Mary in the News: Nov. 30, 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


The University of Dayton is taking a "behind-the-(Nativity)-scenes" approach to At the Manger this year, the annual exhibition of Christmas creches, because of a major library renovation project slated to begin in early 2018. For the first time, visitors will be able to tour the Marian Library's creche workshop on the fourth floor of Fitz Hall to see how volunteers plan and construct exhibits. Click here to view the complete article, or see more details, including hours and parking, by visiting go.udayton.edu/manger.

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

New Animated Film on the First Christmas

Christians will be flocking to their local movie theaters this weekend, particularly to see the animated nativity story, The Star. The film is a beautiful recounting of the months leading up to Christ’s birth--the journey of the Holy Family, and even the animals, as they embark to Bethlehem. The story engages the imagination and successfully focuses on key points of the Christmas story, and it gives us a beautiful portrait of Mary. Her role as the mother of our God and savior shines out, especially as an example for all Christian believers....

The Star is a faithful and entertaining retelling of the Nativity of Christ, but it also does a marvelous job of presenting Mary to all Christian believers. Perhaps this film, which depicts Mary's shining example of faith, openness to the works and purposes of God, and compassion to all, will help all Christians learn to understand and appreciate the Mother of God, understand the role of Mary in salvation history with reverence, and desire to imitate her many virtues.

Click here to read a review by Father Edward Looney in Aleteia.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Rosary Spirituality by  Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Origin of the Rosary

The Rosary, the blessed beads that quietly slip between our fingers as we pray over the mysteries of Jesus' redemptive life, has an ancient origin. Most likely it originated in the ancient East and not in the medieval West, perhaps in India. It was, and still is, a popular prayer device among the Muslims, who use the Arabic term masbahat, which means to give praise. Devout Muslims used the masbahat in repeating the attributes of God, just as it was used by the early Christian hermits. Following the Crusades, the Rosary found its way to the West. The missionary who worked hardest to spread this devotion was Saint Dominic, and his Dominican companions.

The Rosary became a popular method of prayer and spread quickly in the West during the Middle Ages. For Christians, it has always been "the Gospel strung on beads." It is a simple and easy prayer that can be employed for vocal prayer or silent contemplation by individuals, families, and communities.

Papal Encouragement

Since the sixteenth century, the popes have frequently encouraged the faithful of East and West to pray the Rosary. The first was a Dominican pope, Saint Pius V, who wrote a papal letter about the Rosary in 1569, shortly after the Council of Trent, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the late nineteenth century, after the First Vatican Council, the illustrious Pope Leo XIII wrote more than ten encyclicals and instructions promoting the use of the Rosary.

To make pastoral applications of the Marian teachings of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI in 1974 authored the apostolic exhortation Devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus). Paul VI discussed the Rosary at some length as a summary of the Gospel comprised of prayers based on Gospel texts. He urged the faithful to pray the Rosary, and especially recommended the family Rosary in these words:

"We would like now to join our voice to the voices of our predecessors and strongly recommend the prayer of the Rosary in the family … because the Christian family is a family church …. If the family neglected this communal prayer, it would lose its character as a Christian family. In addition to the prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) … the Rosary of the Virgin Mary would be the most preferable communal prayer for the Christian family."

Pope Paul VI concluded his recommendation by saying: "We would like to repeat that the Rosary is an excellent and magnificent prayer…."

Pope St. John Paul II, enthusiastic devotee of our Blessed Mother, in 2002 issued a pastoral letter entitled The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, in which he proclaimed October 2002 until October 2003 the Year of the Rosary, and put forth the Luminous Mysteries based on the public life of Jesus. 

Pope Benedict XVI, valued the prayer of the Rosary as a means of contemplating Jesus with Mary's eyes. For him, pondering the mysteries of the Rosary calms a "restless spirit, allows the soul to settle into tranquility … and grants a vision of God." He associates the Rosary with consolation and healing, an inner refuge which enfolds us "in the rhythm of the prayer of the whole Church.... I do it quite simply," he said, "just as my parents used to pray."

The Rosary Today

Early on, the Rosary was a common method of prayer in the East among Christians and non-Christians. Even though it came to us through Western missionaries, it was, and still is, an easy and rich method of prayer to help the faithful fathom the mysteries of God along the journey of salvation. And we do so with a special companion, the Mother of God and our Mother. Praying the Rosary, particularly in the family, is an excellent method of bringing us together in the faith under the protection of her who always and everywhere intercedes for all people. Let us spare no effort to remain close to her.


Marian Events

Theme: A Franciscan Christmas

Location: Christian Moerlein Taproom, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio

Date: November 24, 2017 - January 1, 2018

This nativity includes multiple rooms with displays, a train set, and hundreds of creches from around the world. Free with donations welcomed for the support of Saint Francis Seraph church and school. Open on the following days: Wednesdays and Thursdays (4-10 p.m.); Fridays (4 p.m. - Midnight); Saturdays (Noon - Midnight); Sundays (1-7 p.m.)

The annual Saint Francis Seraph parish life-sized Nativity display with live animals will be in the walled courtyard of the church (a block away) and is available anytime from November 24, 2017 - January 1, 2018.


Mary in the Catholic Press

Parable of the Five Wise and Foolish Virgins (Zenit website) November 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

This Sunday's Gospel (Cf. Matthew 25:1-13), points out to us the condition to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and it does so with the parable of the ten virgins: it's about those bridesmaids who were in charge of receiving and accompanying the bridegroom to the wedding ceremony and, as at that time is was customary to celebrate it at night, the bridesmaids were equipped with lamps....

May the Virgin Mary help us to make our faith ever more operative through charity, so that our lamp can shine already here, on the earthly journey and then forever, at the wedding feast in Paradise.

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.

The Trump White House is all decked out for Christmas (businessinsider.com) November 28, 2017

Every year, the White House gets decked out in elaborate decorations to celebrate the holidays, and the Trumps have put their own personal touch on this season's Christmas flair.

The official theme this year is "Time-Honored Traditions," meant to pay homage to over two-hundred years of White House holiday celebrations.

First lady Melania Trump unveiled the transformation on Monday.

Click here to read the article (which has many photos including the entire creche).


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