In the News: June 17, 2016

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


Brother Andrew Kosmowski, S.M., has been elected the Recording Secretary of the Ohio Theological Library Association. He will also be will be attending Horizons, an international retreat in Spain for young Marianist brothers and sisters, from June 29 – July 26, 2016.

Father Thomas Thompson, S.M., and Dr. Deyanira Flores (visiting IMRI faculty member) presented at the Mariological Society of America annual meeting, held May 17–20, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.
MSA 2016

Click here to view a musical slideshow of 85 photos from the 2016 annual meeting of the Mariological Society of America.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

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

Our Lady of Refuge, Patroness of Both Californias by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Our Lady of Refuge, Nuestra Señora del Refugio, is Patroness of Both Californias (Ambas Californias). This festival is celebrated as an obligatory memorial on July 5 in California.

The Franciscan missionary, Francisco Diego Garcia y Moreno, was the first Bishop of the Californias--Baja California (lower California in what is now Mexico) and Alta California (upper California in the present U.S.A.). It was he who proclaimed Nuestra Señora del Refugio, Patrona de las Ambas Californias. The official proclamation was made by Bishop Garcia Diego on January 4, 1843, at Mission Santa Clara in Alta California.

The Episcopal Proclamation

The entire text of Bishop Garcia Diego's declaration is recorded in Mission Santa Clara's Libro de Patentes. After citing the early Fathers of the Church on the practice and spiritual benefits of naming patron saints, the first bishop of the Californias stated: "We make known to you that we hereby name the great Mother of God in her most precious title, del Refugio, the principal patroness of our diocese ... With so great a patroness and protectress, what can we not promise ourselves? What can be wanting and whom need we fear?

"If through the centuries this most worthy Mother of God has shown goodness and compassion to all peoples and nations ... will she not do likewise for those peoples who bind themselves to her as their refuge and special patroness?"

All California missions, and the parishes established later, celebrated this patronal feast with great solemnity. In the many political and historical shifts, interest in celebrating the feast had waned. But now the feast is attracting fresh attention.

The Liturgical Feast

In 1981 the California Catholic Conference of Bishops petitioned the Vatican Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship for authorization to observe the feast of Our Lady of Refuge on July 5 as an obligatory memorial. This was approved by official document dated January 15, 1982, and signed by Archbishop Giuseppe Casoria.

The dioceses of Baja California celebrate this patronal feast on July 4. Because of Independence Day, the dioceses of Alta California chose July 5, and the memorial is listed for that day in their Ordo. The feast of Our Lady of Refuge (sometimes called Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners) has its own proper prayers for the Eucharistic Liturgy and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Over the last century and a half the original Diocese of Ambas Californias has been divided many times on both sides of the border as the local Church has grown. Until the end of the nineteenth century the priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco prayed a special liturgical office for the feast of Our Lady of Refuge. In the Dioceses of San Diego the feast has always been observed.

The renewal of interest in this Marian feast honoring the patroness of the Golden State was stimulated by the 1987-1988 Marian Year observance and Pope John Paul II's encouragement to revitalize interest in special, local feasts of the Virgin Mother Mary.

The Image

The entire coat of arms of Bishop Garcia Diego included only the image of Our Lady of Refuge. A painting of Our Lady of Refuge holding her Child, usually the product of a local or native artist, graced each mission church after the bishop's proclamation. To this day most of the twenty-one missions of Alta California still display this image in the churches or in their museums.

The original painting of Our Lady of Refuge came to the Franciscan Apostolic College of Guadalupe at Zacatecas in Mexico from Italy. An Italian Jesuit missionary brought it to Mexico to explain the enthusiastic interest in Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners, that had developed in parish missions in eighteenth century Italy. Devotion to the Mother of Jesus under this title and in this pictorial representation gained wide popularity among the Mexican and Californian Franciscans and the people they served.

Paintings of Our Lady of Refuge are, with few exceptions, quite similar in design and execution. The heads of the Infant Jesus and His Mother, Mary, lean together with no background between them. Both figures wear a crown. Mary's eyes are turned toward the observer, while the gaze of the child seems to turn left of the viewer.

