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We have received a number of emails from readers commending our institute and its website, The Mary Page. Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following is a typical example.

Thank you.  You are always so generous to us and our work.  We are deeply grateful to you, and I provide links to The Mary Page frequently from the Mary's Touch pages on Facebook.  God bless you!


Position Opening

Doctoral Assistantship toward STD in Mariology

Date: Three years starting in summer 2012
Deadline: May 31, 2012
Open to: graduates with an STL degree in Catholic theology interested in Marian Studies

Applications are invited immediately for a postgraduate assistantship in Mariology at the International Marian Research Institute (IMRI), commencing summer semester 2012.  This assistantship, which offers a stipend of $17,000 per year as well as tuition remission and benefits, will be awarded on a three-year basis.

IMRI is seeking a graduate with an STL degree in Catholic theology who is interested in obtaining the terminal canonical STD degree with specialization in Marian Studies.

The recipient will be expected to work twenty hours per week for the institute, to complete IMRI courses toward the STD degree, and to possess very good skills in English.

Applications consisting of CV, academic transcripts, two references—one academic, one ecclesial, and a cover letter detailing experience and interests should reach Father François Rossier, S.M., Executive Director, The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton, 300 College Park Ave, Dayton, OH 45469-1390 by May 31, 2012.

Click here for details on IMRI's academic program or call 937-229-4214 with other questions.  Father Rossier may also be reached by email.

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Dr. Richard H. Bulzacchelli and Dr. Laetitia Rhatigan [at right with Father Francois Rossier, S.M., Executive Director of the International Marian Research Institute (IMRI)], received their STD degrees and academic hoods at UD's Spring Commencement Exercises on May 5, 2012.

Father Gregory E. Roth also received his STD degree In Absentia.

UD's printed program included the text below about our institute and this year's graduates.

[Dr. Richard Bulzacchelli and Dr. Laetitia Rhatigan with Father Francois Rossier, S.M.]
Click to enlarge

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute

Founded by the Marianists of the Univeristy of Dayton, The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute has the universal mission to make the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, better known, loved, and served. This global, scholarly, and pastoral privilege is fulfilled above all through the operation of the Marian Library, founded in 1943 and today recognized as the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of printed materials on the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as through the International Marian Research Institute (IMRI).

The International Marian Research Institute was established in 1975 at the University of Dayton in affiliation with the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum in Rome. IMRI offers a graduate program from the Marianum leading to a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). The program is accredited by the Marianum and approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education at the Vatican. Presently there are only two places in the world, Rome and Dayton, where students can earn the Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and the Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D) with specialization in Mariology.

Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.)

Richard H. Bulzacchelli
Nashville, TN
Dissertation: Mary and the Acting Person: An Anthroplogy of Participatory Redemption in the Personalism of Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II

Laetitia Rhatigan
Albany, NY
Dissertation: The Writings and Works of Servant of God, Patrick J. Peyton, CSC, As They Reflect His Marian Spirituality

Father Gregory E. Roth
Spokane, WA
Dissertation: Paradox Beyond Nature: The Marian Homilies of Germanos I, Patriarch of Constantinople (715-730)

The entire graduation ceremony may be viewed on-line at The IMRI degrees are conferred from minutes 110-115. Users will need to have Flash installed on their computers to watch the commencement ceremonies.  For a free download of Flash, go to

Shashikanth Enamanagandla also received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at this ceremony. We are grateful for all the work he has done on our website, The Mary Page, before graduating.

The Marian Library was open on Saturday, May 5, 2012, from 1-5 pm to accommodate the families of graduates.

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Mary in Books, Films, and Music

Online Catholic News

Dr. Robert B. Moynihan, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Inside the Vatican Magagine posts letters about the Church and world affairs online in The Moynihan Report.  This website is searchable and includes material on the Virgin Mary.  Here is a sample on the Marian devotion of Benedict XVI found by typing 'virgin mary' into their search box.

"About Mary, one can never say enough."  That is the reason that it seemed fitting to go to Mary's chapel in St. Peter's Basilica this morning, and then, this evening, to write, in this brief email, about how Pope John Paul II believed, and Pope Benedict XVI believes, that Mary can be a 'remedy' for the crises of the Church and world today....

Suggested Video

A film about the miraculous events in Fatima, The Thirteenth Day, is available.  Click in for details, to watch the trailer, or to purchase the DVD.

