This page is an organized collection of links about the Virgin Mary. All of the linked sites have been selected for inclusion because of high quality content.
Each of these links will help you see someone's understanding of or relationship with Mary. I hope this page helps you consider, create, or strengthen your own spiritual or intellectual links with Mary.
Also on this site: Marian Calendar for the full year.
Apparitions. General Apparition websites. Akita. Betania. Conyers. Fatima. Guadeloupe. Lourdes. Medjugorje.
Art, Music, Poetry.
Biography of Mary, Feast Days, and Doctrines. Birth & childhood. Annunciation. Young mother. Assumption. Coronation. Clothed with the sun. Doctrines/Dogmas: Immaculate conception. Mother of God. Perpetual virginity. New Eve. Advocate. Ark of the Covenant. Heavenly mother.
Books about Mary.
Documents, Articles, Writings.
Large general sites.
Non-Catholic religious traditions about Mary.
Prayers and Devotions Prayers, Various. Immaculate Heart of Mary. Rosary. Rosary Documents. On-line, computer, and radio Rosaries. Scapulars
Religious Orders and Lay Organizations Founded on Mary
Shrines. (See also particular Apparition sites).
Recommended weblogs and webrings.
University of Dayton's Marian Research Institute. Vast amount of information.
Catholic Forum. Large gallery of pictures. Posters and prints for sale. Full text of dozens of Marian prayers. Lists of people, places, and things for which Mary is Patroness.
EWTN Mary section. Doctrine, prayers, apologetics, devotions.
Mystical Rose Marian page. Part of a larger Catholic site. Lots of interesting articles--many with a fine collection of relevant links--which, even when one doesn't agree with them, still provoke thought on important issues. Among the best are devotion to the Holy Infant Mary, and Mary as the Mystical Rose.
Marianland. A "Catholic theme park" on the web. Includes collection of books and videos on Marian apparitions, and general books and videos on Mary. Also books & CD on the rosary. Plus MP3 downloads, Rafael pictures, tapes, and many documents.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Great site, with large collection of art, prayers, music, feast days, and more. Not updated since 1997.
Domestic-Church.com. Magazine about family living for Catholics. Lots of Mary materials.
The Virgin Mary. Excellent collection of art and other materials. Some advanced essays in Dutch.
Totus Tuus, Maria. Over a hundred essays on various Marian topics.
"She promised she'd be right there with me, when I paint my masterpiece."
This website attempts to offer visitors many gateways to intellectual engagement with Marian issues, and to direct personal experience. For many people, art provides the most immediate access to Mary. You don't have to sit around waiting for an apparition in order to see her glory -- including the glory of what great artists can create when they're truly inspired.
Mary's Media Foundation. Inspirational films.
ABC Gallery website's Virgin Mary page. An outstanding collection of a huge variety of classic paintings.
Marian Library Gallery. On-going exhibit of contemporary art, from the University of Dayton.
Immaculate Heart of Mary. Great site, with large collection of art, prayers,
music, feast days, and more. Not updated since 1998.
Patron Saints Index: The Blessed Virgin Mary. Approximately 300 images.
World's Great Madonnas. 39 classic pictures.
Catholic Online. Marian Gallery. A dozen famous paintings.
Catholic Online Marian Art Gallery. 12 classic paintings.
The Blessed Virgin Mary. 10 classic paintings.
The "MaryTalk" Picture Gallery. 32 great GIFs of statues and paintings.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Image Collection. Several galleries of images, holy card style.
Icons of the Mother of God. A dozen of the most important Eastern icons.
Icon of Perpetual Help.
Rare Portraits of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From Crete and points eastward.
YouTube videos, from Malta.
YouTube videos, from RemnantWorks. Fabric mosaic art. Video 1. Video 2.
FotoSearch. Stock art photography of Mary, available for purchase.
Giovanni Bellini (1426-1516). Eight Madonnas. The Encyclopedia Britannica writes that the best of Bellini's Marian art "provided humanity with the full grandeur of nature, and it is nature endowed with all that is religious in man. The unity achieved has an emotional warmth that is uniquely his."
Giotto di Bondone (1276-1337) was a Florentine painter far ahead of his time. He broke away from the stiff, two-dimensional characters of medieval painting; his rounded, natural human characters pointed the way to the Renaissance. At Padua, Italy, he painted the Scrovegni Chapel with eleven paintings of the life of Mary. Two of the paintings (The Suitors Hand Over the Rods, and The Prayer of the Suitors) depict a tale popularized by Jerome (the greatest Bible scholar of the early Christian world). In the story, many suitors vie for the hand of Mary; they each deposit their rods (also called "wands") in the Temple on an altar. By the next morning, Joseph's rod has grown leaves and branches.
