Skip to main content


In the News: Aug. 22, 2016

By Michael Duricy


Read recent items about Mary in both Catholic and secular news. Also see International Marian Research Institute news and updates.

ML/IMRI Features

Marian Events

Mary in the Catholic Press

Mary in the Secular Press

Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute Features


Call for Papers for the 2017 Annual Conference of the Mariological Society of America (MSA)

The Blessed Virgin's Relationship to the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist

 The Mariological Society of America invites proposals for its May 16–19, 2017 Conference to be held at the Schoenstatt Center Lamar in Rockport, Texas (near Corpus Christi)

Topics for the 2017 conference could include the following--though other topics related to Mary and the Sacraments of Initiation might be appropriate:


    Scriptural Allegories/Imageries pointing to Mary and the Sacraments

    Historical, theological, and artistic perspectives on Mary's possible reception of the Sacraments.

    Patristic Intuitions of Mary's Spiritual Motherhood in the sacramental life of the Church

    Marian Traditions connected to the Sacraments of Initiation

    Mary as the Model of Docility to the Holy Spirit relative to the Sacraments of Initiation

Mary's Spiritual Maternity:

    Mary as Mother of the Faithful in relation to the Sacramental Life

    Mary as the Model of the Priesthood of the Faithful with respect to the Sacramental Life

    Mary's Spiritual Maternity relative to the Sacramental Initiation of the Faithful

    The Roles of Mary and the Church in the Generation and Nurturing of Christ's Life in the Souls of the Faithful

    Spiritual Motherhood in the French School of Spirituality in relation to the Sacramental Life


    Consecration to Mary as the Perfect Way to Live out One's Baptismal Promises

    The Sacramental Correspondence of Mary's Immaculate Conception to the Newly Baptized Person.


    Devotion to Mary and More Fruitful Reception of Holy Communion

    Mary as the Mother of the Eucharist

    St. John Paul II, Mary, and the Eucharist (e.g. chapter six of Ecclesia de Eucharistia)

    Mary's Presence at the Mass

    Mary and the Eucharistic Expressions of Epiclesis, Anamnesis, and Agape

    Mary and the Mass as Sacrifice: the Sorrowful Mother and the Eucharist

    Mary in the Eucharistic Liturgies of the Eastern Churches

    How Devotion to Mary helps us to Love the Eucharist More

    The Harmony of Marian Devotion with Eucharistic Adoration

    The Marian Devotion of Communities of the Consecrated Life Dedicated to the Eucharist


    Mary, the Holy Spirit, and Confirmation

    Mary as the Model of the Theological Virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Sacrament of Confirmation


    Catechetical Aspects of including Mary in Sacramental Preparation

    Catechesis on Mary in Preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation (and in the Catechumenate)

Please send abstracts by October 15, 2016 to Father Frederick Miller ( and Dr. Robert Fastiggi ( The abstract should be about 350-500 words. It should include sources and an explanation of how the proposal relates to the theme of the conference.

Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.

Two new children's books were released recently by Pauline Books and Media (PBM).

Congratulations to veteran PBM author, Sherry Weaver Smith, on the release of Search for the Hidden Garden: A Discovery with St. Thérèse. Sherry's first book with PBM, The Wolf and the Shield, Adventures with St. Patrick was released earlier this year. Both books are part of the Friends with Saints Series.

New PBM author Geraldine Marshall's book, Spider's Gift: A Christmas Story was released the same week. Though new to PBM, Gerry is a veteran author with many published children's titles.

In other news, Pauline Books & Media has entered the world of adult coloring books! Our distinctly Catholic offerings of Our Lady's Garden and Windows into Christ are part of a new coloring contest that you, your family, and friends can enter by clicking on this link to our newsletter [which includes details on the contest and ordering information].


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comments: "Happy feast of Blessed Jakob Gapp, S.M. [August 13]."

