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In the News: Jan. 30, 2017

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


At the Manger, at a glance

Recapping a successful Advent and Christmas season of sharing our Nativities with the community and beyond.

The University Dayton Libraries begins thinking about nativity sets and Christmas during the warm days of summer. Actually, many of our staff and volunteers think about them all year long. It is nice to look back on a successful season before beginning to plan for the next.

110 nations are represented by the nativity set collection. This year's main exhibit focused on Mexican traditions, and included a Posada at Mount St. John on December 11. There are about 3,500 nativity sets in the Marian Library collection.

Click here to read the complete article.

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

New Marian Book Now Available

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the Mother of God, is a grace-filled, flesh-and-blood woman, who unsurpassingly loves each of us by name. Mary, the Beloved, by Keith Berube, affirms that teaching, providing a theological and philosophical portraiture of our Heavenly Mother that plunges both heart and intellect deeply into her mystery. It was not simply to teach doctrine that this book was written, but to introduce the reader to this real Lady. Click here for more information or to order from Amazon.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha sent us the text below with the following comment: "This article about Our Lady of Walsingham was published recently in The Catholic Response."

"England's Nazareth": Our Lady of Walsingham by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Although the shrine or Our Lady of Walsingham is medieval in origin, 1997 marked the centenary of the restoration of devotional life at England's famed Marian shrine of Walsingham, Norfolk. "England's Nazareth" is a holy place held in high regard by the Christians of the country.

As popular legend has it, the shrine originated with a noble widow, Lady Richeldis, in 1061. A fifteenth-century manuscript records the Walsingham ballad, which explains how the noble woman wished to honor Our Lady. Mary responded by asking her to build a chapel. Mary led Richeldis "in spirit" to Nazareth to show her the place where the Archangel Gabriel had greeted her, and directed the widow to take measurements of the house so that she could build one like it at Walsingham. In this spot, the Virgin Mary explained, the people would celebrate the Annunciation, the "root of mankind's gracious redemption," and would find help in their needs.

Three times Richeldis experienced this vision and request. This confirmed her desire to have the chapel constructed, but the directions about the location were unclear to her and to the carpenters. When the carpenters could make no progress in building, Richeldis spent the night in prayer. Her supplications were answered immediately, for Our Lady, herself, had angels complete the construction on the site she wanted, just two hundred feet from where the workmen had labored.

Over the years, many miracles were attributed to Our Lady of Walsingham, including one in which King Edward I was saved from a piece of falling masonry.

Around the fourteenth century the miraculous Holy House of Norfolk began to be upstaged by the Holy House of Loreto, Italy, near Ancona. According to another legend, the birth house of the Virgin Mary in Nazareth was transported by angels from Palestine to Fiume (former Yugoslavia). Failing to attract attention and veneration, angels transported it to two more unsuccessful locations near Recanati, Italy. Finally, in 1295 the Holy House was carried to Loreto, near the Adriatic Sea. Eventually the historic basilica was erected in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

As the Protestant Revolt mounted, the fervor of Marian devotion waned in England, "Our Lady's Dowry." Walsingham had been an immensely popular place of pilgrimage until this time. In 1534 the prior and canons of Walsingham signed Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy, placing them among the first to capitulate to the king's authority. In the following centuries the shrine fell into ruins and its former glory was largely forgotten.

But a wealthy Anglican woman, Charlotte Boyd, in the nineteenth century commenced the restoration of the shrine, just as another wealthy woman had initially endowed it in the eleventh century. For pilgrims traveling from London to Walsingham, the last stopping place had been a chapel about a mile away known as the "Slipper Chapel," because people left their shoes there before walking barefoot the last mile to the shrine. The small fourteenth-century building was used as a barn to house animals prior to Charlotte Boyd's desire to restore it. Before her plan materialized, she became a Catholic, and in the 1890's bought the chapel and donated it to Downside Abbey. The Guild of Our Lady of Ransom took care of the restorations, and carved the statue of a standing Virgin and Child to be given the place of honor. That statue is now in King's Lynn. Over a century ago, August 20, 1897, a procession of pilgrims from King's Lynn to the Slipper Chapel marked the renewal of public devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham. But for a generation or more the Catholic Church showed little enthusiasm for the shrine. The reason given was that during the nineteenth century many Catholics in England and Ireland were not pleased with attempts by Cardinal Manning and others to promote public devotions, processions, and rituals. The faithful were accustomed to a more reserved expression of prayer. The recusant families considered such practices as "un-English" imports from abroad. Consequently the restored shrine of Walsingham had little impact initially on English Catholicism. In the 1920's, however, the Anglican vicar of Walsingham, Father Alfred Hope Patten, determined to recreate the medieval shrine under the auspices of the Church of England. The vigor of the Anglican project shamed the Catholics into doubling their own efforts to encourage devotion to Our Lady at the Slipper Chapel.