Raphael (1483-1520) is probably the greatest Madonna painter of all time. Sixteen of his best Madonnas are available at the immense, and very interesting ChristusRex website. WebMuseum, Paris Raphael Page.
Marian Poetry Index. University of Dayton.
Poems for Our Lady of Guadeloupe.
Gerald Manley Hopkins, The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe.
The Mother of God. William Butler Yeats.
I Sing of a Maiden. Sister M. Thérèse (MacMillan, 1947). Hundreds of Marian poems, from antiquity to the present. Includes giants like Dante and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, as well as many little-known or anonymous authors. A prodigious collection. Not available directly from Amazon, but may be available from Amazon's auction or zShops.
Marian Music Archives. One more awesome page from the University of Dayton.
Bach, Johann Sebastian. Magnificat. With period instruments.
Durante, Francesco. Misere in Cm. Neapolitan Baroque choral music of the early 18th century, combining traditional (Palestrina) and modern (Monteverdi) styles. Texts are the Magnificat, and Psalms 50, 111, and 112, performed in a variety of keys.
Gautier de Coincy. Miracles of Notre Dame. 13th century troubadour.
St. Alphonsus di Liguori. On-line songs for Mary, composed by the saint.
Monteverdi, Claudio. Vespro Della Beata Vergine (Vespers of the Blessed Virgin). Originally composed for performance in Venice in the early 17th century, for the 14 Marian feasts. Although titled "Vespers," this music was also performed outside of church. First CD is musical versions of selections from Song of Songs, Psalms and other Old Testament Mary-related texts. Second CD is the hymn "Ave Maris Stella" (Mary's title of Star of the Sea was very important to sea-faring Venice, which considered itself to be Mary's city), plus two versions of the Magnificat. Sung in Latin by an outstanding choir, with period instruments.
Pergolisi. Stabat Mater. Medieval work about Mary mourning the loss of her son. Other artists with recordings of Stabat Mater include Dvořak, Scarlatti, Palestrina, and Rossini.
Music about Guadeloupe
San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble. Guadeloupe: Virgen do Los Indios. Traditional Mexican songs about the Virgin of Guadeloupe. Mixes Aztec and Spanish musical styles. Sung in Spanish and Nahuatl. The effect is similar to European madrigals.
This section of recommended books does not come even close to listing all the important books written about the most written-about woman in world history. Rather, the section lists some books which I have found to be especially helpful or interesting. The links take you to an on-line version of the book, or to the Amazon.com web page which sells the book.
Any of these books, including the older, out-of-print books can also be special-ordered, from your local bookstore. Most used bookstores, and many new bookstores, participate in cooperative national networks to locate used books.
The Glories of Mary. St. Alphonsus Liguori (2000: Liguori publications; 1st pub. 1750). This contains edition both volumes of the work. The most influential book ever written about Mary. Liguori has been named a "Doctor of the Church" for his very important theological writings. Liguori is sometimes criticized for his credulous treatment of various reported Marian miracles -- although I found them charming. More on the Redemptorists, the religious order founded by Liguori.
The Secret of the Rosary. St. Louis de Montfort. Montfort, a 17th-century French Priest, is without doubt the greatest Marian evangelist of all time. The book is fifty (for the number of Rosary beads) essays on the Rosary.
Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. St. Louis de Montfort.
Miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary. By Johannes Herolt. Early 15th-century.
The Virgin: Mary's Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess. By Geoffrey Ashe. One of the best Mary books of all time. Combining history, theology, and careful Biblical analysis, the author offers a biography of Mary, and the story of the emergence of Mary as a major figure of Christianity in the first five centuries A.D.--which the author (a prolific British writer and scholar on religious and mythic history) explains as the irrepressible divine feminine. Outstanding writing. A real page-turner, for people interested in the subject.
Woman of the World. Book review of "The Other Faces of Mary," by Ann Ball. Touchstone, April 2006.
The Mary Myth: On the Femininity of God. Andrew Greeley. "Myth" here means "inspiring symbol" or "archetype", rather than "untrue story." Greeley offers various ways of thinking about Mary today--through poetry, art, and so on.
A Short Treatise on the Virgin Mary. Rene Laurentin (AMI Press, 1991). One of the most important Mariologists of all time. Details the official Catholic development of many different Marian doctrines.