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Radio Maria from The Marian Library

Prayer composed by the late Pope John Paul II for Radio Maria

Mary, direct our choices in life, console us in the hour of trial, so that faithful to God and to us, we can face with humble boldness, the mysterious ways of the heavens to bring to the mind and heart of every person the joyful announcement of Christ, our Redeemer.  Mary, Star of Evangelization, walk with us, guide Radio Maria and be its protector.

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.  CALL IN TOLL-FREE.  PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM (during the live show) 1-866-333-6279.

On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, Francesca Franchina engages listeners on Divine Will: God the Father's unbounded love and mercy and His wrath revealed and experienced throughout history; the signs of the times, Our Lady's prayer campaign for peace utilizing the peace plan from Heaven revealed at Fatima in 1917.  What is the significance and importance of listening to God Our Father, and acting on His divine will?  Why now?  What is the implication and importance of the will of God, the Father, on humanity, its effects, and its principles?  How can we discern and determine what is the divine will and its meaning for our lives now and forever?  Listeners are invited to call in with questions and responses to recognizing, discerning and acting on the Divine Will in their own lives and the results of prayer and these devotions in their lives.

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 15, 2012, Francesca speaks with listeners about loving God--the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--and others enough to risk rejection to save souls and to help others discover their purpose and destiny as we pilgrimage through life on the way to eternal life.  This discussion focuses on cultivating virtue and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit by turning away from the Culture of Death to the Culture of Life in living by Christian Principles.

T5H recipe from Francesca's Sicilian kitchen: Minestrone with pasta and baby meatballs

This week's 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, François Rossier, Johann Roten, and Thomas Thompson of the Society of Mary (Marianists), and other IMRI faculty; Michael Duricy, Jean Frisk, 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 one of the two sites 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 schedule of future programs planned to date.  Click here for the new audio archive!

This week's programs:

Michael Duricy, Thursday, May 17, 2:30 PM on the Holy Rosary

Sister M. Jean Frisk, Friday, May 18, 2:30 PM on Mary and Children I

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Mother and Associate of Christ the Priest: Mary's Unique Priestly Role by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Blessed John Paul II's encyclical, Church of the Eucharist (Ecclesia de Eucharistia) treats the "School of Mary, Woman of the Eucharist" in chapter 6.  In that section the late Holy Father states: "If we wish to rediscover in all its richness the profound relationship between the church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, mother and model of the church.  In Rosarium Virginis Mariae he told us "... among the mysteries of light I included the institution of the Eucharist.  Mary can guide us toward this most holy sacrament because she herself has a profound relationship with it." (no. 53)

In a singular way, he continues, "Mary is present with the church and as mother of the church at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist.  If the church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist." (no.57)

How then do we explain the priestly dimension of Mary's apostolic mission?

Situating the question

Every priest is a mediator between God and humans (Heb 5:1; 8-6; 9:5; 12:24), but our principal and proper mediator is Christ.

Catholic theology indicates that Mary participates in a secondary manner in the mediation of Christ between God and humanity.  This means that it is fitting that she also participates in His priesthood.  The sacerdotal quality of her mission is a function of being mother of the redeemer, an integral part of her mission and not only a personal privilege.

This concept is evident in the writings of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Saint Maximilian Kolbe, outstanding pastoral Mariologists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively.

Very little of substance has been written on this subject, but there is ample basis for this truth in Catholic tradition.  Helpful sources of information are provided by two noted French theologians: Rene Laurentin in Marie, l'Eglise, et le Sacerdoce and Emile Neubert, SM in Marie et Notre Sacerdoce.  The latter book is now in English translation: Mary and the Priestly Ministry (Academy of the Immaculate, 2009).  They clearly elaborate that Mary is the mother and associate of Christ, the priest (Maria, mater et socia Christi sacerdotis).

A balanced approach is essential.  The ecclesiotypical representation of the mystery of Mary should not overshadow the Christotypical.  One aspect should not diminish the other.  This is not an either-or situation, but one of both-and; it is a matter of particular emphasis on the subject under consideration.

Evidence of tradition

This question has seldom been studied in a theologically scientific manner.  It is specifically the subject of Laurentin's masterful work previously mentioned, the result of his doctoral studies.  Neubert's approach is a more pastoral application.

