catherine Nolan, a Roman Catholic Dominican Sister, Marian theologian, and author of Mary's Song – Living the Timeless Prayer; Rev. Dr. Edward J. Ondrako, OFM Conv, scholar-in-residence at the Franciscan International Study Center in Canterbury, Kent, England and author of Progressive Illuminations – A Journey with John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1980-2005; Rev. Dr. Paul Snowden Russell III, an Anglican priest and Dean of the St. Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Theological College in Berkeley, CA, and a noted Syriac scholar.

The cost of the book is $15 for paid ESBVM members; otherwise the price is $25 retail. For ordering information, please send an email to  Orders outside of the United States may be placed through (enter the title or editor's name in the search line on the main web page.)

Bookstores and libraries may order the book for retail sales by contacting the printer, AuthorHouse, directly by phone.  The discount is 36%. Call 886-519-5121, extension 5022.

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Mary in Books, Films, and Music

Catholic Multimedia Website from France

Dr. Nastia Korbon informed us about, a French-language Catholic multimedia website.  Its many features include a documentary about Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, footage of priestly ordinations at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and coverage of the Beatification Mass of John Paul II.

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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 12:00 - 1:00 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, May 4, 2011, Francesca Franchina talks with John Wright of Springfield, Ohio about his motivational, inspirational approach to life and ministry and his new Radio Maria Program, BE YOUR BEST!, to air on Wednesdays starting May 4, 2011. John is the owner of W Productions Signs and Graphics in Springfield, Ohio and is a writer, speaker, trainer and adviser to businesses, organizations, churches and schools. An accomplished musician, John is a fourth Degree Knight of Columbus member, has recovered from a life-threatening condition, is a volunteer for Hospice, a Board Member of the Dayton Blues Society, and a member of St. Bernard Parish.

Francesca and Friends with Francesca Franchina, National OSIA Trustee, is now being broadcast throughout the New York City metropolitan area at 11 pm on Friday nights on WSNR 620 AM, as well as on other local  Radio Maria USA frequencies,  and streaming on  This is the replay of the program originating on the preceding Wednesday at noon EST.  Give a listen every Friday at 11 PM; Mondays at 8:30 PM and LIVE on Wednesdays at noon EST.

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 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, May 3, Francesca discusses the Mercy Messages as written by St. Faustina; the Mercy Novena, the importance of Mercy Sunday; the writings as dictated by Jesus of Mercy to St. M. Faustina Kowalska (Divine Mercy in My Soul) and the importance of heeding the teachings given to us through her by Jesus of Mercy.  Francesca reads from the Messages and comments on their effect on our lives; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

Francesca Franchina shares her family's traditions, customs and foods: Pasta with creamy Ricotta.  Send a SASE to Francesca at P. O. Box 3238, Dayton, OH 45401 for recipes.

This program and all Francesca's programs are archived on-line.

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 Bertrand Buby, Francois Rossier, Johann Roten, and Thomas Thompson of the Society of Mary (Marianists), and other IMRI faculty; Michael Duricy, Jean Frisk, Danielle Peters, and others 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 William 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 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 tentative schedule of future programs planned to date.  Click here for the new audio archive!

This week's program:

Danielle Peters, Thursday, May 5, 2:30 PM on Blessed John Paul II

Danuta Romanowska, Friday, May 6, 2:30 PM on Blessed John Paul II

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Fatima in Focus (by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.)

On May 13 the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  Like the apparitions of Our Lady at Guadalupe and at Lourdes, her apparitions at Fatima are known far and wide across the world in both religious and secular circles.  To appreciate more clearly the impact of Mary's appearances at Fatima, it is important for us to know something about the conditions in Portugal at the time of the appearances in 1917.  The events need to be placed in historical context.