Mary through the Centuries. Jaroslav Pelikan (Yale Univ. Pr. 1996). Pelikan is a professor of Christian religious history at Yale. In 223 pages of text, he provides an excellent overview of the theological history of Mary. He focuses on high culture rather than folk culture. Topics include the Old Testament's daughter of Zion, Mary in the Koran, the development of the Immaculate Conception dogma, and much more. Very well-written.
In Search of Mary: The Woman the Symbol. Sally Cunneen (Ballantine Books, 1996). Like Pelikan's book, this book provides an intellectual and cultural history over the last two millennia. The difference is that Cunneen addresses more than Pelikan does, and is less interested in pure doctrine. A Catholic feminist, Cunneen finds the search for Mary to be very worthwhile, giving the book a warmer tone than Pelikan's -- although her writing style is not as deft.
Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion. Hilda Graef (Sheed & Ward, 1963). Covers 2,000 years of Mariology, with excellent exposition of primary documents. Very strong scholarship, although Graef is somewhat too inclined to criticize what she regards as Marian excesses.
Praying with Mary: A Treasury for All Occasions. Janice T. Connell (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999). Each chapter presents prayers on a particular topic.
Miryam of Nazareth: Women of Strength and Wisdom. Ann Johnson (Ave Maria Pr. 1984). Prose on Mary's life. A nice sensibility.
At Worship with Mary: A Pastoral and Theological Study. Christopher O'Donnell (Michael Glazier, 1988). Fifteen chapters on different subjects.
A Western Way of Meditation: The Rosary Revisited. David Burton Bryan (Loyola Univ. Pr., Chi., 1991). New ways to think about the Rosary, and the Rosary as a practice of meditation.
Our Lady's Little Glass. Brothers Grimm.
The Golden Prayer. A daily prayer of consecration.
My Soul Magnifies the Lord. Fiction about Mary's life after the crucifixion.
Dictionary of Mary. (Catholic Book Publishing, 1999) From "Ain Karim" (a Near East pilgrimage site) to "Words of Mary," many fascinating short essays on a diversity of topics. Plus 8 appendices, including a chronology of Marian events.
The Cult of the Virgin: Offerings, Ornaments, and Festivals. By Marie-France Boyer. (Thames & Hudson, 2000). A gorgeous art book focused on folk art involving Mary, from olden times to the present. Presenting art from around the world, the book is amazingly successful at depicting not just what Marian folk art looks like, but the sensibility which inspires it.
Meditations on Mary. Kathleen Norris (Viking 1999). A great gift book for the Christmas season, or any other season. The text, written by a Protestant woman, suggests that Mary is accessible to people from a wide variety of religious traditions. But the glory of the book is the luminous and numinous illustrations ?reproductions of Renaissance and Medieval art detailing Mary's life.
Miraculous Images of Our Lady: 100 Famous Catholic Portraits and Statues. Joan Carroll Cruz (Tan Books, 1993). Each chapter is a picture plus 4-5 pages of text on a sculpture, painting, or other image. The chapter pictures are black and white, and there are about three dozen color images in a center section.
Michelangelo Pieta. Robert Hupka (Ignatius Pr, 1998; 1st ed by Crown Pub., 1975). 150 photographs and a little commentary on one of the greatest sculptures of all time.
The World's Great Madonnas. Cynthia Pearl Maus (Harper & Bros. 1947). 114 full-page art reproductions with interpretation. 239 poems. 60 stories. 62 hymns, carols, lullabies, and folk songs. 789 pages An incredible treasure, containing many items that can't be found elsewhere -- including Mary folk tales from Japan and Scandinavia. Not available directly through Amazon, but if you run the author's name through the Amazon search engine, you'll get links to used bookstores and individuals selling the book.
Mother of All Nations: The Visitations of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Message for Today. Joan Ashton (Harper & Row, 1989). Good summaries of the major apparitions. Probably the best first book on the subject. Not available directly from Amazon, but easy to get from Amazon's zShops or Auctions.
Encountering Mary. Sandral Zimdars-Swartz (Avon, 1991). Covers seven major 19th and 20th century apparitions, from a variety of intellectual perspectives. Non-judgmental about the authenticity of the apparitions themselves, the author studies them as social phenomena.
Blessed among Women: Encounters with Mary and Her Message. G. Scott Sparrow (Harmony Books, 1997). A Jungian psychotherapist takes a spiritual and psychological look at today's increasingly-reported encounters with Mary, and offers ways for the reader to tune in to her presence and energy. A very useful book.
Marpingen: Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a Nineteenth-Century German Village. David Blackbourn (Vintage, 1993). An historical and culture look at an 1870 apparition in a German village -- and its role in the conflict between the Catholic peasantry and the German government.
