Mary Page News

February 3, 1998

The 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.

Candlemas Poetry
The Artist Raphael
The Great Jubilee 2000: 1998 - The Holy Spirit and Mary
Revisions in the Catechism

Candlemas Poetry

[The Presentation]

What is Candlemas? It is an alternative word for the liturgical celebration of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. The solemnity is celebrated forty days after Christmas. Traditionally, this is the celebration of the day that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple for the circumcision of the Divine Child.

Over the centuries the custom arose on this day to bless candles to be used for sacred liturgies. The candles are a symbol of Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World. In the dark season of the northern hemisphere, Christ shines out in the darkness. He is carried to the temple in the arms of his mother. Mother and Child consume themselves, like fire consumes the wax, in their obedience to the law of God in God's holy temple.

Over the centuries, the liturgical celebration accentuated the Scripture texts regarding the part Mary was to play. A sword would pierce her heart that the thoughts of many would be revealed. Mary Page presents a collection of fine poetry gathered from many diverse sources, which commemorates Candlemas.

You will find the link at: Candlemas Poetry.

The Artist Raphael

Have you visited our collection of Raphael Madonnas? Each week, the Mary Page home page features a different Raphael Madonna. A unique feature of Raphael Madonnas is that each of them are postage stamps from around the world. The Marian Library in Dayton, Ohio has the most complete Marian stamp collection in the world.

If you would like more information about the Raphael Madonnas, visit our site: Raphael Madonnas.

The Great Jubilee 2000: 1998 - The Holy Spirit and Mary

1998, the second year of preparation for the Great Jubilee 2000 is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Christianity's third millennium will be a celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus, who, as the Creed professes, "was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary."

A greater awareness of the Holy Spirit has been growing within the Catholic Church in this century. Leo XIII's encyclical on the Holy Spirit (1897) began this recovery of the Holy Spirit, sometimes referred to as the "forgotten God." Vatican II, as Paul Vi frequently pointed out, made 258 references to the Holy Spirit. All the Eucharistic Prayers after Vatican II restored the ancient custom of invoking the Holy Spirit to "convert: and "transform" the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and, in addition, to form all who participate in the Eucharist into "one body, one spirit."

Pope John Paul II's encyclical The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World (1986), which began preparing the Church for the Great Jubilee, points out that the upcoming celebration will be centered on Christ and the Holy Spirit. The focus of the millennium celebration will be the remembrance of the "conception and birth of Jesus Christ" made possible "by the power of the Holy Spirit" and "the cooperation of the Virgin Mary."

The Holy Spirit is the guardian of hope in the human heart, so it is appropriate that hope be given special attention in 1998, especially "a better appreciation of the signs of hope present in the last part of this century."  Mary was the woman docile to the voice of the Spirit, the woman who was "hoping against hope."  In Mary, the Church sees a "sign of certain hope." (LG 68)

Vatican II speaks of Mary as "molded, so to speak, by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature." (LG 56)  The Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary makes many references to the Holy Spirit and Mary.  At the Annunciation, Mary received "the angel's message in faith and conceived by the power of the Spirit" (2); she was formed by the Holy Spirit "to be a new creation" (3).  Attentive to the voice of the Spirit (20), her heart was the "home of the Eternal Word, the sanctuary of the Spirit." (28)

The Annunciation

Interior Tabernacle Door

Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary

The Holy Spirit continues the mission of given birth to Christ in believers through the virgin Mary. St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort wrote, "Mary is the great mold of God, fashioned by the Holy Spirit to give human nature to a man who is God by the hypostatic union, and through grace to make persons who are life to God." (The Secret of Mary, 18).

[Source: The Marian Library Newsletter, Winter, 1997-98]

Revisions in the Catechism

In September, 1997, the Vatican announced 100 "definitive" amendments to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Most were minor, dealing with some omission.  Two of the amendments have noteworthy Marian references:

  • 1) "The first precept "You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.' requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and saints; in the first place by participating in the Eucharist celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days." (#2042).
  • 2) "The Son of God who became Son of the virgin also learned to pray according to him human heart.  He learned the formulas of prayer from his mother, who 'kept in her heart and mediated upon all the great things' done by the Almighty." (#2599)

[Source: The Marian Library Newsletter, Winter, 1997-98]

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