The Historical, Political, Social Circumstances

For centuries Portugal had distinguished itself by its zeal for the spread of the Christian faith.  But in the eighteenth century, the government was influenced by anti-religious ideas and, from that time, Freemasonry set about de-Christianizing the country.  At the beginning of the twentieth century, the moral and religious situation in Portugal was abysmal.  In 1911, the separation of Church and State became official.  The years from 1910 to 1913 were years of terror: priests and bishops were imprisoned or exiled; religious orders were suppressed; almost all the seminaries were closed and confiscated; missions languished or were abandoned.  Freemasonry was in control.  From 1910 to 1926, Portugal experienced sixteen revolutions with forty changes of government officials.

The Apparitions and Their Message

Then, on May 13, 1917, a shining Lady appeared to three little shepherds near Fatima, a Portuguese village.  They were Jacinto, seven years old; Francisco, her brother, nine years old; and their cousin, Lucia, ten years old.  The brilliant Lady encouraged them to pray the rosary, a summary of the Gospel, and to offer acts of penance.  Then she asked them to return on the thirteenth day of the next five months.  The children were faithful in coming, except for August 13, for the mayor, a Mason, had them imprisoned at that time.  He had threatened to cast them into a caldron of boiling oil if they did not reveal the secret confided to them by the Lady.

At each meeting, the Lady revealed to them a little more of God's designs.  She foretold future misfortunes which they were to keep secret for the time being, and which were recently revealed by the sole survivor, Lucia.  These had to do with an even more terrible war than the current one of 1914-1918.  The Lady asked for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for only through her could the aid of God come to the world.  On the last apparition, that of October 13, she promised a great miracle which everyone would be able to see.

Curiosity drew ever-larger numbers that accompanied the little visionaries to each meeting: there were some twenty-five to thirty thousand on September 13; about seventy thousand on October 13.

That day, on which the great miracle promised by the Virgin Mary was to take place, rain poured all morning.  The crowd was soaked. But at noon the skies cleared. Mary appeared to the three shepherds and revealed her name: Lady of the Rosary.  She asked that people be converted and pray.  Then, in the sight of the seventy thousand spectators, the sun, which had just appeared through the clouds, began to rotate or spin three times.  Each rotation lasted three or four minutes, illuminating the trees, the crowd, the earth, with all the colors of a rainbow.  Then it zigzagged in the sky and descended as though to fall into the crowd. People fell to the ground crying for mercy.  Then the sun returned to its proper place.  The spectators noticed that their clothes were completely dry.

News of this miracle, witnessed by seventy thousand people, including a number who were hostile to religion, spread like wildfire throughout Portugal and made a tremendous impression.  The material miracle was but a sign of another miracle, the enlightenment of souls and the conversion of the country.

The Aftermath

Over the centuries this celebration underwent some problems and waned in significance.  As late as the thirteenth century the liturgy was still not entirely structured.  Since the seventh century there had been a general decline, and this event was celebrated early in the day on Holy Saturday.  When Pope St. Pius V reformed the Missal in the sixteenth century following the Council of Trent, he forbade the celebration of the Eucharist after midday.  Consequently, on Holy Saturday morning in churches brightened with sunlight and a barely perceptible flame on the Easter Candle, the celebrant sang, "O night truly blessed!"  In addition, very few people were able to attend this long liturgy on Holy Saturday morning.  This added to its diminished appreciation.

The Biblical, patristic, theological, and liturgical renewal that began to swell in the 1920s indicated the unacceptability of this condition and the impoverishment of the Easter celebration.  In 1951 Pope Pius XII authorized the celebration of the Easter vigil during the evening hours of Holy Saturday, and revised the rites to foster greater congregational participation.  Then in 1955 he decreed that the Easter Vigil must take place at night.  In our day we follow the "Missal of Pope Paul VI" promulgated in 1969 following the Second Vatican Council.

Today the Easter vigil has four parts: 1) the blessing of the fire, procession of the Easter Candle, and the chanting of the Exultet; 2) the Liturgy of the Word; 3) the baptismal liturgy, which includes at least the blessing of the water and the renewal of baptismal vows; 4) culminates in the Eucharistic liturgy.

