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Mary in the News: May 14, 2018

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

  • Live from the University of Dayton
  • With headsets on, gathered around a small table on the seventh floor of Roesch Library, students Jillian Foster (2018) and Corinne Woodruff (2019) test their voices in the microphone during a sound check. "You're loud and clear" the producer assures them as they take a deep breath before their first live radio experience.

    The undergraduate students joined Assistant Professor Neomi DeAnda from Religious Studies, Archivist Kayla Harris from the Marian Library, and host Michael Duricy from the International Marian Research Institute on the "Marian Studies and Spirituality" program on Radio Maria. The panel for this program on May 3, 2018, focused on the students' experience with a cross-disciplinary project, Mary of the Americas. Students from DeAnda's Latina/Latino Religious Experience course (REL 322), including Jillian and Corinne, researched devotions and titles of Mary specific to the Americas. The project also involved University of Dayton engineering students through the Center for Innovation, who created an app that will be formally launched this fall....

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

Book Suggestion for Mary's Month of May

  • On May 13, 1917, three children in a sleepy Portuguese village were blessed with a vision of Mary, Mother of Jesus. How appropriate that this celebration of the Blessed Mother falls on Mother's Day this year! Today, we recall Our Lady's words to the children: her direction to pray the rosary for peace, her mission to them from God.  In Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions, author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle recounts the many miraculous events at Fatima.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below.

Rosary Spirituality by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Origin of the Rosary

The Rosary, the blessed beads that quietly slip between our fingers as we pray over the mysteries of Jesus' redemptive life, has an ancient origin.  Most likely it originated in the ancient East and not in the medieval West, perhaps in India.  It was and still is a popular prayer device among the Muslims, who use the Arabic term masbahat, which means to give praise.  Devout Muslims used the masbahat in repeating the attributes of God, just as it was used by the early Christian hermits.  Following the Crusades the Rosary found its way to the West.  The missionary who worked hardest to spread this devotion was Saint Dominic, and his Dominican companions.

The Rosary became a popular method of prayer and spread quickly in the West during the Middle Ages.  For Christians it has always been "the Gospel strung on beads."   It is a simple and easy prayer that can be employed for vocal prayer or silent contemplation by individuals, families, and communities.

Papal Encouragement

Since the sixteenth century the popes have frequently encouraged the faithful of East and West to pray the Rosary.  The first was a Dominican pope, Saint Pius V, who wrote a papal letter about the Rosary in 1569 shortly after the Council of Trent, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the late nineteenth century after the First Vatican Council the illustrious Pope Leo XIII wrote more than ten encyclicals and instructions promoting the use of the Rosary.

To make pastoral applications of the Marian teachings of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI in 1974 authored the apostolic exhortation Devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus).  Paul VI discussed the Rosary at some length as a summary of the Gospel comprised of prayers based on Gospel texts.  He urged the faithful to pray the Rosary, and especially recommended the family Rosary in these words:

“We would like now to join our voice to the voices of our predecessors and strongly recommend the prayer of the Rosary in the family … because the Christian family is a family church….  If the family neglected this communal prayer, it would lose its character as a Christian family.  In addition to the prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) … the Rosary of the Virgin Mary would be the  most preferable communal prayer for the Christian family.”

Pope Paul VI concluded his recommendation by saying: "We would like to repeat that the Rosary is an excellent and magnificent prayer…."

Pope St. John Paul II, enthusiastic devotee of our Blessed Mother, in 2002 issued  a pastoral letter entitled The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, in which he proclaimed October 2002 until October 2003 the Year of the Rosary, and put forth the Luminous Mysteries based on the public life of Jesus. 

Pope Benedict XVI, valued the prayer of the Rosary as a means of contemplating Jesus with Mary's eyes.  For him pondering the mysteries of the Rosary calms a "restless spirit, allows the soul to settle into tranquility … and grants a vision of God."  He associates the Rosary with consolation and healing, an inner refuge which enfolds us "in the rhythm of the prayer of the whole Church."  "I do it quite simply," he said, "just as my parents used to pray."

