Mary in the News: August 11, 2017

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


Father Thomas Thompson, S.M., will be in Korea participating in a two-day Marianist Bicentennial program, August 14-15, giving four two-hour presentations. He invites prayers for the Marianists in Korea.

Kayla Harris, Librarian/Archivist at The Marian Library, will make a presentation on apparitions and related collections at the PechaKucha Dayton event at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August. 17, 2017 on the second floor of Roesch Library. Be sure to attend this fun idea-sharing party and networking event. Click here for more information.


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

Brief write-up about a rare Marian book in the Vatican Library Newsletter

The President of Latvia, Raimonds Vējonis, and his wife, Iveta, visited the Vatican Apostolic Library on June 2, 2017. The occasion of the visit may be linked to the presence in the Library of the beautiful volume, Terra Mariana: 1186-1886, printed in Riga in 1888, a unique copy hand-painted with watercolors and given to Pope Leo XIII on the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. At the time, this gesture of the Latvian people was meant to illustrate their long-standing and profound adherence to Christianity and their special devotion to the Virgin Mary. The gesture was also meant to help foster closer relations with the Church of Rome.
Click here to view the August 2017 issue of the Vatican Library Newsletter in English [go to page 6 for the article mentioned above].


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Blessed Jakob Gapp, S.M. (1897-1943), Witness to Faith and Justice by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

The feast of the Marianist martyr for the faith and for social justice, Blessed Jakob Gapp, is celebrated on August 13.

Heroes and models are important in the lives of all. Our Marianist candidates for sainthood are a mark of divine approval of our charism and ideal. One such model is Jakob Gapp. What do we know about him?

Blessed Jakob was the seventh child of a working class family in Austria's Tyrol. During military service in World War I on the Italian front he was wounded, captured as a prisoner of war, and received a medal of courage. When he returned home he learned about the Society of Mary (Marianists) from a relative. In 1920 he entered the novitiate at the age of 23. A year later, in 1921, he professed the vows of religious life, and in 1930 he was ordained a priest.

Jakob was a conscientious teacher and an  ardent advocate of social justice. His concern for the poor was intense. And he was a vocal foe of National Socialism (Nazism). He strongly insisted on the incompatibility of  National Socialism and Christianity. Christianity teaches the love of all persons regardless of nationality or religion. God supersedes Caesar. He was moved frequently among various schools and parishes across Europe because he was constantly shadowed by the Gestapo.  

In 1943, the Gestapo arrested him in southern France near the Spanish border and took him to Berlin for imprisonment. Condemned to death on July 2, Jakob Gapp was guillotined for treason on August 13, the anniversary of his entrance to the novitiate. His two farewell letters, one to his family and one to his provincial superior, are gems.  The laudatory testimonies of Nazi leaders, Roland Freisler and Heinrich Himmler, are superlative tributes to his sterling character.

Pope St. John Paul II beatified Jakob Gapp in 1996. Biographers and commentators extolled Blessed Jakob for these outstanding virtues: a passion for truth, unwavering faith, commitment to the Church, and dedication to Mary. For us who follow in his steps, he is a model of service to the truth, to the Church, and to Mary. He is an icon of advocacy for social justice. All Christians are called to be relevant and significant to the Church and to society.

Blessed Jakob Gapp, pray for us!


Marian Events

Theme: The Promise and Our Part in the Plan

Location: Martin Auditorium at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts

Date: October 7, 2017--Day Program: 8 am – 5 pm, Evening Program: 6 - 9 pm

A full-day Marian evangelization event presented by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, The Promise & Our Part in the Plan will focus on the integral message of Fatima, Our Lady's invitation to live the Gospel today. Click here for more information, here to view the promotional poster, and here to purchase tickets.


Mary in the Catholic Press

"If Relationship With Mary Is Lacking, There Is Orphanhood in Heart," Says Pope (Zenit website) May 9, 2017

Ahead of his Apostolic Visit to Fatima, May 12-13, Pope Francis has urged Rome's Portuguese Pontifical College to turn to Our Lady. Francis did so yesterday, May 8, 2017, when receiving the pontifical college in audience at the Vatican. Talking with the community in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father reminded them that "to have a good relationship with the Virgin, helps us to have a good relationship with the Church," because "both are Mothers...."

Click here to read the entire 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.

A better way to teach teenage boys about the Virgin Mary (America) August 3, 2017

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception has been a regular source of angst for me as a teacher at an all-boys Jesuit high school. Aside from posing an arcane, if weighty, theological concept, the celebration of the Virgin Mary's sinless birth offers to me little by way of personal access or invitation. I can only imagine what 1,000 teenage boys make of it as they gather in respectful, compulsory attendance for Mass in a darkened auditorium. Where the energetic Mass of the Holy Spirit kicks off the school year with goblets of fire on the altar, and the Thanksgiving Mass calls students to be generous with stark images of global poverty, this holy day just feels like "church."

Talking about the Immaculate Conception in class presents its own challenges. The absence of a female voice in our discussions carries an obvious cost: before we even begin class, the woman is established as the jarring "other." If I hope to inspire sympathy in the boys for the complexities and burdens experienced by women, celebrating the spiritual stainlessness of a woman who would then up the ante with a virgin birth does not help.

 Surprisingly, I have found Marian art to be a fruitful avenue of engagement in the classroom. Examining paintings, some chosen by the students and others by me, taps into a vulnerability that teenage boys are generally reluctant to reveal.

Click here to read the entire article.


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