In the News: Posted March 28, 2015

By Michael Duricy

ML/IMRI Features

Marian Events

Mary in the Catholic Press

Mary in the Secular Press

Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute Features

Reader Comments

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our institute and its website, The Mary Page. Thank you all for your encouragement and support. The following is a typical example.

Hello. I love the picture on your website. What is the title of the background picture of the angel with Mary on the home page and who is the artist?
It's absolutely stunning!!! How can I see the whole picture alone? Thanks for your time,


In response, this image is the Annunciation detail from the Mirror of Hope by Kevin Hanna. This is one of the Marian Library's signature pieces and is always on display in the first floor gallery in Roesch Library here on the University of Dayton campus. 


I am looking forward to the Holy Week Liturgies here.  I have been keeping busy here.  I work in our library, among other things, I really enjoy working there but it's not nearly as busy as The Marian Library. I remember my time there often and I miss everyone there. I hope you have a blessed  Holy Week and Easter.
Sister Phyllis


Mary in Books, Films, and Music

New film about Jesus Christ Premieres

Since the beginning of film, Jesus' life has been brought to the big screen by dozens of directors. Óscar Parra de Carrizosa now joins the list. The director of the award-winning "Under a Canopy of Stars" presents his latest film, "The Spine of God."

The film covers three years of Jesus of Nazareth's preaching from the point of view of the Apostles. The director wants to show Jesus as God and as man....
Click here to see the complete article from Rome Reports which includes a two-minute video clip.


From the Marian Treasure Chest
The Easter Vigil Proclaims the Light of Christ by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Knowing more about the Easter Vigil helps us to understand it, appreciate it, and live the Paschal Mystery on a deeper level.


From the outset the Easter Vigil, originally and more appropriately called the Paschal Vigil, has been celebrated at night. In the beginning it was a very plain ceremony--an assembly that ended with the breaking of the bread and an agape. One or more days of fasting preceded the Easter Vigil.

Later, as the Easter vigil developed in Rome and in places where the Roman rite was followed, this tradition added a baptismal rite, the ceremony of the lucernarium, blessing of the new fire, and a candlelight procession.

As it developed the Easter Vigil became more and more meaningful and focused. From the very first, the celebration took place at night like the weekly Eucharist, because most of the faithful could not assemble during the day. 

The evangelists already situated the discovery of the tomb "as the first day of the week was dawning" (Mt 28:1), "very early" (Mk 16:2; Jn 20:1), "at dawn." (Lk 24:1) The thrust is that Jesus is the "light of the world" that came into the world as a "revelation to the Gentiles." (Lk 2:32)

 Significance of the ceremony

In Baptism the believer passes from death to life (Col 2:12). Ritually and really the neophyte, the newly baptized person, is plunged with Christ into death so as to come to new life with the one who "was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father." (Rom 6:4) For this reason Baptism is called "illumination" (in Biblical Greek, photismos) and the baptized, "illuminated." Light is the dominant theme.

In our day, thanks to electricity, we can have as much light as we want whenever we want it. This was not the case in the past, when lighting the lamps in the evening was a rite. This was generally a happy occasion, when many lamps were lit as for a banquet at the beginning of the Sabbath on a Friday evening. Christians understood that this light which drives away the darkness is a symbol of the Christ-light. 

The procession led by the Paschal Candle represents the journey of God's people no longer led by a bright cloud but by the glorious light that shines on every person coming into the world (Jn 1:9). This rite is most solemn in the context of the great night illuminated by the resurrected Christ. This is eloquently explained in the solemn proclamation of the Lord's resurrection that we now call the Exsultet.

Because all lights were extinguished on Holy Thursday evening, it is necessary to light a new flame in order to celebrate a liturgy at night. And so the ritual developed: the blessing of a new fire and the procession into the church led by the Paschal Candle as the celebrant intoned "Light of Christ!" and the faithful responded "Thanks be to God!"

Recession, then development

Over the centuries this celebration underwent some problems and waned in significance. As late as the thirteenth century the liturgy was still not entirely structured. Since the seventh century there had been a general decline, and this event was celebrated early in the day on Holy Saturday. When Pope St. Pius V reformed the Missal in the sixteenth century following the Council of Trent, he forbade the celebration of the Eucharist after midday. Consequently on Holy Saturday morning in churches brightened with sunlight and a barely perceptible flame on the Easter Candle, the celebrant sang, "O night truly blessed!" In addition very few people were able to attend this long liturgy on Holy Saturday morning. This added to its diminished appreciation.

