Mary Page News
March 1996

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."

Thank you!

[Immaculate 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."

[Bronze 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 Apparitions

"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 believe them."

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 condition."

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:

But before we answer this, let us briefly present some of Father Roten's article: [Note: If you are interested in obtaining the entire survey, you can order a copy of Marian Studies 1994 at this address.]

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%
overemphasized 28.2% 23.8%
to be believed 28.0% 46.1%
psychological 16.4% 23.3%

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 Institute

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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