Mary Page News

December 15, 1998

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.

Crèches International
PBS: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
Camp Fire and Girl Scouts
New Doctorates Completed
Liturgical Helps
E-mail Sampler
Millennium Update

Crèches International

A highly successful exhibit of nativity scenes currently showing in Dayton, Ohio at Mount St. John Gallery, will be the starting point for a new feature on Mary Page. The feature will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ throughout the year by bringing many examples of creche sets, the stories and cultures they represent, reflections on the sets, and information on the artists.

To see more about Crèches International, see our "Items Revisited" to your right.

To see the virtual exhibit click Crèches International.

PBS: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Show to focus on Marian devotion
Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, will be featured in an upcoming segment on the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. The segment, which is most likely to air Dec. 27 or Jan. 3, also may include a walk through the library with libratian Brother Bill Fackovec, S.M. The show is at 11 a.m. Sundays on Channel 16 (Dayton area).
Source: Campus Report / Dec. 11, 1998

Camp Fire and Girl Scouts

The 27th Biennial National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry took place in Cincinnati from December 2-5. The theme of the conference was:

Instruments of Hope/Instrumentos de Esperanza

In preparation for the conference, the Speakers' Bureau of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, was contacted to provide a presentation for a section of the convention. On December 3, ca 70 leaders of the National Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire (NCCGSCF) met for a luncheon to explore the theme of hope by looking at Mary as a sign of hope who can make a difference in the lives of young people. Sr. M. Jean Frisk of the Marian Library gave the luncheon presentation. In addition to a presentation about the Blessed Virgin Mary, information was provided to show how The Marian Library, specifically Mary Page, could become a useful resource for programs of the Camp Fire and Girl Scouts, in particular for the Marian Award programs.

New Doctorates (STD) and Licentiates (STL) Completed at the Marian Library

Over the past few months, four students have successfully completed their dissertations and theses at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

Mary Page congratulates the students of the International Marian Research Institute who have successfully completed their studies with excellent contributions to the field of Marian research.

Liturgical Helps

Two helpful publications to assist in liturgical celebrations and liturgical spirituality have arrived at the Marian Library.
  • Celebrations for the Millennium is a three-book series focusing on the final three years of the millennium and the themes presented by the magisterium for study and reflection. The texts were commissioned by the Central Organizing Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and prepared by its Liturgical Commission. The final edition for Celebrations for the Millennium focuses on "God the Father" and is scheduled for release by January 1, 1999. There are considerable resources for Marian liturgical celebrations in the contents. The volume can be obtained at book vendors or from Catholic Book Publishing Company, Totowa, New Jersey.

  • Magnificat is a brand new monthly periodical that presents the daily Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic Liturgies for every day. There are reflections on the scriptures and brief stories on the saints of the day. The digest-size volume contains 432 pages. The periodical made its debut in Europe in 1992 and now begins publication for use by North American English-speaking Catholics. For more information see
    or write
    PO Box 91
    Spencerville MD 20868-9978

E-mail Sampler

Mary Page receives e-mails of every type imaginable from doctoral research studies to high school exams to elementary school children venturing into discovery. Many of our true and precise research questions are later featured in Your Questions. (See our sidebar!) We thought it might be nice to share with you a good question and its answer from material that will not reach the Your Questions list, but is nevertheless of general interest.

Question: I have always noticed that Icons in the Eastern church depict Mary as Madonna with the Child Jesus. Are there any icons of Mary by herself in the Eastern Church? Why is the Madonna such a prominent image in the Eastern Church, whereas the Western church has more images of the Pieta? Is there any meaning to this observation?

Answer: There are Madonnas by herself in the Eastern Tradition:
(1) When she is depicted as Orante, that is, in the gesture or posture of prayer with raised or outstretched arms. This applies specifically to her role as intercessor.
(2) The autonomous figure is current also when relating a special event of Mary's life, for example the Annunciation, Nativity (Mary is wholly separated from her Son) and Dormition. The autonomous figure (without Child) in Western art is very common in art during the 19th and 20th centuries, inspired in particular by the Miraculous Medal (1830), Lourdes (1858) and Fatima (1917). The Pieta is well known, too, during the 20th century, and influenced by two world wars. But I would not consider this representation as exclusively typical of Western art. In the art of the West the Pieta was not known before the 14/15th centuries, and was rarely represented between the 18th and the 20th century.

Millennium Update

Have you heard about the articles being supplied by the United States Catholic Conference Secretariat for the Third Millennium and the Jubilee Year 2000? Eileen C. Marx prepared an article on the Blessed Virgin Mary entitled, "Mary: Found in Venues From Ancient Murals to Cyberspace." In her article she lists Mary Page among major resources for study on Mary. We hope it serves this purpose.

Christmas Greetings

Mary Page wishes you all the joy and blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom you will find journeying in the arms of his mother!

Image to the right is by:

Julius Komjati

Purchased in London by the Marian Library

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