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Mary Pope SP-291 - History

Mary Pope SP-291 - History

Mary Pope

A former name retained.

(SP-291: t. 13; 1. 52'; b. 8'5"; dr. 2'7"; s. 14.7 k.; cpl. 4; a. I mg.)

Mary Pope (SP-291), a wooden-hulled motorboat built in 1915 as Hanitce and later renamed Madge by Gass Engineering & Power Co. and C. L. Seabury, Morris Heights, N.Y., was purchased by the Navy from R. W. Bingham 9 August 1917.

After serving on section patrol through the remainder of World War I, Mary Pope was struck from the Navy list 31 March 1919. However, while still in custody of the Navy, she was wrecked 10 September 1919.

Mary Pope SP-291 - History

Children's Author/Illustrator Biographies

Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.
Photograph provided by Random House.

A popular, prolific author for children and young adults, Mary Pope Osborne is considered a versatile writer who has contributed successfully to many of the genres encompassed by juvenile literature. Directing her books to an audience that ranges from preschool through high school, she has written picture books, realistic fiction, historical fiction, young-adult novels, nonfiction, and retellings, and has edited collections of stories, poetry, and songs. Osborne is also the creator of several series and related volumes. She is perhaps best known for writing the "Magic Tree House" books, a best-selling, multi-volume collection of time-travel fantasies for primary graders. In these works, in which brother and sister Jack and Annie enter an enchanted tree house and have adventures in the past, present, and future, Osborne blends exciting plots with historical and scientific facts while emphasizing the power of books and reading. The author also has created two additional series to accompany her "Magic Tree House" volumes. The first of these, the "Merlin Missions" series, features stories about Jack and Annie that are inspired by myths and legends and are twice as long as their counterparts in the original series. With her husband, Will, a writer who also is an actor, playwright, and theater director, Osborne created the "Magic Tree House Research Guide" series, a collection of informational books that serve as companion volumes to several of the fictional titles in the main series. In addition, Osborne is the author of three volumes in the "My America" series, historical fiction in diary form about a young girl who witnesses the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and writes about both it and the aftermath of the Civil War two stories about Sheriff Mo, an amiable beaver who makes friends with the raccoons, frogs, and mice in his pond community two detective tales for early readers that feature Spider Kane, a brilliant arachnid sleuth who also is a talented jazz clarinetist picture-book retellings from The Odyssey by the ancient Greek writer Homer collaborations with Will Osborne on two episodes from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the adventures of Jason and his Argonauts and the slaying of the monster Medusa by the warrior Perseus retellings of myths and legends from America, Greece, and Norway, among other international sources and collections of mermaid tales and stories and poems from the Middle Ages.

In addition to her series books, Osborne has written several distinguished individual volumes in the genres of fiction and nonfiction. As a biographer, she has described the lives of Jesus, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin in her fiction, Osborne also includes real-life characters such as Plato, Squanto, William Shakespeare, and Clara Barton, in addition to Columbus and Washington. The author is well known for writing One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship, an informational book that explains the tenets of seven major religions--Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. Osborne brings a feminist perspective to several of her books. Her original works often depict the journeys, both physical and emotional, that are undertaken by female characters. As a reteller, Osborne has retold the familiar tales "Beauty and the Beast" and "Pandora's Box" and the less familiar German fairy tale "Undine." Her retellings of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "The Brave Little Tailor" feature clever young women as protagonists rather than the males who appear in the traditional versions. For her collection American Tall Tales, Osborne created Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, a composite of several characters, to supplement male figures like Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, and John Henry.

As a literary stylist, Osborne is noted for writing clear, lively, well-paced prose in both her stories and her informational books. She often includes forewords and afterwords in her books that provide historical context and personal information about her research and writing. As a creator of fiction, Osborne is praised for her delineation of and sensitivity to her characters as well as for her sympathetic exploration of the effects of war, racism, divorce, mental illness, and other issues on young people. As a writer of nonfiction, Osborne is commended for her scholarship and for bringing out the humanity of her subjects. Although she has been criticized for creating some books that are trite and predictable, Osborne generally is recognized as a writer of range and ability, one who truly understands children and what appeals to them. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly stated that Osborne "has great talent for presenting scientific facts and historic detail in an exciting, fast-paced format for kids," while Deborah Hopkinson of BookPage concluded, "There's definitely something magical about Mary Pope Osborne."

Born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Osborne is the daughter of William P. Pope, a retired colonel in the United States Army, and Barnette Dickens Pope, a homemaker the author has used her mother's maiden name as the surname for some of her characters. Osborne has a twin brother, a younger brother, and an older sister, Nancy, who collaborated with her on The Revolutionary War: A Nonfiction Companion to "Revolutionary War on Wednesday," a volume in the "Magic Tree House Research Guide" series. As a young girl, Osborne moved a great deal with her family. She lived in Salzburg, Austria, for three years as well as in Oklahoma, in Florida, and in four different army posts in Virginia and North Carolina.

