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Mary in the News: Oct. 29, 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

    • Marian Days at Saint Mary's in Dayton

    • Father Antonio Larocca, SMC, of the Semacom Foundation, invites you to Spanish language Jornadas Marianas at Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Dayton, Ohio. 
    • The program on Saturday, November 10, 2018 starts at 9:30 am and includes Marian teachings followed by a bilingual Mass at 4 pm.  Activities will conclude on Sunday, November 11 with a Festival of Marian Liturgical Music from 3-6 pm.
    • Saint Mary's is located at 310 Allen Street, Dayton, OH 45410.  Admission is free.  For more information call 937-258-1309.
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Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.

NBC Travel News on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Inside the Race to Save The Notre Dame Cathedral aired on NBC's Today show. on October 26, 2018.  The Notre Dame Cathedral has withstood the ravages of history, but now damages within the iconic Paris landmark are piling up.  NBC's Keir Simmons goes behind the scenes for a rare look at the cathedral's problems and its restorations.   

From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comments: "October is the Month of the Holy Rosary."

Why Pray the Rosary? by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

The old expression "knock on wood" has its origin in the practice of reciting the rosary.  Knocking rosary beads together was thought to bring an answer to prayer. 

From the Latin word rosarium, meaning a garden of roses, the name was extended to  the prayer devotion. 

Using beads to count prayers is a common practice in many religions,  especially those originating in Asia. 

While the use of the rosary is popularly attributed to St. Dominic, it comes from much older traditions.  In fourth-century Egypt, Paul the Hermit and others recited hundreds of prayers daily and counted them by lining up pebbles and discarding them one at a time for each prayer.  Celtic monks in the seventh century kept count by tying knots in the cords used as belts. 

By the thirteenth century, the term rosary was used for a string of beads used to recite 150 Hail Marys.  As rosaries gained in popularity, so too did their manufacture.  Paternoster Row in London became the location of a thriving guild that made beads of various values in precious stones, wood, lead, and bone. 

Legend tells us that St. Dominic received in a vision from Mary the "Marian Psalter" that later developed into the rosary, which praised the mysteries of Jesus and Mary.  But there is no evidence for such a vision.  This practice preceded Dominic by more than a century.  Meditating on the mysteries did not begin until two centuries after his death. 

In the fifteenth century, Dominican Alain de Rupe divided the rosary into three groups of mysteries--the Incarnation, the passion, and the Resurrection--and encouraged praying the rosary in groups.  

Across the centuries several changes occurred in the Hail Mary.  In the fourteenth century, the name of Jesus appeared, and the last line was added only after 1487. 

The most recent change was made in 2002 when Pope St. John Paul II commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his pontificate by adding the luminous mysteries.  He called the rosary a path to contemplation because it pairs both prayer and contemplation to keep us connected to our Christian roots. 

We are encouraged to pray the rosary because it deals with intimacy.  The rhythm of the prayers makes it a familiar touchstone in our ever-changing world. 

The Catholic Church is an incarnational Church concerned with the material articles of daily life: bread, wine, homes, relationships.  The rosary is a material object that helps us celebrate the incarnational side of our religion by reminding us of where we started, where we are going, and who we are.

This time-honored devotion both connects us to our past, and resonates with us today.

Marian Events

Event: Conference of the Centre For Marian Studies

Theme:  Miraculous Conceptions: The Origins of Mary and Jesus in Theology and Story-Telling

Location: Saint Mary's University, Twickenham, London, U.K.

Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Speakers: Prof. Tom O'Loughlin, the Revd. Dr. Simon Gaine O.P., Dr. Catherine O’Brien, and Dr. Jacob Phillips

Including: A Marian-themed tour of St Mary’s University's historic campus and the opportunity to attend Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

£30 including sandwich lunch.  Reductions available: please ask.  

For further information, please contact:

Dr Catherine O’Brien

Director of the Centre for Marian Studies

Information and Registration


Mary in the Catholic Press

Film Searches for Truth About an Apparition of the Virgin Mary (Zenit) August 10, 2018

Music Box Films released the new trailer and poster today for The Apparition, a suspenseful movie that follows a skeptical journalist who searches for the truth about a possible apparition of the Blessed Mother in a remote French village....

"The Apparition ventures into signs from God and the secret canonical committees that investigates apparitions," said director and screenwriter, Xavier Giannoli.  "I certainly didn't want to make people believe in apparitions--far from it.  But I also wanted to believe in this young visionary's profound sincerity, despite the legitimate doubt one may have on the truth of what she claims to have seen.  I find this self-sacrifice moving and poetic, and I have deep respect for that."

"The Apparition is a gripping and sobering look at the Catholic Church's process of investigation and validation of an alleged supernatural occurrence and the emotions, complications, and perils surrounding such an event," said Michael O’Neill, host of The Miracle Hunter on Relevant Radio and They Might Be Saints on EWTN, author of Exploring the Miraculous, and an expert on Marian apparitions....

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.

2019 Annual Conference of the ESBVM-USA: Call for Papers (Press Release) September 9, 2018

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, USA (ESBVM-USA) was formed by Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Orthodox, and Presbyterian Scholars and is open to all Christians.  The Society exists to advance the study of Mary, the Mother of Christ.  Our immediate goal is inter-ecclesial scholarship that focuses on Mary in light of Christian theological, biblical, and spiritual principles.  Furthermore, by means of shared study and prayer, we provide an opportunity for Christians of various denominational backgrounds to explore how Marian studies might contribute to the search for unity.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: January 15, 2019

Conference Theme: Mary, Disciple of the Lord--Motherhood

Conference Dates: July 25-27, 2019

Conference Location Misericordia University in Dallas, PA (just outside Wilkes-Barre)

Submission Guidelines and Requirements: The paper proposal should be in DOC or DOCX and must include:

  1. Presentation title; your name, professional affiliation (e.g., university or church name), and status (undergrad, grad. student, Ph.D. candidate, faculty, pastor, etc.); contact information (e-mail address and daytime telephone); abstract (350-500 words); and equipment needs.

The general theme for the 2019 ESBVM-USA Conference is: Mary, Disciple of the Lord: Motherhood.  This theme may be pondered using a variety of methods appropriate to your field of study, personal interests, and particular Christian tradition.  The following are some suggested topics to use for inspiration:

*  Explorations of Mary’s motherhood as gleaned from particular Scripture passages (Old Testament typologies and prophecies as well as New Testament texts);

*  A study of Mary’s motherhood as explored in the work of particular theologians and churchmen including the Early Church Fathers, Medieval Scholars, Protestant Reformers, and contemporary theologians;

*  Mary’s motherhood as it relates to and illuminates cultural and social justice issues; anthropological issues; sacramental theology; Christian anthropology; and/or soteriology;

*  Conclusions drawn from or about ecumenical dialogues on the subject of Mary’s motherhood;

*  Historical, systematic, scriptural, or ecumenical explorations of Mary’s motherhood as revealed by Marian titles such as Theotókos, Maria Lactans, or Mother of the Church and/or aspects of Mary’s motherhood enshrined in Marian dogmas;

*  Eastern and/or Western artistic depictions of Mary as mother of Christ, Christians, or the Church in the visual, literary and performing arts;

*  Liturgical texts, prayers and feast days in honor of Mary’s motherhood;

*  The role that Mary’s motherhood has played in Marian apparitions;

Please address your proposal for committee review to: Christopher M. Carr, Ph.D., ESBVM-USA, President at:          

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