Medjugorje: The Message. Wayne Weible (Paraclete Pr., 1989).An American Protestant journalist starts investigating the apparitions, and gets much more than he bargained for.
Silent Night. Illustrated by Susan Jeffers (E.P. Dutton). Luminous, inspiring illustrations, accompanied by the text of the carol.
Mary: The Mother of Jesus. Tomie de Paola (Holiday House, 1995).
The Lady of Guadeloupe. Tomie de Paola (Holiday House, 1988). The prolific author and illustrator of children's books outdoes himself. Spanish version.
Tan Books and Publishers. Dozens of great books. Note particularly the sections on "Marian Apparitions", "Blessed Virgin Mary", and "The Rosary."
Also see the Doctrines section.
Marian Magisterial Documents. University of Dayton website. Dozens of items from 1854 to the present.
Church documents on Mary. Mainly from John Paul II, and Paul VI.
Marians, Marianos. Scores of articles by religious and laity. In English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Part of the huge Catolicos.org site.
Teachings about Mary. From the EWTN website. Includes official church documents, and material by laypeople.
Theology Library: Mary. 67 documents, from ancient times to the present.
The Mary Foundation-Tapes. Audio tapes and CDs. Subjects include Marian apparitions, and the Rosary.
The Virgin Mary in Art (Renaissance to Reformation). An excellent documentary putting a wide range of outstanding artwork in its artistic and cultural context.
General, Akita, Betania, Conyers,Fatima, Guadeloupe, Lourdes, Medjugorje
Directory of 20th century Apparitions. Part of the University of Dayton’s superb Mary site, which also contains many other useful resources on apparitions, including a thorough bibliography.
Catholic Apparitions of Jesus and Mary. The main page contains a list of several dozen apparitions. Individual apparitions are described on their own pages, with links to additional materials. The main page also supplies the Catholic church's position on each apparition. Besides the apparitions listed on this page, also includes
Apparitions of Our Lady.
Catolicos.org. Large collection of links, in five languages.
The Reliquary of Miraculous Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Notre Dame de Laus. Sanctuary (in French). History.
Our Lady of Akita
Betania Home Page. Official website of the Betania Foundation. In Spanish and English.
The Apparitions of Our Blessed Mother at Cuapa Nicaragua.
Conyers Apparition Site.
The Fatima Network. In six languages. Home of The Fatima Crusader magazine. Large site with frequent updates, and discussion of the various Fatima controversies.
Fatima: Miracles and Prophecy. AOL personal homepage with a narrative summary of the Fatima events. A good starting point. The page begins with an apt quote from Albert Einstein: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."
Fatima Retreat Center, Notre Dame, Indiana. Standard Catholic retreat center.
The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima. Founded in New Jersey in 1947, this world-wide organization is dedicated to spreading the Fatima message. People may volunteer to join the "Blue Army" and participate in the group's work.
The Message of Fatima. The third secret of Fatima. Official Vatican document..
Mary's four-day series of meetings with an Aztec Indian in December, 1531 in Mexico.
Virgen de Guadeloupe. Website inaugurated by the Pope in December 2001.
Our Lady of Guadalupe: Patroness of the Americas. Truly outstanding. Superb graphics, and lots of very interesting information. One of very best Marian sites. Includes the full text of the Nican Mopohua -- Juan Diego's detailed account of his encounters with the Lady on the hill, with lots of tender dialogue between her and him. The Nican Mopohua, sometimes called "The Fifth Gospel," is available in seven languages: Nahuatl (Aztec, the original language of composition), English, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Italian, and French.
The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A group which takes a large photo replica of O.L. of Guadeloupe from place to place, mainly for pro-life purposes.
Unity in the Virgin. The cultural, historical, and American significance of the Virgin of Guadeloupe. MSNBC.com, Dec. 12, 2004. Essay by Dave Kopel.
Our Lady of Snows.
Probably the best-known apparition of all, to a poor girl in rural France.
Lourdes the official Website. English, French, Spanish, Italian. Information for visitors.
The National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes. At St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Maryland. Replica of the original French site. Also contains material on St. Elizabeth Anne Seton. (More on her).
Saint Bernadette Soubirous. English and Spanish. Collection of links about the Lourdes visionary from Catolicos.org
MedjugorjeUSA. Large site, with pages and links on many Marian topics, including other apparitions, as well as the Rosary.
The Medjugorje Message. Weblog. Very high quality production.
Zeitoun.org. If seeing is believing, then check this one out. At the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, in 1968, Mary appeared on numerous occasions above the dome, in a brilliant field of light. The phenomena was witnessed by literally millions of people of all religious. The website includes photographs, Real Videos, and much other material. Zeitoun is one of the three apparitions which have, after investigation, been officially declared to be authentic by the Catholic Church.