At present, the Catholic shrine is developing enormously, especially since the construction of the Chapel of Reconciliation. Now both shrines, with their respective pilgrim hostels, are increasingly popular and patronized.  Earlier, neither Anglicans nor Catholics acknowledged publicly one another's existence at Walsingham. Even the old street signs indicated the "Shrine of OLW" in one direction, and the "RC Shrine" in the other.

Then things changed some years ago when Pope John Paul II visited England, and celebrated Mass at Wembley with the image of Our Lady of Walsingham on the altar. The image was placed there by the director of the Catholic shrine and the administrator of the Anglican shrine. Thereafter, Anglicans and Catholics have recognized each other in their publications and events. Ecumenical relations, because of some over-zealous efforts and statements, have been a little strained, and are now going through a quiet phase. The Anglican administrator, Martin Warner, regarded this as a case of "roots deepening in the winter." He is optimistic for the future friendship of the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

The Walsingham shrine has much to celebrate and is busy doing it. A new window depicting the Annunciation, designed by Alfred Fisher, has been added to the Slipper Chapel. The window was donated by the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom. To mark this important addition, a year of special liturgies, concerts, and drama was celebrated--some of it Marian, some not.

Our Lady of Walsingham is known as "The Virgin by the Sea." The medieval ballad told that she helps mariners in distress. The Anglican pilgrim hostel displays the name Stella Maris, Star of the Sea. This is one of Mary's more ancient titles. Walsingham, just a few miles from the Norfolk coast, is a sanctuary of prayer and healing, a metaphor of salvation from storm and shipwreck, offering calm waters and safe harbor to all in trouble.

Might we again refer to England as "Our Lady's Dowry"?


Marian Events

Event: Mary Teaches Us Discipleship and Redemptive Suffering

Date: February 17-18, 2017

Time: 6:30 - 10 p.m.

Place: Saint Bartholomew Church, 9375 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio

Father David Endres, Father Shannon Collins, MSJB, and Father Timothy Fahey will be among the presenters at this retreat.  For more information and to register, call 513-373-2397.  Click here for Directions.


Mary in the Catholic Press

Pope Invites Immigrants in USA to Seek Refuge Under Mary's Mantle (Zenit) January 18, 2017

In a video-message projected during a Mass for National Migration Week in Los Angeles, Pope Francis encourages immigrants to seek refuge under Mary's mantle when there is "spiritual turbulence," because, as the Virgin of Guadalupe said to Saint Juan Diego: "Fear not. Am I not here, I who am your Mother?"

The Eucharist was presided over by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Monsignor Jose H. Gomez. In the video, Francis assures immigrants: "we are a community that also has a Mother and Jesus gave her to us, His Mother and our Mother, and a community must feel safe with a Mother..."

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.

New Nativity Mingles Art, Faith, Science, Symbolism (Grapevine) January, 2017

In a new Nativity scene inside the main entrance of the 1700 South Patterson Building on the University of Dayton's River Campus, a Dayton-area teacher and a UD Research Institute IT systems administrator blend faith, art, science and symbolism.

The "Tensegrity Nativity," which the artists say was inspired by the Holy Spirit, features at its center the Holy Family, sculpted of cement around a constructed frame by Huber Heights elementary school teacher, Andrew Brownfield ’96. Around it is an assembly of five 12-foot struts, all supported without touching in a network of knotted cords using a concept known as "tensegrity," popularized in the 1950's by artist, Kenneth Snelson, and architect-inventor, Buckminster Fuller....

The Nativity scenes he saw that day were part of the Marian Library's annual At the Manger exhibit, which features different selections each year from its collection of more than 3,500 crèches. Hart and Marian Library curatorial assistant, Michele Devitt, who helps coordinate At the Manger, started sharing ideas, and soon Hart brought Brownfield, a longtime friend, into the project....

Click here to read the complete article.


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Weekly Features: Jan. 30, 2017

The resources for this week focus on Candlemas, Our Lady of Light, evangelization and Orthodox tradition.
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