In the Santa Clara Mission church, the painting of Our Lady of Refuge is found above the larger picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in one of the side altar niches on the left as one nears the sanctuary. Another painting by Eulalio, a local Native American, is on display in Santa Clara University's De Saisset Museum near the mission church.

Other known and attractive portrayals of Our Lady of Refuge are found at Mission Santa Barbara, Mission San Francisco de Asis, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco.

The proper name, Refugio, was and still is given to both male and female Mexican children at the time of birth and baptism.

Church historians and native Californians applaud the move for restoring the Patroness of Both Californias to her original and rightful prominence in the local Church's liturgical calendar.


Marian Events

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary USA August 2016 Conference on Mary in Scripture

Date: August 4-6, 2016

Location: Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, NY

Come and join us for three full days of thought-provoking, scholarly presentations and lively dialogue!

This year's presenters include Dr. Mary Frances McKenna, Chair of the Dublin branch of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, the International Marian Research Institute, St. Tikon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, and Mount St. Mary College. A special panel of local clergy from Reformation traditions and a performance by the choir of Christ Lutheran Church round out the program.

For more information and to register, email esbvmeditor@hotmail.com.

(Please write "2016 Conference" in the subject line.) Registration deadline is July 15, 2016.

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary USA (ESBVM USA) exists to advance the study of Mary, the Mother of Christ, in Christian biblical and spiritual perspectives, and in the light of such study, to promote ecumenical interchange and prayer. Its aim is to show that in Mary, Christians of many traditions may find a focus in their search for unity.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Adam DeVille, is associate professor and chairman of the Department of Theology at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. His long list of publications includes Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity. Dr. DeVille's keynote address will shed light on the ecumenically controversial topic, "East-West Agreement on the Ecclesiological and Ecumenical Impact of the Dogmatic Definition of the Immaculate Conception."


Mary in the Catholic Press

Blessings Linked to certain Orders Can Be Imparted Now by Any Priest from Zenit May 17, 2016

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father, Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: This question is about the Benedictiones Propriae that are found in the Rituale Romanum. Can such blessings, reserved to priests belonging to certain religious orders, be validly imparted by any Catholic priest or only by the priests of the specific religious order? I ask this in the light of the instruction Universae Ecclesiae, especially No. 28. — A.C., Italy

A: The instruction Universae Ecclesiae further clarifies Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum....

These reserved blessings were principally:

Reserved to the Order of Servites: Blessing and erecting stations of the Sorrowful Mother in honor of Our Lady of the Seven Dolors; blessing and investiture with the black scapular of Our Lady of Sorrows; blessing of the rosary of the Seven Sorrows

Reserved to the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Ransoming of Captives: Blessing and investiture with scapular of Blessed Trinity; blessing of the rosary or Trisagion of the Most Holy Trinity

Reserved to the Congregation of Passionists: Blessing and investiture with the black scapular of Our Lord’s Sacred Cross and Passion

Reserved to the Congregation of the Missions: Blessing and investiture with the red scapular of Our Lord's Passion and Sacred Heart, and of the Immaculate Virgin's Loving and Compassionate Heart

Reserved to the Theatines, Clerks Regular: Blessing and investiture with the blue scapular of the Immaculate Virgin Mary

Reserved to the Order of Discalced Carmelites: Blessing and investiture with scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; blessing of water in honor of St. Albert, Confessor...

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.

Devotion to the Heart of Mary (Church Life Journal) June 2, 2016

On June 4 we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What are the scriptural, historical, and theological foundations for devotion to the Heart of Mary? How is devotion to the Heart of Mary linked to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Which magisterial documents and liturgical expressions provide support for devotion to the Heart of Mary?

The recent annual conference of the Mariological Society of America, held from May 17–23, 2016 at the Franciscan Retreat Center in Colorado Springs, focused exactly on this topic. With what follows I would like to give a brief overview of the presentations given by some of this country's most eminent Marian scholars. The theme Devotion to the Heart of Mary: Theological Foundations was chosen in light of the centennial of Mary's Apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, where Our Lady called for the consecration to her Immaculate Heart....

Click here to read the complete article.

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