Mary Page News
May 11, 1999
Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.
A Marian Church
Letter to Artists
Lourdes, A City of Youth
Switzerland's Living Rosary
The Pope Speaks to Youth
If simple rhymes were only dimes
A Marian Church
The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute receives Marian literature and magazines with a strong Marian interest from around the world. To celebrate and congratulate the Marist Brothers on the canonization of their founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat, Mary Page takes the liberty to recommend an article from the Australian Marist Messenger:
A Marian Church[Source: Marist Messenger May 1999 / 88 Hobson Street, Wellington 1, Australia email:firstname.lastname@example.org]
by Francois Marc, SM
I would like to plead for a Marian church ... a church which "lives the Gospel after the manner of Mary."
the Marian church follows Mary into the mountains, going off with her to encounter life; she visits men and women and, though things may seem to be sterile, she is on the watch for what is coming to birth, for possibilities, for the life which beats in things.
The Marian church rejoices and sings. Instead of bemoaning the world's fate and its woes, she is in wonder at the beauty there is on the earth and in the human heart as she sees what God is doing there.
The Marian church knows she is the object of a gratuitous love and that God has the heart of a mother. She has seen God on the doorstep, on the lookout for the improbably return of a son; she has seen him throw his arms around his son's neck, place the festal ring on his finger and himself organise the homecoming feast. When she pages through the family album, she sees Zaccheus in his sycamore, the woman taken in adultery, the Samaritan woman, foreigners, the lepers, beggards and a common prisoner at this place of execution. So you see, the Marian church despairs of no one, and does not quench the smoking flax. When she finds someone on the side of the road wounded by life, she is moved by compassion and with infinite tenderness tends their wounds. She is the safe harbour, who is always open, the refuge of sinners, mater misericordiae, mother of mercy.
The Marian church does not know the answers before the questions are posed. Her path is not traced out in advance. She knows doubt and unease, night and loneliness. That is the price of trust. She takes her part in the conversation, but makes no claim to know everything. She accepts that she must search.
The Marian church lives in Nazareth in silence and simplicity. She does not live in a castle. Her home is like all the other homes. She goes out to chat with the other villagers. She weeps with them, she rejoices with them, but she never preaches to them. Above all, she listens.
She does her shopping, she goes to look for water at the well, she is invited when there is a marriage. It is in these places that she encounters people. Many people are pleased to have her rest a while in their home; they consider it a blessing.
The Marian church stands at the foot of the Cross. She does not take refuge in a fortress or in a chapel or in prudent silence when people are being crushed. She is vulnerable in her deeds as in her words. With a humble courage she stands alongside the most insignificant.
The Marian church lets in the wind of Pentecost, the wind which impels one to go out, which unties tongues. In the public square, not for the sake of hammering doctrine, nor to swell her ranks, she proclaims her message: the promise has been kept, the fight has been won and the Dragon crushed forever. And this is the great secret which she can only murmur: to win the victory God has laid down his arms. True, we are in an intermediate time, the time of human history. And that history is a painful one.
Yet every evening at the end of Vespers the Church sings the Magnificat. For the Church knows where her joy is to be found. And look God has not found our world, or its afflictions, its violence or its wickedness, uninhabitable. It is there that He has met us. And there, on the Cross, we have seen the "mercy", the open heart of God.
There at the foot of the Cross a people are born, a Marian people.
Seeing his mother and with her the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother: 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple he said: 'This is your mother.' From that moment, the disciple made a place for her in his home (John 19:26-27)
Let us belong to this people. Let us make a place for Mary in our home. Let us enter with her into the humble and heart-rending happiness of loving and being loved. And, in the words of Therese of Lisieux, the Church will be in this world a heart resplendent with love.
Letter to Artists
On Easter Sunday, April 4, 1999, Pope John Paul II published a letter addressed to artists. The editors of Mary Page here at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute wish to recommend this letter to you. With her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the most frequently portrayed subject of art in the history of civilization. As the Holy Father states in his conclusion: :...she is the "tota pulchra" [total beauty] portrayed by countless artists, whom Dante contemplates among the splendours of Paradise as "beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints." [Paradiso XXXI, 134-135]
The following are brief excerpts from the document:
The artistic vocation in the service of beauty
The theme of beauty is decisive for a discourse on art. It was already present when I stressed God's delighted gaze upon creation. In perceiving that all he had crated was good, God saw that it was beautiful as well. The link between good and beautiful stirs fruitful reflection.3
In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art. Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable. Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of the message and translate it into colours, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen. It does so without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery. 12
The Pope goes on the write: the Church needs art and artists, those who can express beauty on the "literary and figurative level", musicians, and architects. He then goes on to ask: "But can it also be said the art needs the Church?" He answers:
Artists are constantly in search of the hidden meaning of things, and their torment is to succeed in expressing the world of the ineffable. ...the religious theme has been among those most frequently treated by artists in every age. The Church has always appealed to their creative powers in interpreting the Gospel message and discerning its precise application in the life of the Christian community. This partnership has been a source of mutual spiritual enrichment. This partnership has been a source of mutual spiritual enrichment. Ultimately, it has been a great boon for an understanding of man, of the authentic image and truth of the person.13
The "Beauty" that saves
On the threshold of the third millennium, my hope for all of you who are artists is that you will have an especially intense experience of creative inspiration. May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.