(For most apparitions, church investigations do not lead to an official position. For some, the investigation leads to a determination that they are not authentic; none of the apparitions listed on this website have been determined inauthentic.)
"You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need."
Little Office of the Virgin Mary. A system of Marian prayers throughout the day.
Latin Prayers (with English translations). Hail Mary. Before Mass. After Mass. Over two dozen more prayers.
Eleven prayers to Mary.
Life Offering Prayer. Offering one's life to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Spanish prayers to Our Lady of Guadeloupe.
Marian Novenas. Novenas are nine-day prayer cycles, often before an important feast day or event. Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lady of Hope. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. The Annunciation. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Catholic Encyclopedia: Salve Regina
My Life with Mary. 36-page prayer book. PDF format.
The number of rosary links on this page reflects the immense influence of the rosary on Marian devotion. If you're not sure where to begin with Mary, the rosary is a great starting point, especially for those with an inclination towards meditative practices.
Navigation: Rosary Documents. On-line, computer, and radio Rosaries.
Rosary Information Index. From the University of Dayton. Good, basic starting point. The website also includes The Rosary Since Vatican II, and The Hail Mary in Various Languages, including everything from Afrikaans (which begins "Wees gegroet, Maria vol genade, die Here is met u.") to Zutigil (a Guatemalan language: "At culanic Santa Maria, at nojinac chi gracia, aviquin colvi Ajan Dios. . ..")
Catolicos.org. Immense collection of rosary links, in several languages.
Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the Rosary. Interesting analysis of the prayer's origins.
How To Say The Rosary Well
Meditating on the Rosary Aves. Things to think about during the Rosary, bead by bead.
Tips on Praying the Rosary with Your Family
Our Lady's 15 Promises to Christians Who Recite the Rosary
Rosary.com. From the Catholic Company.
Rosary and Chaplet Center. Alternative Rosaries to say. Rosaries and chaplets to buy. Audiotapes.
A Scriptural Reflection on the Rosary. From the EWTN website. By Maryann Marshall.
The Rosary, an Introduction. By Tim Pickford.
Magnae Dei Matris. Encyclical by Pope Leo XIII.
Diuturni Temporis. Another encyclical by Pope Leo XIII.
Grata recordatio. Encyclical by Pope John XXIII.
A Rosary Place. Donates some of the profits to a prison ministry for Mexican criminals imprisoned in Texas.
Mary's Prayers. Custom Rosaries, plus christening gowns and other products.
Mother Mary's Gemstone Rosaries. Handcrafted gemstone Rosaries, Rosary necklaces and bracelets, and children's Rosaries. Revenue goes to support especially needy children in the Third World. Custom work available.
Handmaid for the Lord. Rosaries and religious jewelry. Some made with hemp!
Magnificat Rosaries. Sterling silver or New England pewter with gemstones, crystal, Bali silver, cloisonne and hand made glass beads. Designer consultation available.
Rosary Workshop. Very distinctive Rosaries for sale--such as Rosaries patterned after the Guadeloupe apparitions. Also lots of Rosary information and history.
Gift of the Spirit. Sells Rosaries, scapulars, and other Catholic items.
Heirloom Rosaries. Handmade, individually customized, with gems.
Rosaries By Vivian. Custom-designed or standard model rosaries, made with gemstone, precious metal and/or imported glass beads.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Ministries. Sells rosaries, medals, scapulars, and more.
Papal Blessed Rosaries. Blessed by the Pope.
Rosaries with soil from Jerusalem.
Beads On-Line. Tuesday evenings, via ICQ chat.
The Perpetual Web Rosary. Participate by clicking on-screen beads at the conclusion of each prayer. English, French, Spanish. About 40,000 chaplets completed so far.
Virtual Rosary Online. Rosary program, with music, for downloading. Available for a variety of operating systems, including Palm.
World Wide Rosary. Encourages people to pray the Rosary on the 13th day of each month--as a prayer for peace based on the Fatima apparition.
The Rosary Prayer. Uses downloadable Real Audio files. From Ireland.
Cyberosary. Downloadable program of daily Rosary guide and music. Also has on-line prayer groups.
Free Rosary Audio Tape, Knights of Columbus Council 8909. Free Rosary booklet also available.
Rosary Confraternity. Members promise to say the Rosary once a week.
The Seven Dolors of Mary
Rosaries of All Kinds. Alternatives to the standard Dominican Rosary. Very large variety of different prayers.