In the early ages of Christianity scarcely anyone searched for a quality specifically sacerdotal in the functions of the mother of Jesus.  Laurentin explains, "The use of a sacerdotal vocabulary in reference to Mary arrives slowly, and, as it were, by exception.... The theological themes answering to this use are little developed; the idea of an oblation by Mary, which would suggest her sacerdotal role in the clearest manner possible, had not been conceived."  Preaching and the hymns of the seventh to ninth centuries witness to "a tendency to confer sacerdotal titles on Mary," but do not indicate "the existence of the idea of a Marian priesthood."

The idea of Mary's oblation first appeared in the subsequent period, which lasted until 1600.  St. Bernard, in the twelfth century, had already clearly expressed this idea.  In the next century writings attributed to St. Albert the Great considered this oblation sacerdotal.  Later it was determined that a still unidentified Pseudo-Albert was responsible for these ideas.  Employing the principle that Mary possesses all the graces and prerogatives of other rational creatures to a superior degree, Pseudo-Albert proposed to show that she had received with a unique fullness all that belongs to the various offices in the Church's hierarchy.  Among the valuable and valid insights in his Mariale Super Missus Est, the most important is that of Mary as socia, "helper and associate of Christ, partner in the kingdom of God, and partner in the sufferings of the human race...."  His successors pursued this view to a comparison made between Mary's sacerdotal role and that of ordained priests.

The fourteenth-century Byzantine lay theologian, St. Nicholas Cabasilas, summarized the mind of the early Church Fathers: "The Incarnation has been not only the work of the Father, of His Son, and of the Holy Spirit, but also the work of the faith of the Virgin.  For without the consent of the Most Pure, without the cooperation of her faith, this design was as unrealizable as without the intervention of the three Divine Persons.  It is only after persuading her that God takes her as His Mother and borrows the flesh that she can give to Him.  Likewise, as He wished to be incarnate, He wished that His Mother beget Him freely and with full consent."

In the seventeenth century, Salazar and other Spanish theologians compare her role with that of Christ and identify it with her redemptive mission.

In the same century, another line of thought associated with Berulle and the French School of Spirituality appeared, and continued throughout the eighteenth century.  While its inspiration originates in the Spanish school, this new line of thought overshadows Salazar's interpretation, due principally to Olier and the theologians at the seminary of Saint Sulpice.  In the French School, Mary was invoked and contemplated as the model of the priest, and honored as "Virgo sacerdos, the Virgin Priest."

In the nineteenth century the Marian writings of the early decades are vacuous and sentimental.  By the middle of the century a rebirth is detected.  Theologians begin to restore to Mariology its theological content, and to connect again with the movements of the seventeenth century.  Once again mediation, co-redemption, and the sacerdotal aspect of Mary's mission gain ascendancy in their studies.

Pronouncements of Blessed Pius IX and Saint Pius X, echoing Saint Antoninus of Florence, clarified that Mary was "an associate of the Divine Sacrifice, divini sacrificii socia" and that she was enriched with "as much dignity and grace as are found in the priesthood."

Some of these interventions by Rome are rather negative because, from the viewpoint of the sacerdotal quality of Mary's functions, they determine what the Blessed Virgin is not; namely, the equivalent of an ordained priest.  On the positive side, the exact notion of what the sacerdotal quality of her activity is continues to be the topic of theological discussions.  Progress can be noted in a clear understanding of this question.

The search for what is properly sacerdotal in Mary's mission must be directed to an immediate examination of two of Mary's prerogatives; that she is the Mother of Christ, our High Priest, and that she is the Associate of Christ, our High Priest, in His sacrifice.

Mary, the Mother of Christ, our High Priest

The Son of God became incarnate to be the mediator between God and people, to be our High Priest.  Every priest is taken from among men.  Christ is not a priest in virtue of His divine Sonship, for how could He be mediator between Himself and people?  Christ is a priest in virtue of His human nature, which is hypostatically united to His divinity.

Christ received His human nature from Mary, who, in giving it to Him, contributed to the establishment of the Son of God as our High Priest.  Christ's priestly vocation was received from His Father; His sacerdotal anointing is the grace of the hypostatic union, the gift of His Father, or more exactly, of the Holy Trinity.  What enables the Son of God to be our High Priest, namely His humanity, came to Him through Mary.