Although moving was not traumatic for Osborne because of the close relationship that she shared with her family, other things were. She noted in School Library Journal, "I was very terrified as a child. I suffered from every possible kind of fear. I would imagine, constantly, terrible things happening to myself or my family. I was always trying to fight against that." In her writings, as she told School Library Journal, she hopes to provide young girls with "female heroes," characters she believes would have helped curb her anxieties as a child. Writing on the "Magic Tree House" Web site about her literary influences, Osborne noted, "I read all kinds of books when I was little. But I especially loved the 'Little House on the Prairie' books [by Laura Ingalls Wilder], The Little Princess [by Frances Hodgson Burnett], and the 'Uncle Wiggily Stories' [by Howard R. Garis]. I also loved a big thick book of Bible stories that was written in an old-fashioned style and took me a really long time to read." Writing on the Barnes & Noble Web site about the latter title, Egermeier's Bible Story Book by Elsie E. Egermeier, Osborne recalled, "By the time I was eleven, I'd read Egermeier's Bible stories three times. My love for old stories and Western history began with this book, as well as a thirst to learn about the different cultures and religions of the period." When asked on the "Magic Tree House" Web site if the characters in her best-known series are based on real people, Osborne replied, "My characters are a combination of real people and my imagination and research. My two brothers and I used to pretend lots of things together--that we were cowboys, soldiers, etc. That's the basis for the whole series."

When she was fifteen, Osborne's father retired from the army and moved their family to a small town in North Carolina. Osborne found that she missed the adventure and changing scenery of her early years. She found these things at the local community theater, which was located a block from her home. Osborne began to spend all of her free time in the theater she acted in plays and also worked backstage. After graduating from high school, she decided to major in drama at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill. However, in her junior year, she discovered the world of mythology and became interested in studying comparative religions. She switched her major to religion and immersed herself in learning about other cultures. After receiving her bachelor's degree in 1971, Osborne traveled abroad for a year. She went back to Europe, lived in a cave in Crete for six weeks, and joined a group of young Europeans who were heading to the East. With this group, Osborne visited sixteen Asian countries, including Iraq, Iran, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Pakistan. She encountered several dangerous situations, like an earthquake in northern Afghanistan and a riot in Kabul. Osborne wrote on the Web site for the Children's Book Council that her trip "often was a horrendous journey. Throughout much of the trip, I was terrified. . . . I was constantly ill and constantly frightened." It did not help her situation that the leader of her band of travelers turned out to be, as Osborne said, "insane." When she became infected with blood poisoning in Katmandu, Osborne was forced to end her travels. In a crowded hospital ward of Nepalese women, none of whom spoke English, she discovered J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings, a book that her traveling companions had kept in their van. Osborne noted, "For two weeks, all I did was read and sleep. . . . By the time I finished the trilogy, . . . I had the emotional strength to start my long journey home." Osborne concluded, "That journey irrevocably changed me. Experience was gathered that serves as a reference point every day of my life. I encountered worlds of light and worlds of darkness--and planted seeds of the imagination that led directly to my being an author of children's books."

After returning to the United States, Osborne recovered from her illness and headed out again. She moved to Monterey, California, and worked as a medical assistant. In 1974, she moved to Washington, DC, and worked as a travel agent, specializing in tours of Russia and Eastern Europe. Osborne moved to New York City in 1975 and began to work with the Russian Travel Bureau. In 1976, she married Will Osborne, with whom she had fallen in love when she saw him in the lead role of a musical about the outlaw Jesse James. The day after their wedding, the couple took off on a theater tour. While on the road, Osborne began to write. She also worked a variety of jobs when not traveling with theatrical productions: for example, Osborne was a drama teacher at a nursing home in the Bronx and also worked with runaway teens, as a bartender, and as an assistant editor of a magazine for children. In 1979, she began the story that would become her first published book, the semi-autobiographical young-adult novel Run, Run, As Fast As You Can, which was published in 1982.

In Run, Run, As Fast As You Can, eleven-year-old Hallie Pines, a girl from a military family, moves to Virginia when her father retires. Hallie wants to join the three most popular girls at her new school at first, the girls encourage her, but then they reject her cruelly. For comfort, Hallie turns to her eight-year-old brother Mickey, but soon discovers that he has terminal cancer. By facing the clique's rejection of her as well as her brother's death, Hallie is forced to reexamine her values. Writing in Horn Book, Karen M. Klockner commented that Osborne "writes naturally about the interaction among children and of children with adults." Writing in the Times Literary Supplement, Judith Elkin said, "The portrait of a girl caught up in the difficult age between childhood and adolescence . . . is well drawn," while Margery Fisher of Growing Point concluded that the work "has a candour and directness which are refreshing."

