Mary Page News

November 23, 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.


Mary in Advent – Some Mary Page Resources
Thank you, Mr. Ofili, but no ...
Special Guadalupe Mission
"Sistine Chapel of The Year 2000"
A New Movie About Mary
Mary Elsewhere in the News
New Exhibit at the Marian Library
Mary Page Wishes You A Blessed Thanksgiving

Mary in Advent – Some Mary Page Resources

Are you looking for information to help you celebrate Mary's share in the Advent heritage? See the Mary Page materials in three categories: Advent in General, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception –: Patroness of the United States, and Our Lady of Guadalupe – Patroness of the Americas.

Advent in General

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception –: Patroness of the United States

Our Lady of Guadalupe – Patroness of the Americas

Thank you, Mr. Ofili, but no ...

The University of Dayton's Quarterly will feature an article by Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute. The article is written in the form of a thought-provoking e-mail exchange between two representations of Mary -- "Mary Jane Austen" of the university's arched gateway close to Stuart Street and "The Holy Virgin Mary," also known as "Our Lady of Brooklyn," vaulted to instant stardom by political accident. To read Roten's article visit News Digest

Special Guadalupe Mission

The news service, Zenit, reported the following on August 8, 1999:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Inc., is planning a special mission throughout the United States for Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. The Holy Father recently raised this date to a liturgical feast day throughout the Americas in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. The Lansing, Michigan, based group invites people around the country to gather at abortion clinics on this day to pray, bearing a banner depicting Mary as she appeared to Juan Diego.

Organizers stress that this will be a peaceful protest, keeping within the limitations imposed by the law. Each site will be provided a 2 x 3 ft. image for the event.

When Mary appeared to Juan Diego, the Aztecs were still performing human sacrifices. Within 10 years after the appearance, 9,000,000 had been baptized, and human sacrifices had ended. Thus, the group hopes that the massacre of infants in our time will be stopped by the intercession of Mary.

The Bishop of Lansing, Carl Mengeling, has given his support to the project. "Your public crusade for human life through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Life, will unite thousands in prayer for this sacred cause. All our efforts of education, advocacy, etc., depend on prayer. You have my endorsement," he stated.

One of John Paul II's speeches at the Denver World Youth Day became the inspiration for this initiative. "America, defend life! Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places," he demanded on that occasion.

Organizers can be contacted at The web page for the organization, with an online sign-up form, is located at

"Sistine Chapel of The Year 2000"

Zenit reported on November 20, 1999:

A Surface of 600 Square Meters of Mosaics with Millions of Stones

VATICAN CITY, NOV 15 (ZENIT).- Yesterday morning, John Paul II inaugurated the "Sistine Chapel of the Year 2000," as the Italian media has called it. It is the papal oratory inside the Vatican Apostolic Palace.

The oratory's decoration began in 1996 and was carried out under the direction of Slovene Jesuit Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, artist, theologian and director of the Workshop of Spiritual Art, an institution linked to the Pontifical Oriental Institute. It is a gift from the College of Cardinals to John Paul II, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his priesthood, which he celebrated in 1996.

The "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel -- this is its real name -- today has become a mosaic surface of over 600 square meters made up of millions of hand-cut stones. The materials speak for themselves: granite, travertine, Macedonian marble, enamels, gold, white gold, mother-of-pearl ... A grandiose work done according to the style of workshops of Medieval art, under the direction of Fr. Rupnik.

The chapel is not open to the public but, for those with the privilege to enter, there is a feeling of engaging in a new relationships with great saints of the past and Bible figures that seem to embrace the onlooker. The wall behind the altar includes saints from the East and West around Mary, the Mother of God, to whom the chapel is dedicated.

Bright colors, reds and blues, and the dynamism of the work submerge the man of prayer in a new ambience, transporting him to a new dimension, in which the divine and human come together.

The wall on the left of the altar depicts scenes from Christ's life; the mystery of the God made man who goes down into hell and transforms the defeat of death into victory.

On the front wall, there is an image of Christ rising to the Father. It is the divination of man, as Christ takes with him all that is human. Heaven descends to earth: the Church is born, in which each one responds in a personal way to the love of God.

In the rear wall there is a representation of the "Parousia," the second coming of Christ: paradise where love is eternal and where everyone resurrects with that which each has loved.

After visiting the Chapel, Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement described it as "a prophecy of the 21st century," as it is an artistic representation of the road that must be traveled by the ecumenical movement between Christians -- East and West.

While celebrating Mass in the Chapel this morning, John Paul II paused before some of the representations on the walls, in particular the Virgin "Redemptoris Mater" that highlights the message of salvation: Christ, born of Mary, who has changed forever the destiny of mankind.