The Green Scapular. Devotion to Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Brown Scapular. Short explanation. Free scapular available. EWTN.
The Association of the Miraculous Medal. Organization to evangelize the Miraculous Medal message in particular, and Catholicism in general.
Central Association of the Miraculous Medal. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal.
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Heart of Mary
Devotions to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary: Its Origin and History. Scripture and liturgy. From EWTN.
"Til things we've never seen will seem familiar."
Immaculate Mediatrix On-Line. Marian Calendar of days dedicated to Mary and her followers. Discussion on various topics.
Biblical References to Mary, Mother of Jesus. From the University of Dayton.
Catholic Encyclopedia: The Blessed Virgin Mary. Old and New Testament passages about Mary, with analysis.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Columbia University site with New Testament texts relating to particular doctrines, and short commentary.
Catechism of the Catholic Church. Items relevant to Marian doctrines.
Story of Mary. Biography written by the Passionists.
Mary Meditations. Essays on a wide variety of Marian topics. University of Dayton website.
Titles of Our Lady Around the World.
Vatican Guidelines for Devotion to Mary.
*See also, Books.
Holy Child Mary Devotional Site. Promoting devotion to the Holy Infant Mary (also known as "Maria Bambina" or "Divina Infantita.") Among the virtues of this devotion is reminding us of the sacredness of all children. The site also includes an excellent collection of links to paintings, shrines, and documents related to the devotion to Mary's childhood. One of many unique subtopics to be found on the Mystical Rose Marian page.
Chapter from The Golden Legend Jacobus de Voragine (written around 1260 a.d.).
Text from Luke 1:26-38.
Catholic Encyclopedia: The Annunciation.
Butler's Lives of the Saints on the Annunciation.
John Paul II on the Annunciation.
St. Antony's sermon on the Annunciation.
Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis on the Annunciation.
Rosary for the Annunciation.
Paintings by Garafolo, El Greco, Del Sarto, da Vinci, Murillo, Fra Angelico, Barocci, & Beccafumi.
Mary Holds Her Son. Three sonnets, with a special devotion to Mary in the third sonnet.
Feast of the Assumption. Catholic Encyclopedia.
Assumption of Mary. By Dave Kopel.
The Assumption of Mary.
By Father William Saunders.
History of the Doctrine of the Assumption
Her Assumption Befits the Mother of God. By Valentine Long.
Deiparae Virginis Mariae. Encyclical by Pope Pius XII.
Coronation of Mary. By M. Jean Frisk. From the University of Dayton. Includes information on May crownings.
Mary's Queenship. By Father William G. Most. EWTN.
Mary, Queen of Heaven. Scriptural analysis
Kingship of Christ, Queenship of Mary in Scripture.
Woman Clothed With the Sun. Mary as the woman in Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation.
The Woman in Revelation 12 and Mary.
Technically speaking, a dogma is a belief which followers of a particular religion are supposed to embrace. In the Catholic church, there are currently four dogmas relating to Mary. While all of the dogmas relate to beliefs that are very, very old, these beliefs have not always been proclaimed as dogma. The most recent dogma, the Assumption of Mary, was formally proclaimed in 1951, although belief in that idea may be traced to the second century of Christianity, and perhaps before.
The Four Dogmas of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Work of God Apostolate
The Blessed Virgin Mary. Good collection of links on Marian doctrines.
Most Christian religions teach that Jesus was born from a virgin. Many Christians who disagree with the literal history of a virgin birth still affirm the idea as a symbol of miraculous creation. But whatever an individual thinks about the birth of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception is an entirely different concept. The I.C. is a dogma about the birth of Mary. The Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary was created through ordinary sexual means. But Mary was created without Original Sin.
From the time of Augustine to the present, many Christians have associated the sexual act itself with original sin, although disagreement with this view is increasingly common. It is perhaps a healthy sign in the development of Christianity and Mariology that people are better able to discuss the principal of original sin (such as what is sometimes a human instinct for selfishness that is ultimately self-destructive) without being distracted by associating it with a natural, positive, and holy purpose of the human body.
It's not uncommon for Christians to start with an important idea, but then to get distracted by over-analyzing some physical detail. For example, in the early centuries of Christianity, the concept of the virgin birth of Jesus was much discussed. At the literal level, it was quite significant that a birth could take place in such a miraculous fashion. As a symbolic level, the creative power of the spirit was illustrated. Early Christian theologians, however, devoted considerable space to discussing whether, after Jesus was born, Mary's hymen remained intact. The triviality and pointlessness of this debate is obvious enough to modern reader. But this issue was a raging controversy in early Mariology.