The Biblical, patristic, theological, and liturgical renewal that began to swell in the 1920's indicated the unacceptability of this condition and the impoverishment of the Easter celebration. In 1951 Pope Pius XII authorized the celebration of the Easter vigil during the evening hours of Holy Saturday, and revised the rites to foster greater congregational participation. Then in 1955 he decreed that the Easter Vigil must take place at night. In our day we follow the "Missal of Pope Paul VI" promulgated in 1969 following the Second Vatican Council. 

Today the Easter vigil has four parts: 1) the blessing of the fire, procession of the Easter Candle, and the chanting of the Exsultet; 2) the Liturgy of the Word; 3) the Baptismal liturgy, which includes at least the blessing of the water and the renewal of baptismal vows; 4) culminates in the Eucharistic liturgy.

This solemn celebration of the Lord’s resurrection is the zenith of the liturgical year, “the solemnity of solemnities.”

The challenge

While the spoken word is very important in the liturgy, we are called to be more alert to the symbolism, both in things and in actions. We are asked to approach with a receptive attitude, ready to be engaged in a way that appeals both to the mind and to the heart, to one's whole being. We are invited to look attentively on the realities present in signs that cannot be fully captured in words. This is how we are called to participate fully in the Easter Vigil.

The Easter Vigil invites us to action--to go forth and reflect the light of the resurrected Christ to the world around us.


Marian Events

The 2015 annual conference of the Mariological Society of America will be held at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, North Carolina from May 19-22 on the theme: Mary and Holy Families Living Today. Click here to see the Conference Program or here to see the Registration Form.


Mary in the Catholic Press

International vigil at St. Mary Major for the Twentieth anniversary of the encyclical, Evangelium Vitae from VIS (Vatican City) March 24, 2015

The Pontifical Council for the Family has organized an international vigil to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of St. John Paul II's encyclical, Evangelium Vitae. According to a press release from the dicastery, the event is a form of thanksgiving for the fruits of the pastoral care of life, and will also serve to spread the benefits of prayer for life as well as to recall eternal life, the destiny of every human being.

The vigil will be divided into three stages: it will begin at 5 p.m. in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, with an explanation of various artistic elements of the basilica relating to the theme of life. At 6 p.m. an original rosary will be prayed, focusing on the contemplation of the Gospel passages linked to the theme of life, interspersed with experiences related by the faithful. This will be followed, at 7 p.m., by a Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who comments that "the anniversary of the Encyclical and this vigil that commemorates it, on the eve of the Annunciation, is particularly meaningful as it makes manifest the intimate connection between the mystery of life and the experience of the family, made up of affection and social relationships. Defending life means participating in the alliance between God, man and woman."

The international character of the vigil is accentuated by the participation of the shrines of Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe, where rosaries will be recited, dedicated to life, as part of the initiative, "A rosary embraces the world."

The Italian television channel Telepace will transmit live the events of the vigil from 5.15 p.m., while English-, French- and Italian-speaking viewers will be able to take part in the Holy Rosaries of Lourdes, according to the following schedule: at 2.30 p.m. (local time) the Rosary will be broadcast by the main American Catholic television channels; at 3.30 p.m. by the French Catholic channel KTO, and at 6 p.m. in Italy, by the broadcaster TV2000.

Click here to see the complete article.


Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of The Mary Page 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.

Chicopee's Marie Meder continues mission to document area shrines to Virgin Mary (masslive.com) August 12, 2013

Mary, Mother of Jesus. The Blessed Mother. The Virgin Mary. Our Lady. Her names vary in Catholicism, but devotion to her to help with life's burdens and blessings is universal and sometimes newsworthy, as when a small popular statue of her was removed this spring from a traffic island in West Springfield, and then allowed to return, pending a legal ruling from the town.

Shrines to Mary, be they in back yards, along the sides of the road or on church property, are common in just about every ethnicity.

For Marie Proulx Meder, of Chicopee, devotion to Mary is an ongoing mission to find as many statues of her as possible. Her particular interest is in what she calls "Mary’s Gardens," outdoor statues of Mary, usually in a special setting, often incorporating flowers....

Click here to see the complete article.


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