ZENIT is an International News Agency To subscribe/unsubscribe

A New Movie About Mary

This week's Lexis-Nexis summary of Mary in the news highlights the NBC movie, "Mary, Mother of Jesus." The Los Angeles Times' article by Elizabeth Jensen (November 11, 1999) and a previous one by Mary Rourke (November 3, 1999) give major article priority to the theme, Mary and include commentaries on the NBC movie, "Mary, Mother of Jesus" which involved the collaboration of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

Jensen begins, "Clearly, religion is not a subject that fosters consensus. Yet, network television a medium that thrives only by building a consensus of the largest number of viewers possible is set to broadcast two movies this season that take on perhaps the most sensitive of all religious topics, the life of Jesus, and a third on the life of Jesus' mother, the Virgin Mary."

Mary Rourke's insightful article entitled, "Mary Revisited," places before her readers a plethora of contemporary thought about Mary. She begins by stating, "Millions of people say she is the most influential woman who ever lived. Now, two millenniums after her death, they want to know everything about her. Mary of Galilee, the mother of Jesus, is in the midst of a make-over as Scripture scholars, historians, artists and movie makers update her image for the 21st century."

Phil Kloer, "The Atlanta Journal and Constitution," wrote, "After seeing what NBC did to "Noah's Ark," one trembles at the prospect of a movie about the Virgin Mary. But fortunately, "Mary, Mother of Jesus," is a reverent and respectful treatment; it's literal, straight-faced and strait-laced and utterly irony-free. Given that the biblical record is a bit sketchy, the invented dramatic scenes feel plausible and appropriate, and there is a strong emotional through-line that should appeal even to non-Christians." The Kloer article also mentions the difficulties in portraying a biblical movie. He states, for instance, "And everyone rides around on donkeys on dirt roads, but their tunics are always spotless."

Mary Elsewhere in the News

New Exhibit at the Marian Library

The extraordinary beauty of nativity sets placed in special settings can be seen at two places in Dayton, Ohio. The Crèches International Exhibit at The Marian Library can be viewed online at: Crèches International

Our apologies that this exhibit loads slowly.

A new exhibit of 60 nativity representations in special settings can be viewed for the first time at St. John's Gallery, Bergamo in Dayton. This exhibit will shortly be featured online.

To celebrate the millennium, the institute is offering for the first time a selection of 7 Christmas note cards of nativity sets in settings from its Marian Library collection. The photographs were taken by Marian LibraryAssistant, Marjorie Yefchaf. See the collection at:

Crèches International Christmas Note Cards

Mary Page Wishes You A Blessed Thanksgiving

The faculty and staff of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute wish you a truly bountiful Thanksgiving. We are grateful to the many who have helped our mission to love Mary, to serve her, and to make her better known.

We Lend Exhibits

On occasion, The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute will lend exhibit materials and complete exhibits. If you are interested in Marian materials, the following six framed images (23 1/4 by 28 1/4 inches) are available:

The Book of Revelation: Contemporary Religious Art by Anton Mutter

Six themes characterize the series by Anton Mutter on the Book of Revelation:

  • The Lamb and the Book – From Alpha to Omega
  • I Know You
  • The Seals and the Trumpets
  • The Master of History
  • Christ's Second Coming
  • The Crystal Cube

Anton Mutter (1932-1992), a Swiss painter and sculpture, was a graduate of the prestigious Kunstakademie in Zurich, and a longtime art teacher at the Cantonal Teacher's Training Academy in Sion, Switzerland, a college run by the Marianists until 1987.

Mutter's artistic vein draws its inspiration from two complementary sources. He is deeply steeped in the attachment to his native Wallis, the alpine region of Switzerland that lies at the foot of the world famous Matterhorn. On canvas and with watercolors he untiringly explores the pristine beauty of snow peaks, glaciers and mountain lakes. His paintings and etchings are full of the frugal charm and tranquil simplicity of sunburnt chalets, meadows, goats and sheep. Of similar importance to his art is the second source, Mutter's strong and earthbound faith in the spiritual values and traditions of his homeland. Over the years it has found a varied artistic expression in stained glass windows, sculptures, chapels and churches.

In Mutter's painting and sculptures, nature and religion blend into one, into a poem of colors and forms in celebration of life. His art reflects the dialectics of birth, growth, death and rebirth as suggested by nature on the one hand, but also the unceasing combat between good and evil and the contrasts between time and eternity, as they are expressed in the spiritual reading of reality.

Anton Mutter's vast fresco of the Apocalypse reminds us of this synthesis of nature and religion. The vivid coloring, the dramatic dynamism and sensuous quality of the artistic expression take after nature, whereas religion punctuates the confrontation between the different realms of reality (heaven, earth, underworld), and the various phases of salvation history.

Saint John's Book of Revelation packs the whole of salvation history – from incarnation to eschatology – in the short time span of a few visions, using thereby a perplexing abundance of symbols, protagonists and events. There is no easy way to understand the hermetic message of this visionary.