Which brings us back to Original Sin. We ought to be able to discuss the concept of Original Sin without linking it to the act of sexual reproduction.
So when you think about the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, think about a person not being burdened with Original Sin. It's not necessary to see this dogma as anti-sex. Indeed, it shows that sexual creation and sinlessness are perfectly capable of co-existence.
The Immaculate Conception was proclaimed as dogma a few years before the Lourdes apparitions, in which Mary declared "I am the Immaculate Conception." For theologians, the debate is well presented by the second millennium's greatest intellectual, Thomas Aquinas (who reasoned: there's no Biblical evidence, other than some tenuous metaphors in the Old Testament, so why believe it?) and the great medieval Scottish theologian Duns Scotus (who countered: it's best to adopt a maximalist view of Mary; if God could have done something for her, it's reasonable to believe that God did).
On the Immaculate Conception. Quotes from church fathers.
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception by John Henry Cardinal Newman
The first Marian dogma was proclaimed in 431 A.D., at the Council of Ephesus (in modern Turkey). The Mother of God dogma does more than affirm an obvious fact of ancestry. "Mother of God" means more than just that Mary was literally the mother of Jesus. Mary's mother Anna was literally the grandmother of Jesus, but there is no veneration of her as "Grandmother of God." Rather, "Mother of God" is in part a recognition of Mary's supremely creative act.
In Greek, "Mother of God" is "Theotokos." In Latin, "Dei Genetrix" (a title also applied to the Roman mother goddess Cybele). The celebration of Mary Mother of God is January 1, an appropriate day to celebrate a new creation.
Theotokos. Quotes from church fathers.
St. John of Damascus defends the principle against the Nestorians (see chapter 12).
Mother of God. Martin Luther defends the principle.
Mary, Mother of God. By Father William Saunders.
Did Mary remain a virgin even after giving birth to Jesus? Most Protestants say no, and most Catholics say yes--the latter answer being a Catholic dogma.
Essentially, the debate comes down to analysis of various Bible passages. St. Jerome, by far the finest Biblical scholar of the first five centuries A.D., analyzes the passages in their original language, and argues for perpetual virginity. Suppose that you and your spouse expected that your first-born child would, literally, be a messiah? Would you consider not having any more children, so that you could focus all your energies on you messianic first-born? It hardly seems impossible that Joseph and Mary might have decided to limit child-bearing.
Mary's Perpetual Virginity. From Christus Rex.
Mary's Perpetual Virginity by Jim Seghers.
Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Writings by various church fathers.
This trio of concepts, collectively comprising a single Fifth Dogma, is the focus of an on-going petition campaign to the Vatican. All of these appellations of Mary have been used by many speakers and writers, including many Popes (among them John Paul II) over the years.
While Protestants and Catholics may disagree over the Perpetual Virginity issue, it is not generally regarded as a disagreement over the very fundamentals of faith. In contrast, the Fifth Dogma is viscerally offensive to many Protestants--which may partly explain why it has not been proclaimed by a modern Catholic leadership which is strongly ecumenical.
Briefly stated, the Fifth Dogma is that Mary is our Advocate to God; that she is the Mediatrix of all graces; and that--especially at the foot of the cross--she voluntarily participated in the Calvary sacrifice and is therefore Co-Redemptrix.
The immediate Protestant reaction is that all of these titles--especially the last--are contrary to Jesus's unique role. The websites below contain detailed answers to this issue.
But perhaps the issue raised more than just intellectual questions. A Protestant might say, "Well, having read the detailed apology for the Fifth Dogma, I see that it is theoretically and intellectually possible to call Mary 'Co-Redemptrix' without formally infringing Jesus's status as unique and essential Redeemer. Even so, just to think about Mary as Co-Redemptrix can distract attention from Jesus as Redeemer."
This is true. Yet it's also useful to look at Christian doctrine in terms of what actually works in Christian history. Based on Bible passages, one can make good arguments for or against the Catholic Church (which claims direct lineage from St. Peter) as the only true church. Yet if one looks to practical experience--rather than only the Bible--one can contrast the Catholic Church of 1450 (just before the Reformation), with the modern Catholic Church. It is the latter which is far, far less corrupt, and far, far more dynamic as a Christian institution winning souls. (Look at the massive Catholic evangelization in modern Africa, for example.) It seems hard to dispute that the Catholic Church has improved as a result of the Protestant challenge. In a world of a greater religious freedom, in which Catholic and Protestant churches must earn their believers one at a time (rather than having them half-heartedly delivered by the government), both forms of Christianity are rising to new heights--spurred by creative, positive competition.
