Mary Page News

September 2, 1997

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The Role of the Virgin Mary in the Life of St. Theresa of Lisieux
Priests Witness to Marian Devotion

The Role of the Virgin Mary in the Life of St. Theresa of Lisieux

Fr. Christopher Armstrong, (Cincinnati) an S.T.D. graduate of the International Marian Research Institute, will present "Vers une compréhension spirituelle de la formation des évangiles: le rôle de la Sainte Vierge dans la vie de Thérèse de Lisieux" at Colloque avec Thérèse de l'Enfant-Jésus at Notre-Dame de Vie, Venasque, France, September 19-22, 1997.

Priests Witness to Marian Devotion

Priests from every continent gathered together at the basilica-shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Peace at Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, to honor Mary's place in their lives. The August 6th English edition of L'Osservatore Romano reports about the gathering of priests to prepare for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. The theme of the Marian Day was: Mary, Queen of Apostles, in priestly life and ministry. Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev, Belarus, related the following story: "Here, I wish to confess to you my personal Marian experience which has been confirmed throughout the 58 years of my priesthood, but I beg you, do not take it as a private sign. When I was still a schoolboy in highschool, I promised, as a member of the Sodalis Marianus," to witness to remembering Our Lady by reciting three "Hail Marys" everyday. I have scrupulously kept this promise for 70 years. I am deeply convinced that among other things, these three "Hail Marys" saved my life and gave me the courage to endure 10 years of prison and detention in the gulags. After my release, they enabled me to resume my priestly ministry with energy.

Cardinal Swiatek was visibly moved as he recounted his priestly and Marian history, the whole of which had taken place, like Mary's, at the foot of the Cross. He commented on the "Totus Tuus" of John Paul II, who, he stressed, "with Marian affection" visits countless shrines during his numerous pilgrimages, always gives many catecheses and ends every Apostolic Letter and every document in Mary's name. "On the basis of our knowledge that we are sinners and in our response to Christ's gift from the Cross: "Behold, your mother," the Cardinal concluded, "we must be aware of our need to trust our Mother. Many saintly priests have lived this way, the Holy Father lives it."

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