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Mary in the News: July 9, 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


Legion of Mary News

Free Catholic information booth at Montgomery County fair will be hosted by the Legion of Mary July 8-14, 2019, in the air-conditioned Main Event Center, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the 4-H Fairgrounds, 645 Infirmary Road, Dayton, OH 45417.  Free literature, rosaries, medals, etc.  Regular Fair admission applies. 

For more Fair info:

For more info about the Legion of Mary, call Gloria Dodd at (937) 229-1431.

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

Online Research Tools

Kayla Harris, Librarian/Archivist for the Marian Library, provided the link to a libguide for our Marian Archives,  This libguide has information on how to access the various parts of the collection, including ArchivesSpace.  From there, one may search collections from the Marian Library, U.S. Catholic Special Collection, University Archives, and Special Collections.  To limit searches to the Marian Library, click "Collecting Areas" in the top tab and select "Marian Library."  Kayla also provided a direct link to the ArchivesSpace Public Interface

Stephanie Shreffler, Collections Librarian/Archivist, for the U.S. Catholic Special Collections in Roesch Library, provided the link to another useful libguide,  She uses this to guide students during the Information Literacy Workshop for Religious Studies Graduate Assistants [also open to IMRI students].

From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comments: "The article below was published in Messenger of Mary ImmaculateJuly-August, 2015, pages 6-7.

The Rose: A Marian Symbol by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

"Say it with flowers!"  From the beginning, Christians often expressed their religious spirit and belief with flowers.  The rose was a popular religious symbol from earliest times.

And in 2002, St. John Paul II renewed this interest with his Apostolic Letter, The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, and declared 2003 the Year of the Rosary.

Why did the rose become an important symbol through the Christian ages?  Is there a biblical foundation?  Although wild roses grew in Palestine at the time of Jesus, the rose is mentioned neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the New Testament.

In the Greco-Roman culture the rose represented beauty, the season of spring, and love.  It also spoke of the fleetness of time, and therefore, inferred death and the next world.  In Rome the feast called rosalia was a celebration of the dead.

In western Christian iconography, the first use of the rose appears in scenes representing the next world, paradise, together with the lily and other flowers.  These flowers also became symbols of virtues and of categories of the elect; for example, the red rose for martyrs and the lily for virgins.

The rose as the queen of flowers was evidently a privileged symbol for Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.  The rose is a symbol of Christ, too, as we see in the German Christmas song from a poem by Goethe, Es ist ein’ Ros’entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming).

The Marian symbolism is well illustrated by Dante in his description of paradise.  His guide, Beatrice, invites him to contemplate among the heavenly inhabitants the beauty of Mary, the Mother of God: "Why are you so enamored of my face that you do not turn your gaze to the beautiful garden which blossoms under the radiance of Christ?  There is the Rose in which the Divine Word became flesh; here are the lilies whose perfume guides you in the right ways" (Paradiso, 23 71-75).

But Dante uses also a more general symbolism of the rose, that of the universe (Paradiso, 31, 1-3), like the lotus in Asia. Indeed, with its multiple petals the rose is a beautiful image of our expanding cosmos.

Wonderful examples of this symbolism are found in the gothic cathedrals and their rose windows, the circular, stained glass windows that enhance the three entrances of these churches.  These immense roses symbolize the world of salvation offered and revealed by God to our lost human race through the Old and New Testaments.

Christ is at the center of these rose windows, where he appears usually as judge or in the mystery of His Incarnation.  In the later example, we see Mary presenting the Child Jesus.  All around are figures and scenes of the Bible illustrating the history of our salvation.  In this artistic creation the universal symbolism of the rose found one of its most exalted expressions.

The symbolism of the rose assumed a Marian association in a privileged manner through two themes: the rose garden and the devotion of the rosary.

During the Middle Ages the theme of the rose garden developed from the symbolism of the rose in the literature of courtly love, using the rose as the symbol of the beloved lady.

Later the influence of the Song of Songs led to the rose symbolizing the mystical union between Christ and his Church, or between God and each member of His people.  Because Mary was honored as the model of our union with God, the rose became a privileged symbol of the union between Christ and Mary.  The Litany of Loreto includes the title, "Mystical Rose."

Mary holding a rose (and not a scepter) appears in the art of the thirteenth century.  The theme of Mary in a rose garden or under a rose arbor or before a tapestry of roses inspired many artists of the Rhineland.

During the Renaissance the rose garden theme came to represent human love and lovers.  But, at the same time, the religious, Marian symbolism of the rose was popularized by the devotion of the rosary.

The structured prayer form of 150 Hail Marys was termed a "rosary."  This expression came from the Latin rosarium or rosaries, a name given to works collecting the best of some teaching.  For example, Arnold of Villanova wrote a Rosarius Philosophorum, explaining that it was a compendium, a thesaurus, a treasury of philosophy.  Here the symbolism of the rosary ended in abstract use.  In contrast, the rosary stands as a precious anthology of spirituality.

Our Lady of the Rosary is Our Lady of the roses, because the flowers are the symbols of greeting offered to the Mother of God.  We greet her with spiritual flowers.

In a different perspective, Mary and the Child Jesus offer the rosary to their devotees.  In his Feast of the Rosary (1506),  artist Albrecht Dürer represents Jesus and Mary handing out crowns of roses.

The internationally renowned Marian Library at the University of Dayton (the world's largest assemblage of Marian publications and materials), possesses a number of artistic portrayals of the rosary.  Some contain a circle of fifteen medallions depicting the main events of the lives of Jesus and Mary, which constitute the rosary prayer.  Ten roses representing the ten Hail Marys that accompany the contemplation of each mystery of the Christian faith separate each medallion from the others.

Another use of the rose as a spiritual symbol is emblematic.  The rose became a moral emblem to illustrate various adages or maxims.  For example, "Life is a rose.  Its beauty fades rapidly."  Or, "As the rose blossoms under the sun, I shall blossom under the eyes of God."

In another emblem, the rose of our life blossoms among the thorns: pain, hard work, wickedness, disappointment.  But God brings good out of our miseries.

The late, revered Mariologist, Father Theodore A. Koehler, S. M., summarized the universal symbolism of the rose in Christian practice in this brief prayer:

May God look with favor upon our world, the rose he created, that it may more expand its petals and so glorify him, our Creator and Father, in imitation of the rose of Nazareth, Mary, the servant of the Lord.

Marian Events

Title: Mary for Today: Renewing Catholic Marian Devotion after the Second Vatican Council Through St. Louis-Marie de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary

Theme: Thesis Defense

Date: Monday, July 15, 2019, 1:30-3:30 pm

Location: University of Dayton, HM 344

You are invited to the thesis defense of M. Olivia Seeger.

Mary in the Catholic Press

Our Lady of Mount Carmel: The Way of Contemplation (Zenit) July 17, 2017

On July 16, 2017, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pope Francis encouraged men and women Carmelites to continue on the way of contemplation.

Greeting the religious of the order at the end of the Angelus, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope expressed his hope that "they will be able to continue with determination on the way of contemplation."

He also published a Tweet later that afternoon: "Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the Virgin Mary on the path that leads to the holy mountain, which is Jesus, where God and man encounter one another."

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.

Rosary for Life (Catholic Telegraph) June 26, 2019

Prayers are for the women, babies, and workers outside of the Women's Medical Center, 1401 East Stroop Road, Kettering; Rosary July 13 at 9:20 am.

Complete Article

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Weekly Marian Features: July 8, 2019

Peace, hope and devotion
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Weekly Marian Features: July 15, 2019

Focusing on Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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