Mary Page News

February 25, 1997

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America Bishops Listen to Report on Mary
Anniversaries for Marian Organizations
100th Anniversary of the Death of St. Therese of Lisieux


America Bishops Listen to Report on Mary

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, speaker of the United States Bishops' Conference, told the American bishops that the time of Marian silence is over. Young people in the United States are greatly interested in Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Many even visibly wear her medals. This information was published as far away as Germany and Austria, which shows the interest generated for this piece of information.

In 1996, Mary Page published the results of the International Marian Research Institute Youth Survey in its news. Back paging will bring you those results.


Anniversaries for Marian Organizations

Rosary Crusade of Reparation

The Rosary Crusade of Reparation celebrated its Golden Jubilee in Vienna on February 2, 1997. Cardinal Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano honored the celebration by representing Pope John Paul II at a festive Holy Mass in the Vienna Franciscan Church. The Rosary Crusade was founded by the Franciscan priest, Petrus Pavicek and today numbers more than two million members. Pavicek liked to describe the "weapons" of his crusade as silence, humility, loyalty, and to be lovingly considerate of everything that served peace."

The former apostolic nuntius for Austria, Cardinal Opilio Rossi, also came from Rome to be the main celebrant for the Mass. Rossi recalled that the founding of the Rosary Crusade took place in Austria during those especially difficult years after the war.

This was the time when Austria fought its struggle to decide for its form of government. As a buffer state between East and West the decision was crucial to its future. The Austrian people consider the praying of the rosary as a powerful aid during this period of their history.

"Blue Army" Brought the Fatima Message to America - Begins a Year of Celebration

In October of 1997, it will have been 50 years since the Blue Army was founded. This is a lay movement which show its responsibly for our nation and the world through a National Rosary Crusade. The publication, Soul Magazine, serves the Blue Army. Soul indicates that by participating in the National Rosary Crusade, the Blue Army wishes to fulfill its responsibility for the well-being of the country. Along with prayer, they work for peace in the world and the conversion of the United States. Conversion of the moral life influences the whole world. The same holds true for any other nation, too.

Christians in Australia and Holland have also started the Blue Army there. In the United States there is a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima at the national shrine of the Blue Army in Washington. The pilgrimage takes place on the 13th of each month from May to October.

100th Anniversary of the Death of St. Therese of Lisieux

The Blue Army is also specially devoted to St. Therese of Lisieux because of her Little Way to holiness. 1997 marks the 100th anniversary of her passing. Theresa wrote shortly before her death:

[St. Theresa of
Lisieux]

"I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love him, to teach souls my little way ... the way of trust and absolute surrender ... I will spend heaven doing good on earth."

Concerning St. Theresa and the Blessed Virgin Mary:

"Theresa recognized early her "excessive self-love": at the end of her life she could write that she has understood charity, "Jesus alone who is acting in her." In between, such love cost her a great deal: it "takes place in the midst of sacrifices". Suffering alone attracted her. Love, when it is pure, actual and perfect, renders the soul capable of experiential awareness. Therese became capable of living "now" and accepted her ignorance of the "hour". Therese suffered as Mary did, enlighten little by little, keeping all things in her heart and turning them over and over. Such suffering, such love, such faith is mentioned in the Lucan marian text, "narratives...coming from the Virgin herself" (who) "invites us to comprehend also how much her suffering, her love, her faith was human, meditative, progressive, going from light to light, rather than given perfectly in the first instant."...

[St. Theresa of
Lisieux] In the last months of her life, Therese reflected on commingling of this abandonment and suffering. "Our Lord really died as a Victim of Love, and you see what his agony was." Nevertheless, Therese desired a beautiful death to please her sisters. She asked the Blessed Virgin to arrange it ... During her illness, her sisters moved the miraculous statue of the Virgin of the Smile into the infirmary, at the foot of Therese's bed... "My good Blessed Virgin, here is what gives me the desire to leave: I tire out my little sisters, and then I give them pain when being so sick...Yes, I would like to go." Just hours before she died she murmured, "O my good Blessed Virgin, come to my help." Such were her last prayers in which she repeated so often what she wanted from Mary: to be protected in her woundedness. ... In her weakness, in her suffering, both physical and spiritual, she had the same need to be sustained, the same confidence to be protected by her whom "all generations call blest". (Lk 1:48)

Extracted from Christopher R. Armstrong, Under the Veil of the Virgin: The Gradually Developing Relationship of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face to The Blessed Virgin Mary, Ph.D. Dissertation of The International Marian Research Institute, 1993, 81-83.


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