A Modern Martyr Championed the Catholic Press by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Blessed Jacob Gapp, S.M., may well be considered another patron of  justice and peace advocates. Because the Gestapo condemned him for his unwavering adherence to the Catholic faith and his unabashed denunciation of National Socialism (Nazism), Father Jacob Gapp was guillotined by the Nazis in Berlin at the Ploetzensee Prison on August 13, 1943. Pope St. John Paul II beatified him in 1996.

Before entering the Society of Mary in his native Austria, this intrepid Marianist priest had served in the Austrian army in World War I, was wounded and decorated for valor, and suffered as a prisoner of war in northern Italy. This experience taught him to loathe war, selfishness and greed, arrogant pride, political and social injustice. As a young Marianist religious and teacher of religion he was unstinting as a militant advocate for the poor, the needy, and the oppressed.

This action made Father Gapp a serious irritant to the Nazis after they annexed Austria in 1938. For his own safety and for the welfare of the Marianist school where he was teaching in Graz, his superiors moved him from place to place for parish work. The Nazi regime forbade him to teach. Some pupils in the Tyrol told a school inspector in October 1938 that Father Gapp explained to them the Gospel message of brotherly love and their obligation to love and respect "Frenchmen, Czechs, Jews, and communists alike, as they were all human beings." He insisted, "God is your God, not Adolf Hitler."

Realizing that the spoken word and the printed word clearly possessed a power lacking in the sword of militarism, he employed the Catholic press as a weapon of choice.  And he read avidly to study the thorny problem of National Socialism and all its ramifications.

Imbued with the message of Pope Pius XI's encyclical, Mit Brennender Sorge, and the statements of the Austrian bishops, Jacob Gapp had formed a lucid and sound judgment about the utter incompatibility of National Socialism and Christianity. In his preaching he emphasized this truth fearlessly, and he taught the uncompromising law of love for all people without reference to nationality or religion. 

In a fateful sermon in his home parish of St. Lawrence at Wattens in the Tyrol on December 11, 1938, this seasoned Marianist priest staunchly defended Pope Pius XI against the attacks of the Nazis, knowing that his words were being monitored by the Gestapo. He urged the faithful to read Catholic literature rather than Nazi propaganda, and to follow the lead of the Catholic press. This bold move forced him to leave his native country and escape to France. A few months later his anti-Nazi audacity required that he flee Bordeaux and enter Spain, where he assisted in several  schools and parishes served by the Marianists. He was adamant in his rejection of the Nazi diatribe. His zeal for the cause he so fervently espoused was not diminished.

In the summer of 1942 the beleaguered Father Jacob Gapp visited the British consulate in Valencia to inquire about a visa to England. He also wanted to learn what was really happening in Germany and in Nazi-occupied Europe, especially concerning the Church. The consulate staff gave him a stack of newspapers and magazines. Among them were copies of The Tablet, a weekly journal edited by Catholic laity in London. The Tablet provided reports about the persecution of the Church, internment camps, pastoral letters like that of the Bishop of Calahorra in Spain criticizing the Nazi ideology, and objective reports from the war fronts. Shunning biased propaganda material, Father Jacob began to distribute The Tablet, returning regularly to the consulate for new copies.

Shadowed by the Nazis over the years, he was arrested through a deceptive trap that lured him across the border into occupied France, where the Gestapo arrested him and hustled him to prison in Berlin. He was deceived by a certain Father Lange, a German priest in whom he had confided, but who was secretly a Gestapo agent. In January 1943, for two long and intense days he was interrogated nonstop by the Gestapo. Jacob Gapp welcomed the opportunity to present his case. The Gestapo interrogators were particularly interested in his visits to the British consulate in Valencia, and in the "subversive propaganda against the Fatherland" he had repeatedly collected there and distributed. Calmly and firmly the prisoner explained that The Tablet was not propaganda: "It is a good, Catholic journal. The writing is sound, and I even intended to subscribe."

Willingly and vigorously the martyr-to-be not only admitted he consistently opposed the Nazi regime and all it represented, but explained when and why he had done so. He virtually flew in the face of the interrogators. His reasoning and candor stunned the Nazi agents. First and foremost he was a Marianist religious and Catholic priest, conscience-bound to place God before Caesar. Since the Nazis were bent on destroying the Church, he was convinced it was his duty to blaze a trail of resistance and opposition, to educate with truth, and to be a role model of fidelity.

