Mary Page News

January 12, 1999

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.

What Happened to Christmas and Epiphany?
PBS: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
Marian Library Newsletter
Mary, Beauty, and the Liturgy
Beloved Daughter
Child of the Womb
Thul Exhibit
Speakers' Bureau

What Happened to Christmas and Epiphany?

Mary Page is a feature of the University of Dayton. During the Christmas holidays, things slow down, even for Mary Page, with regard to our features and e-mails. Nonetheless, we wish, too, that the Christmas celebration of the Incarnation could continue.

Here are some happenings that took place at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute immediately after Christmas and into the first part of January.

PBS: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

On December 22, 1998 and January 3, 1999, National Public Broadcasting System featured Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, in a segment of the program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. The segment included many of the Marian statues in the library's collection.

Marian Library Newsletter

The most recent Marian Library Newsletter is online. You will find a rich source of information in the newsletter on Mary and Ecumenism, Christmas nativity scenes, and information with respect to the fiftieth anniversary of the Mariological Society of America.

Find the newsletter articles at: Marian Library Newsletter – Current Edition

Mary, Beauty, and the Liturgy Holiness is participation in the glory and beauty of God. It is the beauty of kindness and god-likeness, which makes a holy person attractive. The beauty of a saint is a way of being. It is like a beautiful sunset or flower – attractive even though canons of form and regularity (later more academic models of aesthetics) are not followed. This beauty draws us. It, like all beauty, calls us to God in God's beauty or wholeness and goodness. Mary was holy, full of God's beauty or grace, from the first instant of her being – from all eternity, in God's plan. She responded YES to the Holy Spirit, the giver of all beauty and kindness and holy-being. She teaches us how to say YES to the Spirit, how to be in a beautiful way. We have forgotten this aspect of beauty – how it is a combination of goodness and attractiveness and being. But it is in the liturgy (see the Preface for the Dedication of a Church II: the holiness of people makes the church "beautiful") and in tradition (Thomas Aquinas' Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics: beauty is the goodness of being.) A saint is one who has God's beauty. Liturgy is our way of celebrating this gift of God and of receiving it. The holiness of Jesus, modeled by Mary, makes us beautiful as an image of Christ. For this reason we should surround our celebrations with festive beauty. The liturgy should be beautiful and gives us the gift of divine beauty, which Mary models for us and helps us "be". [Source: W. Brennan, OSM, Marian Update #55 December, 1998.]

Beloved Daughter – Our Guide Toward the New Millennium

At the threshold of the Year of the God the Father, Pope John Paul II prayed the following prayer in Rome:

O Mary!
Here we are again at your feet on the day we celebrate your Immaculate Conception,
and we beg you, as the beloved daughter of the Father,
during this year of preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000,
to teach us to walk in unity to the Father's house,
to make all humanity one family.

O Mary!
From the very first moment of life you were preserved from original sin
through the merits of Jesus, whose Mother you were to become.
Sin and death have no power over you.
From the moment you were conceived, you have enjoyed the unique privilege
of being filled with the grace of your blessed Son,
to be holy as he is holy.
For this reason the heavenly messenger, sent to announce the divine plan to you,
greeted you saying: "Hail, full of grace" (Luke 1:28).
Yes, O Mary, you are full of grace; you are the Immaculate Conception.
In you is fulfilled the promise made to our first parents,
the primordial Gospel of hope at the tragic moment of the fall:
"I will put enmity between your seed and her seed" (Gen 3:15).
Your seed, O Mary, is the blessed Son of your womb, Jesus,
the immaculate Lamb who took upon himself the sin of the world, our sin.
Your Son, O Mother, has preserved you, to offer all humanity the gift of salvation.
For this reason, from generation to generation,
the redeemed ceaselessly repeat the angel's words:
"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28).

O Mary!
From East to West, from the very beginning, the People of God profess with faith
that you are the all pure, the all holy, the sublime Mother of the Redeemer.
The Fathers of the Church unanimously attest to it; pastors, theologians
and the greatest confessors of the faith proclaim it.
Then, in 1854 my venerable Predecessor, Pope Pius IX, officially recognized
the truth of this your privilege.
In everlasting memory of that event, this column was erected here, in the heart of Rome,
from where you watch over the city with a mother's love.
Every year since then, on this solemn feast, the Church and the city of Rome
come here with their Bishop to Piazza di Spagna, to honor you,
a sign of sure hope for all men and women.
With this annual act of veneration, we profess that we want to return
to the original, eternal plan of our Creator and Father,
and with the Apostle Paul we repeat:
"Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...
He chose us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and blameless before him" (Eph 13-4).

O Mary!
You are the witness to this primordial choice.
Guide us, O Mother, who know the Way!
Today the People of God and the whole city of Rome entrust themselves to you,
the Immaculate Conception.
Protect us always and lead us all on the ways of holiness.

Then the Holy Father added spontaneously:

We sang of this Mother in the Liturgy of the Word. We beheld the Lord's marvels. In today's liturgy, the first words of our hymn were "Tota pulchra es Maria": you are all beautiful, O Mary."

In the presence of this beauty, perhaps we find ourselves thinking of the words of the great Fyodor Dostoevski, who wrote that beauty can save the world: your beauty, Mary, which is expressed in the Immaculate Conception.

We entrust our city, the Church and the whole world to you. May you be the "Tota Pulchra" who guides us in all hope through the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 towards the future, because you, O Mary, are the Mother of hope.

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Later, at the end of the service, Pope John Paul II added:

Let us conclude this contemplative celebration: we have beheld your marvels, O Lord. Yes, the "Tota Pulchra" must save the world in the mystery of her Immaculate Conception. Praised be Jesus Christ!
[Source: L'Osservatore Romano 50, 16 Dec 98]

Child of the Womb

Recently, The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute was sent a packet entitled: An Invitation to Solesmes. The packet is a call for participants to read papers at the First International Theological Consultation at St. Peter's Abbey Solesmes, France on the question:

Can the magisterium of the Church acknowledge
children killed in abortion as
"companions of the Holy Innocents" (and therefore martyrs)?

The Consultation will be held on 31 August - 3 September 1999 and the Abbot and Community of Solesmes will provide accommodation and hospitality at the monastery Guest-House without charge. Papers will be presented in French or English.

Interested scholars/theologians should contact:

Solesmes Consultation Organiser
51 Berrylands Surbiton, Surrey KT5 8JU
Great Britain.

As Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with the Christchild, did they hear the cries of the dying children? The question remains: Do we?

Thul Exhibit

The well-attended exhibit of Sr. Mary Grace Thul, O.P., that was shown at the gallery of The Marian Library in 1998 will be shown in Cincinnati in March 1999. More information will follow.

Speakers Bureau

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute provides a Speakers Bureau across the nation for Marian topics. See details in our feature:

Speakers Bureau for Marian Themes

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