A Sourcebook About Mary

Edited by J. Robert Baker and Barbara Budde.
Liturgy Training Publications, 2002.

In its "Sourcebook" series, Liturgical Training Publications has published issues on the liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter) and on the sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage) and on other topics. Each sourcebook contains excerpts from prayers, hymns, spiritual classics, world literature. The sourcebooks are printed on fine paper with many attractive illustrations (by Steve Erspamer, S.M.), and they can be used in a number of ways : as prayer or meditation "starter," as a garnish for homilies. The open book may be placed on a bookstand and turned to different page each day.

The Sourcebook about Mary is centered on the tradition of Mary’s discipleship – on the great range of tradition about Mary, the woman of Nazareth, the mother of God, the friend of sinners, the protector of the weak, the defender of the poor, the comforter of the sick and the dying. The material has been gathered from a variety of cultures, eras, traditions, and it is arranged under the titles from the Hail Mary, corresponding to a section of the Magnificat, and ending with a portion of the Litany of Loretto.

The women saints are well represented – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux, but the poets outnumber all other classes – W. H. Auden, G. M. Hopkins, Amy Lowell, Emily Dickinson. Even Fred Rogers is included. But – students of theology and Marian studies take note – almost no writings are found from theologians or Mariologists. Does that tell us something about the appeal of our writing?

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