Osborne's second novel for young people, Love Always, Blue, is a work that addresses the difficulties that children experience when their parents separate it also deals with the subject of mental illness. Fourteen-year-old Blue Murray is a girl who lives with her mother, an upwardly mobile socialite, in North Carolina while her father, an aspiring playwright, lives in New York City's Greenwich Village. Blue blames her mom for the separation, discounting her explanation that her husband was extremely hard to live with. After a series of encounters with her mother, Blue is allowed to visit her dad in New York. During their time together, Dad's emotional problems come to the fore, and Blue finds it hard to deal with his depression. Although she meets a nice young man and likes being in the Village, Blue decides to go home early, and her father agrees to get therapy. Writing in School Library Journal, Denise L. Moll commented, "This one is much better than many in the plethora of dealing-with-divorce titles." Although she called the structure of Osborne's story weak, Zena Sutherland of Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books dubbed Love Always, Blue "perceptive in its delineation of the complexity of human relationships." Ilene Cooper of Booklist deemed the novel "an engrossing story of family relationships that will give young people a perception about adult depression." Osborne also is the creator of two additional contemporary YA novels, Best Wishes, Joe Brady, the story of the romance between eighteen-year-old Sunny Dickens and the title character, a former soap-opera actor who is starring in a dinner theater production in her North Carolina hometown, and Last One Home, which describes twelve-year-old Bailey's struggles following her parents' divorce, her father's projected remarriage, and her brother's departure for the service.

In 1992, Osborne produced the first of her "Magic Tree House" books, Dinosaurs before Dark. The volume introduces eight-year-old Jack, an inquisitive boy who also is a careful planner and researcher, and seven-year-old Annie, who is intrepid and impetuous. The siblings live in the fictional town of Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. One day, the pair go out into the woods near their home and discover a tree house filled with books. The tree house belongs to Morgan le Fay, a sorceress who is the fairy sister of King Arthur and who, in the "Magic Tree House" series, is the head librarian of Camelot. Jack and Annie find that by reading one of le Fay's books, looking at an illustration, and making a wish, they can be transported to the time and place that the page depicts. The children travel to a wide variety of periods and locations, including prehistory in the initial story. In subsequent volumes, Jack and Annie go to such places as medieval and Elizabethan England ancient Egypt, Greece, Ireland, and Rome the Old West feudal Japan America during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars the ocean and outer space. Accompanied on some of their adventures by Teddy, an enchanted dog who actually is a magician, Jack and Annie are given various assignments to complete by Morgan le Fay these assignments, often riddles that the children must decipher, include quests to find books from ancient libraries so that they can be preserved in Camelot. Through their adventures, which often involving helping other people or animals, the siblings meet such individuals as knights, ninjas, mummies, pirates, cowboys, Vikings, and cave people in addition, they interact with well-known historical figures, such as nurse Clara Barton in Civil War on Sunday and playwright William Shakespeare in Stage Fright on a Summer Night. Characteristically, Jack and Annie find themselves in precarious situations, although some of them have humor or panache. The duo face a saber-toothed tiger, a hungry shark, an African gorilla, an Indian tiger, and vampire bats. In addition, the siblings find themselves in Pompeii before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in San Francisco during the Great Earthquake, and on the Titanic during its fateful voyage. No matter what they confront, the children, who each grow a year older over the course of the series, conquer their fears, act bravely, learn from their experiences (Jack always takes copious notes), and return home safely in time for dinner.

The "Magic Tree House" series, which has sold more than twelve million copies, is extremely popular with both children and adults. Children enjoy the exciting stories--for example, approximately two thousand young readers are enrolled in the "Magic Tree House" Fan Club--while teachers often use the books as supplementary reading in their classrooms. In assessing the series, critics have commented on the quick pacing, cliffhanger-style chapter endings, and realistic dialogue as well as on Osborne's consistent creativity and integration of knowledge and imagination. Praising the books as successful combinations of fun, learning, and adventure, reviewers have pointed out that the series excels in inspiring children to read by providing early primary graders with high-quality chapter books that they can absorb easily. By joining Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House, children learn that books can transport them anywhere, from ancient history to the far-flung future. In addition, the series is noted for teaching children about history and geography and for introducing them to new facts and vocabulary words. Young readers also learn about research and note-taking skills, as modeled by Jack about other cultures and about the value of literature, community, and the natural world. Although some critics have accused the series of being contrived, most consider it to be both educational and entertaining, a valuable way for children to delight in learning. Writing in The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, Mary Ariail Broughton stated, "The books in this collection, although fiction, contain a lot of factual information, making them useful and enjoyable supplements for thematic studies." Writing in Children's Literature, Lois Rubin Gross explained that the series "provides nicely paced excitement for young readers."