Mary furnishes the material cause.  But she does not supply it blindly.  She knows that the Messiah, whose Mother she is to become, is to be the High Priest of a new priesthood.  "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever." (Ps 110:4)  She knows too that the priesthood of Christ depends on her reply, and therefore she is a fully conscious, free, and responsible cause of that priesthood.  Mary is the Mother of God, of our Creator, of our Lawgiver, of our Rewarder.  Had she refused the invitation of Gabriel, the Son of God would still be our God, Creator, Lawgiver, and Rewarder, but not our Savior and our Priest.

Associate of Christ, our High Priest

Neubert, in his Introduction to Marie dans le Dogme, elucidates his Mariological principle of analogy.  He emphasizes that Christian tradition informs us that Mary participated in the prerogatives and in the functions of Christ according to the measure and insofar as her condition as creature and woman permitted her to share in these privileges of an incarnate God.  She is, according to the expressive phrase of Pseudo-Albert, the socia Christi, who has been given to Him as a helper like to Himself, adjutorium simile sibi.  This is her role in the work of the Redemption, in the distribution of grace, in the kingship of Christ.  Such also is her role in regard to Christ's priesthood.  Therefore, the study of this office of the Virgin Mother must be made in reference to the priesthood of Christ rather than to the ministry of ordained priests.

The general elements that make a person a priest, as mentioned specifically in the Letter to the Hebrews, are these:

  • the priest is taken from among men; by a special vocation;
  • with a consecration or anointing;
  • to be a mediator;
  • between God, who is to be appeased, and human beings, who are to be reconciled to him;
  • by the offering of a sacrifice.

Many Christians, especially those consecrated to God, possess several of these elements.  Yet they are not priests because they are unable to offer the Sacrifice of the New Law.  The power to offer this Sacrifice constitutes the distinguishing trait of the Christian priest.

A sacrifice is any oblation made to God in recognition of His sovereignty.  Understood in this sense, anyone can offer sacrifices to God.  "Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased with sacrifices of that kind." (Heb 13:15-16)

Moreover, a sacrifice may consist of something entirely internal: "A burnt offering you would not accept.  My sacrifice is a broken spirit; God does not spurn a broken, humbled heart." (Ps 51:18-19)  A sacrifice may also be something both external and internal, in which the external element signifies the internal disposition of the one making the sacrifice, as St. Thomas Aquinas indicated.  In sacrifices offered to God in the name of the people by a man designated to represent them as their mediator, as a priest, these two elements are always present.  Such a sacrifice is more in harmony with human nature and is necessary if the people are to participate in the sacrifice.  If the interior element is absent, God will reject the material offering as He did so many times when speaking to the Jews through the prophets.

In the Christian dispensation it is no longer based on the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law.  Now God recognizes only the Sacrifice of Christ.  "For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in.' Then I said 'As it is written of me in the scroll, behold I come to do your will, O God.' " (Heb 10: 5-10)

Christ is a priest because He is the Man-God, our necessary Mediator.  He has been called to this office by the Most Holy Trinity, and consecrated in it by the grace of the hypostatic union to appease God's wrath toward human beings, and to bring them pardon and the grace of adoption.  Christ accomplished this by His Sacrifice on the cross.  He did not immolate Himself by his own hands, but He voluntarily abandoned Himself to the hands of His executioners, who, without realizing it, were the instruments of His priestly oblation.  It is this immolation (material element) lovingly willed (spiritual element) which comprises His sacerdotal act.  Oblatus est quia ipse voluit.

Mary's dimension of cooperation

The Blessed Virgin Mary was also taken from among the human race.  She was destined from all eternity to be associated with Christ in the work of our Redemption.  She was consecrated to this work by the grace of her Divine Maternity, and made Mediatrix of all grace at the side of the Mediator of Justice.  Finally, she contributed with Him and through Him to the appeasement of God and the securing of grace for us by her presence at the foot of the cross (material element), and by the abandonment of her maternal rights over the body of Jesus and by the union of her will and her sufferings with the will and sufferings of her Son in His sacrifice (spiritual element).  Note well that abandoning her maternal rights over the body of Jesus was to immolate Him, just as for Jesus to abandon His body to His executioners was to immolate Himself.  Oblatus est quia ipse voluit.  In the words of Pope Benedict XV, "She with her dying Son endured suffering and almost death itself; she renounced her maternal rights over her Son, and to placate Divine Justice to the degree dependent on her, she immolated her Son so that it can be truthfully said of her that, with her Son she redeemed all mankind."