For his honesty and integrity Father Jacob Gapp was sentenced to death for treason and guillotined. His body was destroyed because the Gestapo feared the people would revere him as a martyr. Reportedly Heinrich Himmler, the cunning manipulator of the Nazi leadership, expressed the opinion that Germany would win World War II without difficulty if there were a million party members as committed as Jacob Gapp. Even the enemy admired his tenacious and unstinting adherence to conviction.

Today we honor Blessed Jacob Gapp as a modern-day champion of the Catholic press, which strives to be a source of truthful reporting. Because he respected the Catholic press as the vehicle the Church employs to reveal the Good News for our day, we are invited to call on him to help us to appreciate and promote a more effective Catholic press--print and electronic--with a wider readership, and to use the Catholic press as he did for the cause of truth and justice. 

As the Church regards St. Francis de Sales as patron of the Catholic press, who intercedes for writers and publishers, we can call on Blessed Jacob Gapp as a patron for readers of the Catholic press. We can request him to assist all who turn to the Catholic press for a reliable source of information.


Marian Events

Mary, Favored by God: A Three Week Bible Study

Date: Sundays, August 14, 21, and 28, 2016

Time: 10:30 am - 12 Noon

Location: Spirit Center Room D, Saint Albert the Great Catholic Parish, 3033 Far Hills Avenue, Kettering, OH, 45429

This study, published in April 2016, has all the material needed in a study booklet. Alive in the Word is a series that aims to deepen your understanding of Scripture, offer meaning for life today, and help you to pray and act in response to God's word. This study is open to all, but is geared to adult learners. For more information contact Julie Burt by phone at 937-298-1122 (extension 216) or email at or click here.


Mary in the Catholic Press

Pope Prays at Santa Maria Maggiore Before Departing for Armenia from Zenit June 24, 2016

Last evening, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray for the success of his fourteenth Apostolic Visit abroad to the nation of Armenia. The Holy Father almost always visits Rome's Marian Basilica to pray for Mary's protection and intercession before and after his papal trips.

According to Vatican Radio, the Pope prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, and invoked the Virgin Mary's protection on his travels and upon the people he will visit in Armenia....

Click here to read the complete article.


Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of All About Mary under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

Usain Bolt, His Catholic Faith, and His Miraculous Medal (epicPew website) August 15, 2016

On the evening of Sunday, August 14, 2016, famed Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won gold in a characteristically dynamic and seemingly effortless 100-meter performance at his third consecutive Olympics, this time in Rio de Janeiro, making him the first athlete to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash.

Bolt's rocketry on this celebrated night follows equally impressive performances in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. There is little doubt as to why Bolt is easily regarded as the world's fastest man.

However, perhaps not as readily in the spotlight is notice of Bolt's deep Catholic faith. In August of 2012, in the days following Bolt's participation in the London Olympics, the Catholic News Agency reported that the "Vatican invites Usain Bolt to address religious liberty conference." The article mentions that "As a Catholic, Bolt is known for making the Sign of the Cross before racing competitively. He also bears the middle name [St.] Leo."

In addition to his other inspirational outward signs of faith, more encouraging than Bolt's hard-earned gold medals is that he wears an even more powerful medal: the Miraculous Medal, as promulgated by French Saint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876). By extension, as one awesome Redditor pointed out, based on Bolt's wearing of the Miraculous Medal, the Blessed Virgin Mary is currently the most viewed woman in sprinting! This digression aside, the Miraculous Medal features an inscription invoking the prayerful intercession of the Lord's Mother with these French words: "O, Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous” (“O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”)....

Click here to read the complete article.

Previous Post

Buttons, Tattoos and Special Collections

Introducing new UD students to our special collections with a festival atmosphere
Read More
Next Post

Weekly Features: Aug. 29, 2016

There is a lot to read about this week. Shell symbolism, "The Sound of Music" and Our Lady of Tears?just to name a few.
Read More