Mary Page News

February 11, 1997

Mary Page is a link to a variety of information. The items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Lent = Springtime
Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Apparel Company Promotes the Real Madonna
Congregation Communique on Private Revelations

Lent = Springtime

The commentary in the "Sacramentary" [Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the votive Mass, Holy Mary, Disciple of the Lord, says about Lent:

Lent is a "journey" for the faithful, during which they "more diligently listen to the word of God and devote themselves to prayer with greater earnestness" [SC 109}, and during which they are ready to bear the cross with greater zeal, so that with minds and hearts renewed they may reach a more worthy celebration of the Easter festival. In this way they show themselves true disciples of Christ, hearing his words and seeking to make them their own (see Luke 8:15), following in his footsteps in self-denial (see Matthew 16:24), and striving to stand by his cross in faithful witness (see John 19:26).

The Collection of Masses gives five Prefaces that are appropriate during the Lenten season. We share with you the prayer, Preface 13, "The Commending of the Blessed Virgin Mary." May your Lenten journey be a journey at the side of Mary as she walks to the Cross of her Son and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

At the foot of the cross of Jesus,
by his solemn and dying wish,
a deep bond of love is fashioned
between the Blessed Virgin Mary
and his faithful disciples:
the Mother of God is entrusted to the disciples
as their own mother,
and they receive her
as a precious inheritance from their Master.

She is to be for ever
the mother of those who believe,
and they will look to her
with great confidence in her unfailing protection.
She loves her Son in loving her children,
and in heeding what she says
they keep the words of their Master.

Through him the angels of heaven
offer their prayer of adoration
as they rejoice in your presence for ever.
May our voice be one with theirs
in their triumphant hymn of praise.

Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

This year, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is also the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary began a series of 18 apparitions to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France. Mary asked little Bernadette to do penance and to pray much. Though fasting regulations for Lent are regulated, the popular Lenten customs differ from place to place. Many people make special resolutions for themselves. No matter what the motive, everyone is encouraged to fast, to pray, and to give alms. Mary Page invites you to follow Mary's invitation to honor the sufferings of her Son, Jesus Christ.

To learn more about Lourdes visit: Lourdes

Catholic Apparel Company Promotes the Real Madonna

A California-based religious apparel company has reported unusually brisk sale for the company's new T-Shirt design, which depicts an illustration of the Blessed Mother by California artist Dan Toledo. Mary's image is printed on the shirt with the caption: THE real MADONNA. Currently 1,300 Christian retail stores stock the T-Shirt. For more information, please telephone (909) 880-0860.

Congregation Communique on Private Revelations

Due to the many questions we receive regarding private revelations, we publish here a communique received from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated November 29, 1996:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received diverse questions relative to the value and authoritativeness of the notification by this same congregation on October 6, 1995, published in the L'Osservatore Romano on Monday/Tuesday, October 23/24, 1995, page 2, regarding the writing and messages of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, attributed to presumed revelations and spread in Catholic milieux throughout the world.

In this regard the Congregation intends to make it clear that:

1. The notification addressed to the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church maintains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in the official organ of the Holy See ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS, with the signatures of the prefect and secretary of the congregations.

2. With regard to the news spread by several members of the press concerning a restricted interpretation of such a notification made by His Eminence the cardinal prefect in a private conversation with a group of persons to whom he wished to give an audience, which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on May 10, 1996, the cardinal prefect wishes to make it clear that:

a. As he had already stated, the faithful must not take the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations;

b. In such meditations, as the notification already made clear, next to the positive aspects, there are negative elements in the light of Catholic doctrine;

c. For this reason, pastors and faithful are invited in this regard to a serious spiritual discernment and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and the spiritual life, without counting on presumed revelations, but following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Magisterium of the Church.

With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that:

1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the "Abolition of the Index of Banned Books," and said that - once relative censures were lifted - the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.

2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right "to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication," remains valid.

3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

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