Mary is the perfect Associate of Christ in the offering of this redemptive sacrifice, both in the material element (her presence at the Sacrifice of Calvary) and in the spiritual element (the abandonment of her maternal rights over the life of her Son and the complete union of her will and sufferings with those of Jesus).  Consequently, her cooperation can certainly be termed sacerdotal.

How can this be said of Mary's cooperation since she did not receive the priestly character?  This objection would be serious if Mary's role were compared to that of the ordained priest.  However, in considering this question Mary is compared to Jesus, not to the ordained priest. Jesus did not receive the sacerdotal character of the ordained priest.  By the grace of the hypostatic union He received the sacerdotal anointing which made Him the Priest of the New Dispensation: Tu es sacerdos in aeternum.  Now at this same instant the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary making her the Mother of the Son of God as well as His Associate in all His functions, including His Priesthood.  As Christ is a priest forever by His hypostatic union that is eternal, so Mary by her Divine Maternity, which will always be hers, is forever associated with Christ, the High Priest.

On the one hand this intimate relation between Mary's association with Christ our Redeemer, and on the other with Christ our High Priest, enables us to determine with precision the sacerdotal nature of Mary’s part in the sacrifice of Calvary, especially since her role as Co-redemptrix is the subject of many recent studies.

We know that Mary's role as Co-redemptrix is not identical with that of the Redeemer; it is simply analogous to it.  Moreover while her role is necessary, it is so not in itself but only as the loving decree of God.  Hers is a secondary role performed not in her own right, but in dependence on the role of Jesus.  It is not separate, but is united both in its execution and in its effects with that of the Son.  Accordingly the sacerdotal office of Mary, the cause of her action in the Redemption, is necessary only in view of the will of God, and is subordinate to and dependent on that of Jesus, to which it is united in its accomplishment and its results.  Together Jesus and Mary offered the Sacrifice which redeemed us.  Christ as second Adam and Mary as adjutorium simile sibi.

Recalling the principle stated at the beginning of this section dealing with Mary as associate of our High Priest, the difference between the prerogatives of Christ and those of Mary flows not only from her being a creature but also from her being a woman.

It was Mary's maternity that conferred this sacerdotal quality on her mission.  Her maternity in relation to Christ made her an Associate in all His functions and permitted her to offer a victim that belonged to her.  Her maternity in relation to us was possible only because she obtained for us the supernatural life through the Sacrifice of her Son.  Mary's sacerdotal role is marked with a feminine and maternal nuance, as are all her other functions.

Though all the constitutive elements of Christ's priesthood are found in Mary, nonetheless it is not proper to say that she is a priest, for the elements are not in her in an absolute and independent way.  She would have been a priest if she had been the only one to offer herself with Him and by a title equal to His.  But it was Christ who primarily offered Himself.  She only united herself to His oblation.  Christ's merit was infinite.  Mary's was necessarily limited, however great it might have been.  According to great Marian apostles like Saint Louis de Montfort, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, and Saint Maximilian Kolbe all that Mary is, is in reference to Jesus.  This is so in her priestly function and in her role as Co-redemptrix.  She depends fully on Christ, and receives all her efficacy from Him.  She is not a priest, but is fully priestly, just as she is not a redeemer but is fully Co-redemptrix.  She depends fully on Christ, and receives all her efficacy from Him.  She is not God, but is fully partaker of the divine life.

Naming Mary's sacerdotal role

Mary occupies a unique place between Christ and the rest of the human race.  Philosophers tell us whatever is individual is inexpressible.  This presents the difficulty of expressing the various functions of Mary in precise words.  History records instances when only after long discussions and multiplied distinctions were agreement on certain proposals attained.  "Mother of God" would signify quite normally that Mary gave birth to the Holy Trinity; or the word "Co-redemptrix" would indicate that she redeemed us by a title equal to Christ.  It is not surprising, then, that a formula sufficiently clear to everyone and capable of stating exactly Mary's role in Christ's priesthood has not been discovered.