This solemn celebration of the Lord's resurrection is the zenith of the liturgical year, 'the solemnity of solemnities'.

The Challenge

Less than two weeks after the last apparition, a first sign of a new attitude manifested itself in the protest by an influential antichristian newspaper against a sacrilegious attack by a group of sectarians at Fatima.  In 1918, the bishops were recalled from exile and were able to hold a meeting at Lisbon.  The military chaplaincy was reinstated and relations with the Holy See re-established.  At that point, the Masonic lodges had the president of the Republic of Portugal assassinated.  They sought to reinstate the control of the anti-clericals, but their efforts failed.

In 1926, the first National Council was held. In 1928, the renowned Oliveira Salazar rose to power.  He was an outstanding Catholic and a great statesman, the providential man for the financial, civil, political, and religious restoration of Portugal.

Come 1936, a new great danger menaced the land.  The Russian Bolshevists decided to establish atheistic communism in Spain and Portugal in order to spread it more successfully in the east and in the west, throughout all Christian Europe.  We know what success they had in Spain. Portugal seemed unable to resist their activity, organized with satanic cleverness.  To dispel the danger, the bishops saw salvation only in the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1936, they promised, by what was termed an anti-communist oath, to make a pilgrimage of the entire nation to Fatima if Portugal were preserved from the peril which was threatening it.

While, on the other side of the frontier in Spain, the 'Reds' were massacring, profaning, pillaging, burning priests and men and women religious and churches and convents, trying to extirpate the last vestiges of Christianity, Portugal enjoyed the most profound peace.  And so, in 1938, an enormous pilgrimage of a half-million faithful was on route to Fatima to thank the Virgin for her miraculous protection.

In 1940, Portugal signed with the Holy See the most perfect concordat, from the Christian point of view, ever signed in recent times.  The faith is proclaimed throughout the entire country with pride, the sacraments are frequented, Catholic Action flourished, ecclesiastical vocations multiplied.  In eight years the number of religious had quadrupled.  In keeping with the prediction of the Virgin at Fatima, the Second World War was much more horrible than the first.  Yet, though most of the nations of the world were involved in the indescribable calamities and anguish, Portugal continued with its tranquil life under the protection of Mary.

The Church's Action

The ecclesiastical inquiry into the facts of Fatima was opened in November of 1917.  However, because of circumstances, a verdict was rendered only thirteen years later, on October 13, 1930.  Meanwhile, pilgrimages continued to arrive, always more numerous, and usually on the thirteenth of each month.  Cures were taking place. In 1926, a board of review was established similar to the one at Lourdes.  More than a thousand cures, scientifically unexplainable, had been registered by 1955.

On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, the ecclesiastical authority judged the moment suitable for revealing in part what Our Lady of the Rosary had asked Lucia to keep secret for the time being.

In his radio message of October 31, 1942, to the pilgrims gathered at Fatima, Pope Pius XII consecrated the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  He renewed this consecration the following December 8 in Rome. The bishops of the whole world also made this consecration for their individual dioceses on March 28, 1943.  We know that Pope Pius XII confided to Cardinal Tedeschini that he himself had seen the solar phenomenon on October 30 and 31, and on November 1 and 8, 1954, on the occasion of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption.

The Impact of Fatima

The message of Fatima has been heard in Portugal, and Mary's goodness has marvelously repaid it. Has it been heard in the rest of the world? Certainly not enough. Otherwise wars among nations by armies, and 'cold wars', and fratricides within countries would have ended long ago.

However, not all have turned a deaf ear.  The message of Fatima has been received in part, at least, by a great number of Christians.  Devotion to the rosary continues to gain favor and reaches into many countries.  As has been said, all the dioceses of the world have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the bishops.  The visits of the Pilgrim Virgin statues have been received with tremendous enthusiasm not only by Catholic populations, but by Protestants and Muslims as well.