Mutter did his best to penetrate Saint John's mind and his sometimes bewildering imagery. Over a period of more than ten years he studied and meditated the text of the Apocalypse, and ever so often attempted to graphically express bits and pieces of his insights. During this time he would each year gratify his friends with a Christmas car reproducing elements of the Apocalypse, for example, one of the horsemen, the lamb, the horrors of the underworld. Only in 1982/83, after a long apprenticeship in reading and interiorizing, did Mutter set out to paint the whole of the Apocalypse in six tableaux. In fact, the six tableaux are interconnected graphically as well as from the point of view of content and constitute a whole, just as the various chapters of a book form a totality. The first (representing the Lamb and Book) and last tableaux (featuring the Crystal Cube) represent the front and back cover of the book; they point out the origin and the fulfillment of salvation history. Tableaux Two (From Alpha to Omega), Three (The Seals and the Trumpets), Four (The Master of History) and Five (Christ's Second Coming) constitute the chapters of the book, or, from the point of view of content, the succession of actual events in salvation history.

To discuss the possibility of borrowing the exhibit, contact The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute via email below or telephone 937-229-4254.

Night of Peace in Bethlehem

We received the following letter which we in turn make available to you:

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,

In order to mark the extraordinary anniversary of the 2000th Christmas, that most of the Churches will celebrate on 24th and 25th December 1999, the City of Bethlehem will welcome this year a great vigil of prayer and peace, in the great and magnificent place of the Shepherds' Field, at the very scene where the angels announced the coming of Christ.

Few days before the beginning of the year 2000, this "Night of Peace" will gather all Christians and all men of good will who would like to particularly pay homage to Christ and to renew their commitments of peace and fraternity before entering the III Millennium after Christ's birth.

We propose to all the Christian Churches to take an active part in this vigil of prayer and fraternity which would like to show to the world the universal and Christian dimension of this exceptional anniversary.

The civil authorities (Bethlehem 2000 project, the Town Council and the Governor of Bethlehem) told us their enthusiasm concerning this project which will witness delegations of all countries coming to bring before the crib, as the Magi did, the most beautiful presents and gifts produced in all the cultures and peoples in the world in order to celebrate the Holy Nativity of our Lord.

These offerings will then be placed in the Museum of Mary and in the Museum of the Nativity, that the towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem will create in their two cities, with the UNESCO, for the year 2000.

The "Night of Peace" will also be the occasion for the heads of state, the religious authorities and the civil personalities of all nations to address their wishes, on the spot or through the medium of TV, and to take commitments of peace for the III Millennium, which will alternate with songs, prayers and long moments of silence and adoration.

These testimonies, as well as the opening of the Holy Door by the Pope in Rome, the Midnight Mass in the Basilica of the Nativity and our entire vigil, will be shown on two giant screens in the Shepherds' field and should be broadcast worldwide on television in more than 40 countries.

In order to give a full meaning to this "Night of Peace", which will take place on the very scenes of Christ's birth, we wish representatives of all Christian Churches to be present. Because this very privileged moment and place are really the unique occasion to fraternally gather all the different Christian traditions in a common prayer.

There will be different parts in this vigil, so that the representatives of the Churches could address, one after the other, accompanied with faithful or choir, to all people gathered words of welcome and of peace, in order to pray and sing to the Lord according to the richness of their tradition, and to bring as offerings before the Crib, as the Magi did, documents or pieces of art which will represent the particular testimony of their church sensibility.

We are of course at your disposal to explain these projects further and to adjust all the details you will find necessary to guarantee the good progress of things, hoping to have the joy to see the involvement of your particular Church.

... We intensely pray to the Lord and his Mother so that they allow this fraternal meeting, "for the world to believe", and we assure you, dear brothers and sisters, of our very respectful sentiments and of our fervent prayers.

Signed: Edmond Fricoteaux and Olivier Notre-Dame de France

Call for Papers: Mary and Pilgrimage

The Mariological Society of America will hold its annual meeting in Belleville, IL, at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, May 24-26, 2000. The theme of the meeting will be related to Mary and pilgrimage. The Society is issuing a "call for papers" on topics related to the meeting's theme: Mary's pilgrimage of faith, the Christian's pilgrimage of faith relating to Mary, the role of Marian shrines, the Marian "geography of faith." Those wishing to present a paper at the meeting (for publication in Marian Studies), should submit a precis by January 15, 2000, to the MSA Secretariat (at the Marian Library).

Fifteenth International Mariological Congress – 2000

The International Pontifical Marian Academy (PAMI) announces that the Fifteenth International Mariological Congress will be held in Rome, September 15-24, 2000. The theme of the meeting is "The Mystery of the Trinity and Mary." For more information on PAMI and the Mariological congress, see The Marianum Pontifical Faculty of Theology.

Academic papers (abstracts) can be submitted for presentation at the congress through the President of the Mariological Society of America, Bertrand Buby, SM. Contact Fr. Buby at 937- 229-3286 for further information.

The conference's central location will be at the Italian Marian shrine, Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore outside of Rome. To learn more about the shrine, see Divino Amore

See Our Continuous Study of Marian Themes

Mary and the Holy Spirit: Fullness of Grace

Since we continue to celebrate the Year of God Our Father till the beginning of Advent, you may also be interested in the themes dealing with Mary and the Father. You will find them at:

God the Father and Mary and forward.

Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our prayer corner intentions.

Prayer Corner

The intentions of the Holy Father for November 1999:

Return to November 11, 1999

Return to October 26, 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

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