Since Mary' priestly role cannot be explained either in the terms of the priesthood of Christ or in terms of the ordained minister of the altar, some writers fall back on the "royal priesthood" mentioned by Saint Peter.  In comparing the disciples of Christ with unbelievers, Saint Peter tells them: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own." (1 Pt 2:9)  This royal priesthood enables all the faithful to offer God "spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Pt 2:5)  This concerns sacrifices in the broad sense of the term, and not with the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  In virtue of their union with Christ in the Mystical Body, all the faithful participate in His perfections and in His priesthood.  They share in His priesthood inasmuch as they offer to God the Divine Victim, whom the words of consecration uttered by the priest, make present on the altar.  They also offer themselves as victims in union with Christ.  But they do not participate in it by immolating the Divine Victim, an act possible only to the ordained minister of Christ at the time of consecration.  It is this royal priesthood exercised in the highest degree, these writers conclude, that must be attributed to Mary.

But Laurentin and Neubert ask how anyone can subscribe to such an abasement of the sacerdotal role of her who was called by God to be Christ's Associate in the Divine Sacrifice.  Those writers reduce Mary's role to a common category and forget that she is absolutely unique in her functions.  These functions are not identical with those of Christ; they are analogous to them.  But neither are they identical with those of other persons.  Mary's are of a transcendent order.

What term, then, can express this unique function of Mary?  The best and clearest is the phrase derived from the term socia Christi, applied to her by Pseudo-Albert, that is, the Associate of Christ, our High Priest (socia Christi sacerdotis).

The word socia in itself is not clearer than the word consors or particeps, and could indicate an equality in the priesthood of Christ and of Mary.  Some associates are able to occupy the same rank.  However, since the time of Pseudo-Albert, the expression socia Christi has a clearly defined meaning in the history of theology.  It designates a secondary action, analogous and united to that of Christ, the action of a "helper like himself."  It is equivalent to the phrase employed by Blessed Pius IX, divini sacrificii socia.

The feminine form socia and the allusion to Eve, the first woman and the mother of the living, refer to a priestly role performed by a woman, by a mother. The sacerdotal aspect of Mary's mission consists in being mater et socia Christi sacerdotis.

Mary's role and the ordained priest

Mary's superiority is manifested in many ways.  Mary formed the substance of the victim, the body of Christ; the priest gives him only an accidental form, a transitory form, the Eucharistic form.

Mary played an important part in the sacrifice of the cross, a part uniquely sorrowful and loving, and lasting thirty-three years.  But in the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest is content to lend his hands and tongue to Jesus, the true priest.

Saint Pius X taught that Mary "associated by Christ in the work of salvation, merits for us de congruo what Christ merited for us de condigno."  The priest merits nothing for us in re-enacting the mystery of the Redemption.  He simply applies a part of the grace already merited by Jesus and by Mary.

In each Mass the priest renews the offering of the Divine Victim.  Christ offered himself directly and but once on Calvary, but He renews the offering each day through the ministry of the priest.  Mary, like Jesus, offered the Divine Victim directly and only once on Calvary.  But in heaven Mary renews it at each Mass, since each Mass is the same sacrifice as that of the cross.  By God's will, Mary fully cooperated in the sacrifice of the cross.  The Mass would be only a truncated sacrifice of the cross, and not the same, if Mary's mystical cooperation were absent.

Furthermore, in heaven at the side of the Lamb of God, Mary remains the associate of His immolation throughout all eternity.  The priest must renew the Eucharistic sacrifice each day, and that sacrifice will cease with the end of time.

When God calls a person to a particular office in the Church, He gives that person the necessary corresponding grace.  God gives the priest the special grace he needs for his work.  But to Mary He gives more graces than to all priests together.  Consequently, her cooperation with Christ can certainly be called sacerdotal.  Unfortunately, modern languages do not have a proper term to express this clearly.

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Current Exhibits

Creative Images: The Story of the Savior in the Hidden Images of Biblical Events

The University of Dayton's Marian Library gallery will feature works of artist, Catholic deacon, and University of Dayton alumnus, Ned Ostendorf, who died in 2009 from May 7 through June 23, on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  This exhibit is free and open to the public.  Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday by appointment by calling 937-229-4214.  Click here for more information or here for a virtual exhibit.

Classical artwork from The Marian Library at the University of Dayton is also on display through June 8, 2012 at the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics.  For details [in pdf requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader] click here.

We also have a permanent crèche exhibit and a dedicated online giving page specifically for those who wish to support The Marian Library crèche collections.

