In the News: November 16, 2015

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


Dr. Annamaria Poma-Swank, who taught many courses on Mary and Art at IMRI, recently published a book about the sinful woman mentioned in Luke 7 called Maria detta "la maddalena" la donna senza nome [Mary called "the Magdalene"--the Unnamed Woman]. This new book is available in Italian from Edizioni Polistampa. Click here for details (in Italian). Dr. Swank is also preparing another book, The cult of Mary Magdalene in Florence: Loci memoriae (places and memory), for publication.

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

Mary and the Saints 2016 Wall Calendar

The stunning 2016 Mary and the Saints wall calendar is designed to suit every taste and inspire greater devotion to the Blessed Mother for every day of the year. This calendar contains special feasts and fascinating Catholic traditions. They are marked with days of Fasting, special Saints Days, and the Sundays of the Liturgical Year for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Calendar. The wall calendar--filled with gorgeous Old Master artwork, meditations and prayers--allows ample space for personal notes, appointments, and special occasions.

Click here for more information, including a short video clip, or to order copies.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below along with the following comments: "This article about our Thanksgiving Day was published in Serra News, October 2015, page 7."

Origin of our Thanksgiving Day by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

St. Paul urged us to give thanks to God always. Our forebears and our founding fathers, active Christians, often followed this sage counsel. And eventually our national day of Thanksgiving evolved.

The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated on September 8, 1565, in what is now St. Augustine, Florida, by Spanish settlers and Timucua Indians. On that day the first Mass, an act of thanksgiving, was celebrated on American soil, and it was followed by a feast of bean soup.

 Another Thanksgiving was observed in El Paso, Texas, under the leadership of Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate, who declared: "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity ... I take possession of this whole land this April 30, 1598, in honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on this day of the Ascension of Our Lord ...." Mass was celebrated and a feast of geese, cranes, and ducks was enjoyed by the colonists, followed by a play organized by the Franciscan missionaries honoring the Native American converts.

Another interesting note concerns Squanto, the Native American who helped the Puritan pilgrims and Native Americans arrange at Plymouth Rock in 1621 what is the historical forerunner of our Thanksgiving. Squanto had previously been captured and enslaved by the English, but was freed by the Spanish Franciscans, and was baptized a Catholic. Thus, a Catholic contributed to arranging our Thanksgiving Day. 

Thanksgiving is one of the most loved and honored American holidays. Some travel considerable distances to spend this day with family. Spending time with family is surely a special blessing. But it is important to remember that Thanksgiving is much more than turkey, stuffing, and football. Unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day and the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is clearly religious in nature. As a nation of faith with Christian foundation, we set aside this day to thank God for his many blessings.

During his first year in office, 1789, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."

In 1815 President James Madison issued a proclamation for "a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgements to Almighty God for his great goodness." But after Madison, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in the New England states for 48 years.

During the Civil War a concerned magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hales, petitioned the Lincoln administration in 1863 that a day of Thanksgiving "now needs national recognition and official fixation to become permanently an American custom and institution." That year President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans to "fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

Thoughts to ponder this Thanksgiving. Thanks be to God!

Marian Events

National Geographic to publish Marian article in their magazine and to broadcast a companion piece in their Explorer series

When National Geographic decided to devote the December 2015 cover story to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, they turned to the International Marian Research Institute/Marian Library for expertise.

Father Bert Buby, S.M., and Father Johann Roten, S.M., are quoted in the story, which hits newsstands November 24. A companion television program, The Cult of Mary will air Sunday, December 13, through the National Geographic Explorer series.

In the meantime, you can read the story and view a variety of multimedia on the National Geographic website "How the Virgin Mary Became the World's Most Powerful Woman."

Author, Maureen Orth, contacted him earlier this year, says Buby, because of the trilogy he wrote on Mary. Orth traveled to Dayton in March and spent a day with him in The Marian Library, learning from faculty and students there.

Orth and Buby even attended Mass together at the Chaminade Chapel.

He understands why interest in Mary and Marian apparitions continue to fascinate the world.

"Mary continues to exist in a real way," he said. "She's a universal type of woman."

Mary in the Catholic Press

Message of Archbishop of Paris from Zenit (Paris) November 15, 2015

The Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, has issued this statement on the terrorist attacks of Friday. Here is Vatican Radio's translation of the statement: 

* * *

Our city of Paris, our country, was hit last night with particular savagery and intensity. After the attacks of last January, after the attack in Beirut this week and many others in these past months, including in Nigeria and other African countries, our country knows anew the pain of grief and must face the barbarism spread by fanatical groups.

This morning I pray, and invite Catholics of Paris to pray, for those who were killed yesterday and for their families, for the injured and their loved ones and for those who are hard at work assisting them, for the police forces who face formidable challenges, and for our leaders and country, so that together we will remain in unity and peace of heart.

I ask the parishes of Paris to comply strictly with the measures issued by public authorities. I ask them to make today and tomorrow days of mourning and prayer. Sunday evening at 18.30 I will preside at Mass at Notre-Dame de Paris for the victims and their families and for our country; the bell of the cathedral will toll at 18.15. Catholic Television (KTO) will broadcast this Mass, allowing all who wish to join us.

Faced with the violence of men, may we receive the grace of a firm heart, without hatred. May the moderation, temperance and control that has been shown so far, be confirmed in the weeks and months to come; let no one indulge in panic or hatred. We ask that grace be the artisan of peace. We need never despair of peace if we build on justice.

+ Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris

Click here to read the 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.

Christmas and Beyond (University of Dayton News) October 26, 2015

The University of Dayton will celebrate Christmas and Beyond with its annual exhibit of Nativities from around the world and the installation of a new model train display built to tell the story of Jesus' young life.

At the Manger: Christmas and Beyond runs from Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, to Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, inside Roesch Library. It is free and open to the public. A grand opening celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 28 will feature children's activities, light refreshment, entertainment by the Dayton Celebration Chorus and a college football viewing area.

"We want to make sure people understand that when we talk about the Nativity, it's not only a representation of the Holy Family surrounded by shepherds, kings and oxen. We want to put the Nativity as we traditionally know it into a broader context--historically speaking, but also from the point of view of meaning and significance," said the Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., Marian Library director of research and special projects....

Click here to read the entire article.


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Weekly Features: November 16, 2015

Features for this week focus mostly on the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.

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Weekly Features: November 16, 2015

Features for this week focus mostly on the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.

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