Our Prayers are Requested
LC from Finland responded to our THE MARY PAGE by asking for prayers: "I am an American-Finn, Catholic, out of five million inhabitants we are close to five thousand Catholics in this country, which in size is perhaps as large a country as France. There are seven Catholic churches in the country - in 1950 there was only one. What I am asking for, is that you pray that the devotion to Our Lady spreads in this country. As far as I know there are no sanctuaries devoted to Our Lady."
The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute has recently received precious, beautiful gifts from artists. We'd like you to share our joy!
Heart of Mary (pictured on the left)
Paul Canfield of Santa Fe, New Mexico has sent us a wall sculpture titled, Heart of Mary. The piece is of welded steel and copper and measures 9" x 6" x 1."
Van Vranken Sculpture of the Madonna
Rose Van Vranken of Houston, Texas has recently contributed two fine sculptures to our collection. Her Theotokos (Mother of God, not pictured) is a bronze piece on a wood base and measures 19" h x 17" x 12."
Her Mother and Child (pictured on the right) is bronze on a walnut base and measures 25"h x 18" x 12."
Healings by the Madonna of Civitavecchia?
A Theological Commision Researches the Case
According to Bishop Girolamo Grillo of Civitavecchia/Turin,
Italy, more than twenty extraordinary events have taken place since a
statue of Mary is said to have shed bloody tears last year.
Healings of persons afflicted with cancer and drug addiction are
among them. Bishop Grillo was interviewed by the daily news, La Stampa, on the anniversary of the phenomenon. The happenings are
attributed to the intercession of the Mother of God.
Bishop Grillo reported that among the many votive offerings where the statue stands, there are wedding rings as signs of saved marriages and little shoes as signs of children who were cured. The statue originates from Medjugorje in Herzegowina, Jugoslavia. It is said to have wept bloody tears in the garden of an electrician in Pantano near Civitavecchia. The reports have caused international interest. A theological commission is currently researching the case. The last time the statue is said to have wept was last year in the hands of the bishop.
Theology Intends to Reform Methods of Investigating
"Marian apparitions often protect the church from laziness and
mediocrity," stated world renowned professor of marian theology,
Rene Laurentin, at the International Theological Summer Academy
in Aigen, Austria. While reports of marian apparitions increase
worldwide, their "theological value" is questioned. The theme for
1995's academy was "Mary in the Teaching and Life of the Church."
Laurentin -- famous for his contribution at the Second Vatican
Council, for his many books, and for his work investigating the
authenticity of apparitions -- claims that the study of
apparitions as an aspect of theology "is the most neglected and
least scientifically researched of all areas of theology." The
place of apparitions and their value ranks low.
Nevertheless, insists Laurentin, Medjugorje and Fatima have set
"world records for conversions." Laurentin is of the opinion that
apparitions are poorly received and poorly understood in
theological studies. "The visionary is often pushed to the outer
edge, oppressed and insulted. Acknowledging an apparition will
never be an article of faith. Still, there are good reasons to
Laurentin asserts that science will never be able to confirm the
authenticity of an apparition. An apparition eludes scientific
investigation, although this very investigation is able to
"describe the phenomena in a useful way." For instance,
investigators can affirm that the ecstasy of the Medjugorje
visionaries was "not sleep, not dreaming, and not an epileptic
Laurentin pointed out that apparitions do not always contain a message. Where there is one, the message -- at least in modern apparitions -- is usually a reminder of the Gospel. The Medjugorje messages, and those of many other places, are to be seen in the Fatima context. The spiritual aspect of the message is always decisive, since the prophetic message and the so-called prophecies, are difficult to judge. When the church acknowledges an apparition, it becomes an encouragement to the faithful. However, the church never insists on belief in an apparition.
Survey on Mary and Youth
In 1994, Rev. Johann G. Roten, S.M., Director of The International Marian Research Institute surveyed six thousand individuals between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. We want to share bits and pieces of that survey with you in our news section as time goes on. Since we have just spoken about apparitions in the above article, we will begin there:
There is much more to discover about the survey, but for today we
limit ourselves to the following section:
Mary of Apparitions
We inquired whether or not the respondents were interested in apparitions. About 40% of the respondents showed no interest or concern in Marian apparitions, while 60% manifested some interest. (The figure for the non-Americans was higher: 65.2%.)
|Marian Apparitions are:||American Repsonses||Non-American Responses|
|interesting to me||60.0%||65.2%|
|a sign of God's grace||66.2%||58.8%|
|a means of conversion||51.7%||58.1%|
|sign of God's freedom||51.0%||47.4%|
|to be believed||28.0%||46.1%|
Mary in Stained Glass: Susan Wagner
|ANNUNCIATION||Mary in Stained Glass|
|Susan Wagner has sent us twelve beautifully produced bookmarks of her work in stained glass. Each bookmark has the title of the stained glass window printed on the back in seven languages. The Bookmark Greetings come individually inserted into a blank card which can be used for gift greetings. The actual windows are located in St. Bernard's Church in Tracy, California. Wagner's windows, 4'x11', depict: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Nativity, Finding the Child in the Temple, The Agony in the Garden, The Crowning with Thorns, Carrying the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of Mary, The Coronation. For more information, write to Hardy Editions, PO Box 3528, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.|
The Marian Library/International Marian Research
SCHOLARSHIP and FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION
Address inquiries for more specifics to Clinton Scholarship Committee, Mariological Society of America, The Marian Library, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469-1390.
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