From this wonder there can come that enthusiasm of which Norwid spoke to which I referred to earlier [Cyprian Norwid: "Beauty is to enthuse us for work, / and work is to raise us up" 4] People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that "beauty will save the world" [F. Dostoyevsky, The Idiot, Part III, chap. 5}
Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God which a lover of beauty like St. Augustine could express in incomparable terms: "Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you!" [Confessions, 10, 27: CCL 27,251]
Lourdes, A City of Youth
Since the world day for youth in Paris in 1997, the number of young people going on pilgrimages to Lourdes has increased significantly, according to reports in the European Catholic press. The pilgrimages have given Lourdes the popular title, "City of Youth." Many of the participants stay at "Village of Youth," international accommodations located ca ten minutes from the Lourdes' grotto in the Pyrenees Mountains.
One example of a youth pilgrimage for the summer of 1999 is the pilgrimage of 250 young people from Germany who will travel from July 29 through August 9 to the shrine. The program will be a mix of prayer, celebration of the Liturgy, the rosary processions and the enjoyment of fellowship and of the beauty of the area.
Switzerland's Living Rosary
Did you know that there is a community of prayer known as "Living Rosary" in many countries of the world? Pauline-Marie Jaricot (born in 1777) originated the idea of a "Living Rosary" known throughout the world as "Work for the Propagation of the Faith," which developed into a work known as a papal institute for the mission, MISSIO, established by Pope Pius VII in 1822. At the same time, "Living Rosary" organization, officially founded in 1826, continued to spread in its own right throughout the world. At the death of the foundress there were two million members in France who prayed for the spread and preservation of the faith.
Shortly after its foundation, in 1832, Pope Gregor XVI approved this "new way of praying the rosary." A brief of Pope Pius IX in 1877 entrusted the unity of the Living Rosary organization, which had meanwhile spread across the continents, to the Superior General of the Dominican Order. In the course of time, other Rosary "communities" developed, such as the Rosary Crusade of the Dominican Order in 1939, the Family Rosary in 1942, and the well-known Rosary of Reparation for Peace in the World 1949 in Vienna.
On March 25, 1989, The Living Rosary of Switzerland was founded. The Provincial Superior of the Dominicans in Switzerland has repeatedly pointed the to rosary as "a type of sermon and of general apostolate." The director, Fr. Adolf Fugel, describes the Living Rosary as follows: "We want to build a network of prayer for Our Lady. We are not an organization. Our 'Yearly Conferences' are afternoons of prayer. This consists of adoration before the tabernacle and the rosary prayer. We are committed to be faithful to the Catholic faith and its hierarchy. We especially pray for the Holy Father."
The Pope Speaks to Youth
In preparation for the Youth Day 1999, which was to be held in the local church, the Holy Father turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as is his practice:
Dear Young People, I especially invite you to take up initiatives of solidarity and sharing with and among the poorest of the poor. Take part in one of the projects that people of your age have begun in various countries as a sign of brotherly/sisterliness and of solidarity. It is one possibility to return to the Lord in the poorest of the poor at least a little of what he has given to those of you who are more fortunate. And this can also be the immediate visible expression of a fundamental decision, namely, to direct your lives toward God and your brothers and sisters.[Source: Deutsche Tagespost, January 12, 1999]
In her person, Mary comprises the whole mystery of the Church. She is the "chosen daughter of the Father" (Tertio millennio adveniente 54), who willingly answered and freely received God's gift. As "daughter" of the Father she could become the mother of his Son: "Let it be done to me as you have said" (Lk 1,38). She is the Mother of God because she is completely the daughter of the Father.
In her heart she had no other wish than to support the Christians in their efforts to live like children of God. As a loving mother she always leads you closer to Jesus, so that you learn, when you follow him, how to foster your relationship to the heavenly Father. Just like at the wedding feast of Cana, she challenges you to do what the Son tells you (cf John 2,5), since she knows that this is the way to come to the house of the "merciful Father"(cf 2 Cor 1,3). ...
I entrust your pathway to Mary and ask her to prepare your hearts to receives the Lord's grace so that you will be witnesses of his love. With these thoughts and the wish that you will have a year filled with faith and rich in evangelistic zeal, I bless you with all my heart.
If simple rhymes were only dimes
Sometimes old treasures from the dusty shelves of 100-year-old volumes warm the heart. Share with us a May treasure that still fits into the Easter season.:
Angels in the Rosegarden
Stephen Lochner (1442-1451)
An Easter Gift|
If simply thymes were only dimes,
May peace abide, this Eastertide,
By Father Cheerheart
Meditations for May
Mary Page resources for May can help you plan celebrations to honor Mary.
Cord rosaries with black or brown beads are needed for the prison ministry of The Riehle Foundation. Please send rosaries to:
Golden Jubileee Mariological Society
Mary and God the Father
Mary Page continues to publish a compendium
of Marian themes that have surfaced in magisterial documents from Vatican
II to the present. The first set of themes correspond to the Year of God
our Father as recommended by Pope John Paul II in preparation for the turn
of the millennium. This and the next few week's theme, Mary and God the
Father, is a main trinitarian theme with various sub-themes. Information
on the sources is also given in cross reference pages. You will find this
Mary and God the Father: Additional Aspects
Prayer Corner Requests
You are invited to help us pray for our prayer corner intentions.
The intentions of the Holy Father for ? 1999:
Return to The Mary Page
Mary Page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, was modified by M. J. Frisk, July 3, 2000. Please send any comments to Johann.Roten@udayton.edu.
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