The Rosary Today

Early on, the Rosary was a common method of prayer in the East among Christians and non-Christians.  Even though it came to us through Western missionaries, it was and still is an easy and rich method of prayer to help the faithful fathom the mysteries of God along the journey of salvation.  And we do so with a special companion, the Mother of God and our Mother.  Praying the Rosary, particularly in the family, is an excellent method of bringing us together in the faith under the protection of her who always and everywhere intercedes for all people.  Let us spare no effort to remain close to her.


Marian Events

Event: Morning with Mary

Theme: Presentation by Denise Bossert

Location: Emmaus Catholic Parish, Great Hall, 1718 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Austin, TX 78734

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

We invite you to bring your mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends to a very meaningful spiritual morning where we will prayerfully consider ways in which we can bind up each other's hurts and help our Blessed Mother bring her Son's healing to our wounded world.

Denise Bossert is the daughter of a Protestant minister. In 2005, she converted to Catholicism after reading books by Carmelite saints.

Denise is a nationally-recognized writer, speaker, and member of the Catholic Speakers Bureau. Her syndicated column, "Catholic by Grace" is published in sixty-three diocesan newspapers, and she has written for Catholic magazines and appeared on EWTN's Journey Home, Women of Grace, and At Home With Jim and Joy. Her latest book, Stations of the Cross, is about interceding for suffering souls and praying for a healing touch from the Redeemer of all things.

*Light breakfast at 9:00 a.m.
*Presentation starts at 9:30 a.m.
*Book signing right after presentation

Contact Mary's Touch at for any comments or questions.


Mary in the Catholic Press

New Feast of Mary will follow Pentecost (Catholic Telegraph) May 9, 2018

Catholics around the world will celebrate a new universal feast day this month, when the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church debuts May 21.

Previously celebrated in Poland, Argentina, and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the feast has been optional for the rest of the world since 1975. 

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome announced the feast in February, noting that the idea of Mary as "Mother of the Church" is at least as old as the early 400's, when it is first found in the writings of St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great. 

"This celebration," the decree reads, "will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God...."

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.

The Virgin Mary, Birth and Philosophy (Church Life Journal) May 4, 2018

Everything begins with the question that Nicodemus asks Jesus: "How can a man enter anew into the womb of his mother and be born?" (John 3:4). It is an excellent question, if not the best question that could be asked. For Nicodemus is not one who fails to understand the "birth from above," but rather he understands perfectly that one cannot understand the "birth from above" without relating it to the "birth from below."

It is in coming back and describing the significance of "being born from the womb of his mother" (by means of paths "from below") that one will be able to decipher what it means "to be reborn by water and spirit" (by means of paths "from above"). It is not a question of thinking that Christ's response is an opposition--"that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit" (John 3:6)--but rather thinking of it as an analogy: just as that which is born of flesh is flesh, so that which is born of spirit is spirit. It is in developing a "phenomenology of birth" that one will understand a "theology of resurrection."

If there is then "joy" in birth, it is not simply because Christ is born "in" the world (in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary), but also and above all because he "gives birth" to a world--that of the Word whose flesh contains everything: "the miracle that saves the world," Hannah Arendt (a Jewish, not Christian, thinker) emphasizes at the end of The Human Condition, is the "fact of birth." A child generates a new world by entering into the world. This is what it means when the Gospel announces this Good News: "a child is born to us."

But in underlining that the Word made flesh gives birth to a world on Christmas through the Virgin Mary--in which God encompasses and contains everything--He is also born in us (or better, He is born in this world in which we are given to ourselves and to others) in order to allow us to give birth to Him in us: "What good would it be if the Word made flesh is born once among men in Bethlehem," so asks Meister Eckhart, "if not in order to be born once, or thousands of times, in each one of us?" ...

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IMRI Weekly Features: May 14, 2018

This coming Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost. We have some resources available so you can prepare. Also see more selected items for the month of May.
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