In the News: Posted April 21, 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

I would like to ask your help in finding the German text and music notation for a beautiful Marian hymn titled Ave Maria Kaiserin. The composer is anonymous, but thought to have been Palestrina. Thank you for any help you can offer.

Sincerely, James



Three IMRI students each gave the following 20-minute presentations in the LTC Meeting Space (ground floor of Roesch Library) for the Stander Symposium on Wednesday, April 15, 2015:

3:00 pm - The Virgin Mary: “the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys” (Sg 2:1) -- by Maria Garcia.

3:20 pm - An Operatic Depiction of Mary's Spiritual Maternity: Boito's Prologue -- by Richard Lenar
3:40 pm - Mary, a Teacher and Evangelizer of the Sciences? -- by Jim Koelsch.
The Virgin Mary: “the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys” (Sg 2:1) by Maria Garcia at 3:00 pm in LTC Meeting Space
The Blessed Virgin Mary is often associated with the bride of the Song of Songs. In this holy poem, the bride describes herself as both “the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valleys.” (Sg 2:1) This presentation will provide some description of these flowers and how some authors and commentators have identified Mary with the bride of the Song of Songs in relation to them. These two Middle Eastern flowers symbolize the beauty and the purity of the Our Lady. The cultural significance of these two flowers leads to a deeper understanding of Mary and the role of every member of the Church.
An Operatic Depiction of Mary's Spiritual Maternity: Boito's Prologue by Richard Lenar at 3:20 pm in LTC Meeting Space
The "Prologue in Heaven," the opening section of the opera Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito, includes dramatic elements which are related to Marian doctrine and devotion, especially Mary's spiritual maternity. Examples include Mary's role in opposing and overcoming the devil; Mary as advocate and intercessor; the heavenly liturgy, which praises both God and Mary; Mary's close relationship to the Trinity; and Mary, Queen of Angels. The talk will examine these elements through the use of recorded excerpts, musical analysis and theological commentary. The discussion will focus on how aspects of Mary's spiritual maternity influence the reciprocal relationship between the opera's musical content and the devotional/theological perspectives of the opera's libretto.
Mary, a Teacher and Evangelizer of the Sciences? by James R. Koelsch at 3:40 pm in LTC Meeting Space
What wisdom could a first-century Jewish Christian like Mary, the mother of Jesus, possibly impart to modern scientists, engineers, and other technologists? For many, the answer is absolutely nothing. In fact, some would even go so far as to say that religion is an obstacle to science and its power to improve the lives of vast numbers of people worldwide. This presentation will argue that quite the opposite is true--that Mary is a teacher of a particular kind of wisdom that is indeed capable of guiding the sciences in their quest for doing the good. The presentation will describe what this wisdom is, explain how the scientific culture lost it, and propose how the mother of Jesus can help scientists and engineers to rediscover it.


Mary in Books, Films, and Music

TV Series Faithfully Tells Story of Church's Beginnings

Easter Day saw the broadcast of a new twelve-part series on the American network, NBC, called A.D. The Bible Continues. For Catholics, the title could just as well be, A.D.- The Church is Founded. Based in the New Testament book, The Acts of the Apostles, the new television series is the brainchild of Catholic actress and producer, Roma Downey, and her husband, Mark Burnett.

"This production is for all Christians," she explained, "but we have worked with a Catholic publisher, Sophia Institute Press, to produce excellent Catholic study guides.”

We discussed how the series presents Mary, the mother of the Lord. Protestant film portrayals often neglect the important role of the Blessed Virgin. Downey assured me that Mary is portrayed at the foot of the cross as the Mother of Sorrows and is present at the center of the apostolic Church at the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholic doctrines are not explicit in the film, but they are portrayed accurately and visually as the kernel of the later doctrinal development.

Click here to see an informative article from Zenit, here to see a two-minute video clip with a character profile of Mary [played by Great Scacchi], and here to view episode three (43 minutes).


From the Marian Treasure Chest
The Litany of Loreto by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M. (appears on pp. 38-39 of the May/June 2015 issue of The Catholic Response)

The list of praises to Mary owes much to the Akathist Hymn of the Byzantine Churches. As circumstances changed, invocations were added or dropped, and the litany is still being revised in our lifetime. Newest invocations: Mother of the Church and Queen of Families

In 1980 "Mother of the Church" was inserted into the Litany of Loreto after "Mother of Christ" and before "Mother of Divine Grace." At the close of the third session of the Second Vatican Council in 1964 Pope Paul VI officially declared this new Marian title: "For the glory of the Blessed Virgin and our consolation, we proclaim Mary most holy as 'Mother of the Church', that is, of the whole People of God, both of the faithful and of the pastors who all call her their most loving Mother." Pope John Paul II explained that this "stresses the complete motherhood of Mary toward Christ and toward the Church, as Mother of the Head and Mother of the members of the Mystical Body."

Saint John Paul II authorized in 1995 the use of "Queen of Families" to be inserted after "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary" and before "Queen of Peace." This flows naturally from the fact that Mary is Mother of the Church, including the Domestic Church--the family. The pope pointed out that "Mary called herself the 'handmaid of the Lord'. (Lk 1:38) Through obedience to the Word of God she accepted her lofty, yet not easy vocation as wife and mother in the family of Nazareth. Putting herself at God's service, she also put herself at the service of others: a service of love.... We invoke her as 'Queen'. For her to reign is to serve. Her service is to reign."

Holy Mary, pray for 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

Cardinal Calls for Discovering Further Roles for Women from Zenit (Vatican City) April 16, 2015

I am very glad to be here today to join in this important conference. I thank the organizers, the United States Embassy to the Holy See, the Russell Berrie Foundation and the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue. It is my honor to open the panel by sharing some experiences and some thoughts of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the engagement of women in conflict resolution, reconciliation, and peace-building.

Women in prominent roles

Before I turn to their special attributes, I wish to begin by noting women's contributions generally. History books and many institutions seem to notice men more than women. But if we look, what do we find? ...

Mary, model of peace

Mary, the Mother of God, conceived, bore, and raised Jesus Christ and walked with him to His death on the Cross. Closeness to Mary in prayer is the authentic source of women's engagement for peace and reconciliation. "Mary, queen of peace, is close to women of our day because of their motherhood, her example of openness to others' needs and her witness of suffering. Mary lived, with a deep sense of responsibility, the plan which God willed to carry out in her for the salvation of all humanity." Mary can teach us all the importance of accompaniment, of walking with people caught in the dehumanizing dynamics of deadly conflicts.

Through her nearness to Mary and her Son, Blessed Mother Teresa became an apostle of peace in the world. She was a life-long peace-builder through her service to the poorest of the poor. As she said, "everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that parents have very little time for their children. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world...."

Click here to see the complete article from Zenit.


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.

Hesburgh Lecture Series Returns to Springfield (Catholic Telegraph--Cincinnati, Ohio) April 15, 2015

The Notre Dame Club of Springfield and St. Teresa Parish has announced that the club will again co-sponsor a Hesburgh Lecture in May. Professor Timothy Matovina, Professor of Theology and the Executive Director for the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, will present a lecture entitled, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Tradition. The lecture is open to the public and admission is free. Father Collins Hall is handicapped accessible. Refreshments will follow the lecture. For more information, call the Parish Office of St. Teresa Parish in Springfield, Ohio at 937-342-8861.

Click here to read the entire article (see page 4).


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