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Mary in the News: May 8, 2019

By Michael Duricy

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

Marian Library and International Marian Research Institute Features


Alumni Activities

Michael Duricy, Coordinator of Academic Programs at the International Marian Research Institute, will be interviewed by Father Rob Jack about Our Lady of Fatima on Monday, May 13, 2019 from 4:06-4:16 p.m., and about Mary in Film on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 5:06-5:16 p.m. during the Driving Home the Faith program on Sacred Heart Radio

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

New French documentary about Lourdes

Lourdes, a new documentary by directors Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai, is dedicated to the pilgrims of the sanctuary of Lourdes, one of the most famous places of Marian apparition in the world.  In this feature film, the sanctuary is as much magnified by images and actors as music.  An admirable work in theaters starting May 8, 2019 ...

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

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

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 25th 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  make 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

Title: 2019 Meeting of the Mariological Society of America

Theme: The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Call to Holiness

Date: May 14-17, 2019

Location: National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette Retreat Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts

This year's topic is: The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Call to Holiness. The meeting will convene May 14-17 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette Retreat Center in Attleboro, MA.  We hope that you will be able to join us for lively discussions about the Blessed Mother.  

You may find the brochure and registration form at the following links on the MSA website:

Registration Form

Mary in the Catholic Press

General Audience: Pope: May the Cathedral of Notre Dame Be Rebuilt to Be a Joint Work, to the Faith and Glory of God (Zenit) April 17, 2019

"May the Virgin Mary bless them and support the work of reconstruction: may it be a joint work, to the praise and glory of God."

Pope Francis stressed this during his General Audience, April 17, 2019, during Holy Week, just two days after the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

Francis said in his remarks to French-speaking pilgrims that he took the opportunity to express to the diocesan community of Paris, to all Parisians and to the whole French people, his "great affection" and "closeness" after the fire in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

"Dear brothers and sisters, I was very distressed and I feel so close to all of you," he said, noting that: "Gratitude, from the whole Church, goes to those who have done their utmost, even risking their lives, to save the Cathedral."

"May the Virgin Mary bless them and support the work of reconstruction: may it be a joint work, to the praise and glory of God." ...

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.

These tools can help Marian devotion lead to Marian study ( website) May 8, 2019

As we celebrate the Marian month of May, not only can we begin or deepen our Marian devotion, but our love of the Blessed Mother can lead us beyond our prayers and Rosary or Marian pilgrimages to Marian study.

The mystery of Mary is inexhaustible.  Countless authors and theologians have written books about her.  These books range from Mary's presence in the Scriptures, to Marian doctrine, Marian meditations, and devotions.

Did you know in the United States there is a society that promotes the study of the Blessed Virgin Mary?  It's called the Mariological Society of America, founded in 1949 by Juniper Carol, OFM....

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