The message of Fatima has moved many and has contributed to making our era an Age of Mary.  It has not spoken its final word.  What that word will be depends on the cooperation which Our Lady of Fatima receives from us.  She extends this call and invitation to each of us.

The words of Franz Werfel about Lourdes apply also to Fatima: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary.  For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible."

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New Exhibit!

Drawn on Copper: The Year in the Company of Mary and the Saints

The Marian Library Gallery is featuring works on copper by Rosemary Scott-Fishburn related to Mary and the Saints.  The exhibit will run from April 25 - June 17 on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday by appointment.  Call 937-229-4214.  Click here for a virtual exhibit or here for an article.

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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 originated east of Milan, Italy in 1983, and is now heard in fifty-four countries.  The main USA station is in Alexandria, Louisiana with affiliate stations across the USA [including FM 88.7, WHJM,  in Anna, Ohio (north of Dayton) and AM 1600, WULM, in Springfield/Dayton, Ohio.  All USA Radio Maria stations regularly air live Marian talks from UD's Marian Library every Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 pm EST and on Thursday and Friday from 2:30-3:00 pm EST, as well as local programming originating from many other affiliated Radio Maria stations in the USA.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Summer 2011 semester will commence on June 6, 2011.

The Pontifical Academic Program leading to STL and STD in theology with a specialization in Marian Studies offers courses in three year-round sessions.  See course offerings for Summer 2011.

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In keeping with the season, we recommend Easter Poetry and A Tribute to Blessed John Paul II.

We have revised and expanded our material in German and Chinese.  These are works in progress, so expect more content soon.  Feel free to let us know what you think of these sections.

We have also updated the Marian Sayings of Benedict XVI through April 24 and posted Marian Commemoration Days for May in our Korean section.

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Mexicans Honor 'Their' Pope
Nuncio Recalls John Paul II's Love for Mexico, Guadalupe
Source: Zenit (Mexico City) April 12, 2011

With his five trips to Mexico City, his love for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and his spontaneous warmth, Pope John Paul II endeared himself to the Mexican people as if he were one of them.

A massive celebration April 3 in Mexico City's Aztec Stadium manifested this nation's anticipation of the May 1 beatification of 'their Pope'....

At the end of his message, the nuncio said that "the little Dark Virgin, to whom he consecrated his pontificate, has already received John Paul II next to her. Because of this, we can be sure that, together with her, John Paul II will also be favoring us with his loving intercession before God our Father, so that we are able to keep alive and active, each one of us and all of us as a nation, the memory of his visits, the timeliness and undeniable value of his teachings, and the transparency of his humility and of his testimony of life."

Click here to read the complete article.

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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.

Find Us on Flickr!
Source: Libraries Digest (University of Dayton) Summer 2011

The Marian Library and the University Archives and Special Collections recently launched Flickr sites displaying photographs and images from their collections.  From The Marian Library, find photos of Marianist individuals and events and colorful scrapbooks from the Italian Marist school.  Click here for The Marian Library Flickr account.

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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 May 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 May.

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Marian Events

MSA Annual Meeting

Title: The Virgin Mary in the United States and Canada

Date: May 17-20, 2011

Location: Franciscan Renewal Center (Scottsdale, Arizona)

The Mariological Society of America (MSA) holds an annual three-day meeting. The place of the meeting, themes and speakers are determined by the Administrative Council. Suggestions for future annual meetings are appreciated. Particularly welcome are offers from groups who wish to host an annual meeting. Anyone may attend the sessions of the annual meetings. The annual meeting usually includes a presidential address, five or or six presentations; and a survey of recent Marian publications, focusing primarily on books and articles in English, but including recent writings on Mary in other languages as well. The proceedings of the annual meeting are published in Marian Studies. All members receive a copy and subscriptions are also available.

Click here to see the program in PDF format [requires Adobe Acrobat Reader] for this year's meeting.

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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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