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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 Mariology section 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 2012 semester will commence on June 4, 2012.

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 our course offerings for Summer 2012.

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In keeping with the season, we suggest May Poetry and Our Lady of Fatima in Historical Context.

Material on international stamps with images of Mary exists on The Mary Page (also available in French).  The latest updates were Ascension, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, The Vatican, and Yugoslavia.

We have revised and expanded our material in Chinese.  This is a work in progress, so expect more content soon.  Feel free to let us know what you think of this section.

We have updated Marian Thoughts of Benedict XVI, through 4/30/2012.  We have also posted material on The Year of Faith with Mary which includes a related bibliography.  We have also posted the Program for the Twenty-Third International Marian and Mariological Congress to be held in Rome next September, and the Program for the 2012 annual meeting of the Mariological Society of America (MSA).

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Rosary Event in Ludlow Falls

Title: Family Rosary Walk and Dinner

Date: May 20, 2012

Location: Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal, 3505 Calumet Road, Ludlow Falls, Oh 45339

Join us for a fun afternoon of prayer with family and friends as we recite the rosary on the grounds of the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal.  As we pray and meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, we walk through beautiful gardens, woods and prairies.

Click here for details.

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A 'New' Holy Site in the Holy Land
Initiator of the Magdala Project Gives Update on Discoveries, Plans
Source: Zenit (Rome) April 24, 2012

The March-April issue of the Franciscan Custody's review, Holy Land, which treats of the Holy Places, dedicates much space to Mary Magdalene and to Magdala.  The review states literally that a new Holy Place is being born.

Legionary of Christ Father, Juan Maria Solana, is the initiator of the Magdala Project, which the Holy See has put in the charge of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Pontifical Institute.  In this interview, Father Solana talks about this place.

ZENIT: What can you tell us about this reference in Holy Land?

Father Solana: In fact, I was positively surprised by this issue of the review, and I was pleased that it came out in these days of Easter, as Mary Magdalene is one of the important protagonists.  If I'm not mistaken, she is mentioned eleven times in the four Gospels in connection with the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.  I think it's the case of an exceptional woman because of the prominence she is given in the Gospels.  On the subject that a Holy Place is being born, I think it's partly true and partly not so.  Let me explain: more than a century ago the Franciscan Fathers acquired a property in Magdala.  In the 1970s they undertook important excavations.  Then the place was practically abandoned.  Only around 2006 Franciscan Father Stefano de Luca returned to excavate and work in the said property.  In this sense, it's not true that this Holy Place is being born.  There is another sense in which it is, however: the Legionaries of Christ acquired the plots adjacent to the Franciscans and we initiated the Magdala Center project which, God willing, will open at the end of 2012 in its first phase.  In this sense, it is being born.  Moreover, in the process of this project there have also been numerous novelties that have brought to light the importance of the place during Jesus' life.

ZENIT: We would like you to share with us what the Magdala Center project consists of, and what the novelties are to which you refer.

Father Solana: The Magdala Center project is a very large project.  At times I get scared for having initiated it, but I think we must trust God.  Very briefly the project consists of the following: it is a hotel for pilgrims which will be called Notre Dame du Lac (Our Lady of the Lake), as it will arise precisely on the shore of Lake Tiberias.  It will of course have a chapel where pilgrims can pray, celebrate Mass and the other Sacraments, just as happens in the other holy places.  We have thought of calling this chapel Duc in Altum, because, by a series of providential coincidences it has been centered on the boat from which Jesus preached, Peter's boat.  And this was precisely the phrase that Jesus said to Peter at the end of his preaching: Duc in altum, go into the deep and let down your nets.  The boat is in the logo of the whole project and it will also be in that chapel....

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.

Marianist Service Awards
Source: Campus Report (University of Dayton), May 4, 2012

Julie Banks and Mike McClure are the 2012 recipients of the Marianist Service Award, given yearly to full-time staff members.

Banks, the University retail operation manager, has been employed at the University more than ten years.  McClure is an IT training specialist, and has worked on campus for almost seven years.

The office for mission and rector selects two staff members each year for the honor based on service over a significant number of years.

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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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Prayer Corner

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 submit prayer requests directly or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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The Mary Page website is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see what's in the news.

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Ann Zlotnik , was last modified Tuesday, 05/22/2012 14:19:58 EDT by Michael Duricy . Please send any comments to

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