So if history and practical experience tell us something useful about church organization (that diversity works--a principle many Protestants would endorse), what do history and experience say about the Fifth Dogma? From the earliest centuries of Christianity to the present, many Christians have relied on Mary as their Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-Redemptrix. The fruits of this relationship--as manifested in the lives that were led as a response to this relationship--have often been holy, loving, and constructive.
Does all this mean that Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-Redemptrix should become the Fifth Marian Dogma, which Catholics should feel obliged to believe, and which would be proclaimed as something which everyone should believe? On the basis of theoretical theology, reasonable people may differ. On the basis of experiential theology, it would be hard to deny that many people are living as if the Fifth Dogma were true, and experiencing wonderful grace.
Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici. If you want to promote the Fifth Dogma, or just learn more about it, this is the place.
Letter Concerning the Dogmatic Definition of Mary as Co-redemptrix. By Rev. Msgr. Arthur B. Calkins.
Mary's Cooperation in the Redemption. by Fr. William Most. EWTN.
Church Teachings on Mary's Cooperation in the Redemption of Mankind. Collection of statements by different Popes.
Mediatrix of all Graces. By Father William G. Most. EWTN.
Mary, the New Eve. By John Paul II. Sept. 18, 1996.
The New Eve. By John O'Connell.
Mary, the Ark of the Covenant. By Scott Hahn.
Eternal Mother. From EWTN.
Mary, Our Mother. By Fr. William Most. Also from EWTN.
Mary as Our Spiritual Mother. From the Mystical Rose website.
For more religious orders, see also the various categories, for religious orders particular to the category.
Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Worldwide religious order founded in 1673. English and Spanish versions.
Pastoral Marian Organizations in the United States. Huge list from University of Dayton.
The Marian Movement of Priests.
Fraternity of Mary. For Priests.
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
The Virgin Mary in Our Life. Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite Order.
The Saint Benedict Center - A traditional Community of Brothers and Sisters in Massachusetts dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and consecration in the spirit of St. Louis de Montfort.
Sons of Mary Missionary Society.
Immaculate Heart of Mary's Hermitage.
Queen of Angels Foundation. Dedicated to the patroness of Los Angeles.
The Sodality of the Children of Mary. For children ages 8-12.
The Legion of Mary Homepage. Wonderful site!
Miracle of The Rosary Mission.
Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception. Promotes the Blue Scapular.
Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Lay and religious.
Our Lady of Walsingham. One of the very most popular shrines in the Middle Ages, located in Norfolk, England. The shrine housed what was believed to be a replica of Mary's house. The shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII, but restoration began in 1921. The shrine is currently managed cooperatively by the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. The website includes separate Anglican and R.C. versions.
The Augustinian Catholic Way. Dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Washington, D.C. The major shrine in the United States.
Shrine of Our Lady of Grace. Columbia, N.H. Northern New Hampshire site of 50 religious monuments The shrine is host to, among other things, the New Hampshire Inter-Tribal Native American Council sponsored Powwow and the Great Northwoods Motorcycle Ride, with the Blessing of the Motorcycles.
Marian Sites in Malta. A shrine and an apparition site.
Koran. Mary is the subject of the following parts of the Koran: 3:34-37, 3:42-47, 4:156-157, 4:171, 5:17, 5:46, 5:72, 5:78, 5:110, 5:112, 5:114, 5:116, 9:31, 19:16-39, 21:91, 23:50, 33:7, 43:57, 56:27, 61:6, 61:14, 66:12.
Collection of Muslim praise for Mary (peaceful Sufi website).
Raziuddin Aquil. "Review of Tarif Khalidi, ed. and trans, The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature, H-Mideast-Medieval, H-Net Reviews, June, 2003.
Martin Luther's Devotion to
Mary. He held her in much higher regard than is commonly recognized.
Is There a Byzantine Mariology? By Bro. John Samaha. From the EWTN site.
Mary on a wine labels! D. Fuas (Portugal). Rioja (Spain).
In Her Arms webring. 26 sites.
Martin Roth Online.
And the Forever Whole and Perfect Maiden said:
"Comprehend and know, my youngest child,
nothing should scare or concern you.
Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.
Am I not right here who is your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not the foundation of your being
your sustenance, your happiness, peace and effortlessness?
Are you not in the fold of my mantle?
Do you need anything else?
Don't allow anything to disturb you any more."
Mary the Virgin of Guadeloupe to Juan Diego, December 12, 1531.
Want to suggest a site for this page? Just send an e-mail which explains how the site supplements, rather than duplicates, material already on this page. This page was created by Dave Kopel
"She's got everything delightful, she's got everything I need."