Published in 1996, One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship is considered one of Osborne's most accomplished nonfiction titles. In this work, the author uses essay-styled chapters to describe the history, beliefs, traditions, and rituals of the faiths that she represents. Calling the work an "excellent source for religious shelves," Ilene Cooper of Booklist reported that Osborne "covers the world's major religions, introducing them in a way that will appeal to young readers." Elizabeth Bush of Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reflected, "This exceptionally handsome overview offers middle graders a thoughtful overview of world religions." A critic in Newsweek concluded, "Osborne's clear, precise style serves her subject very well. This book has an unforced dignity that's rare in children's literature." Writing in BookPage, Alice Cary called One World, Many Religions "a superb new book. . . . Osborne's writing is lucid and informative--full of dignity and respect, managing to strike just the right tone without talking down to young readers or going over their heads." Cary concluded, "Whether you're an atheist, Muslim, Baptist, or anything else, my guess is you'll find the volume not only interesting, but fair to all, with neither biases nor judgments." In 2002, One World, Many Religions was reissued in a revised edition in which Osborne expands on her discussion of Islam.

Osborne frequently mixes fiction and historical fact in her works. With Adaline Falling Star, a novel for middle graders published in 2000, she was praised for doing so in a particularly memorable way. In this work, the author takes little-known figure Adaline Falling Star Carson, the real daughter of famed frontier scout Kit Carson and his Arapaho wife Singing Wind, and creates a story about her early life. After the death of her mother, eleven-year-old Adaline is sent by her father to live with his cousins in St. Louis so that he can join John Fremont's expedition through the Rocky Mountains. In St. Louis, Adaline is viewed as a half-breed, a savage who is expected to work as a servant. After being mistreated by her cousins, she pretends to be mute. Adaline's only friend in St. Louis is Caddie, an African girl who works in the kitchen and helps her to escape from her cousins. When Adaline learns that the Fremont expedition is over, she heads to Colorado. On her journey, she meets danger and becomes injured but also makes friends with a stray dog that she feels embodies her mother's spirit. Disguised as a boy, Adaline finds work on a steamboat before being reunited with her father. Compared to Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Adaline Falling Star generally is considered one of Osborne's most effective works. A reviewer in Horn Book observed that in Adaline Falling Star Osborne "puts memorable faces on the noble, the well intentioned, and the deceived, all of whom shaped our country's history." Marie Orlando of School Library Journal noted, "While this touching and exciting novel will absorb readers from beginning to end, it is the unique writing style that makes it truly extraordinary." A writer in Publishers Weekly concluded, "Osborne strikes out in a new direction in this assured novel. . . . Adaline possesses a wisdom marked by an often heartbreaking sense of humor."

In her collection American Tall Tales, Osborne introduced readers to Mose Humphreys, a fireman who lived in the 1840s and is often considered America's first urban folk hero. In New York's Bravest, published in 2002, she revises her initial account of Mose in a picture-book retelling. In the book, dedicated to the New York City firefighters who gave their lives on September 11, 2001, Osborne draws on both legends and published accounts to create her version of the larger-than-life volunteer fireman. Eight-foot-tall Mose is bigger, stronger, and more courageous than any of his counterparts. One day, he disappears in a hotel fire near the Hudson River and is never seen again. Subsequent rumors place Mose in various locations until he becomes mythic--the very spirit of New York. Writing in Booklist, Stephanie Zvirin and Beth Leistensnider claimed readers receive a glimpse "of the courage, selflessness, determination, and danger" contained in the life of a firefighter. A critic in Kirkus Reviews said that New York's Bravest is a "stirring picture-book tribute to the 343 firefighters who died on that terrible day." A commentator in Publishers Weekly concluded, "Past and present combine to stirring effect in this tall tale with real-world reverberations."

In assessing her career, Osborne once wrote, "I feel that the years I spent traveling in Asia, the different jobs I've held, the theater career of my husband, our life in New York among a small community of writers, actors, musicians, and artists, my Southern military background, my family, my editor, my work with runaway teenagers, and my interests in philosophy and mythology have all informed and shaped my work." A visiting lecturer at schools and libraries, she often asks children, teachers, and librarians for their input on the "Magic Tree House" series for example, they have helped her to decide on titles for her books and have made suggestions as to where Jack and Annie should go next. In a brief autobiography posted on the "KidsReads.com" Web site, Osborne talked about the "Magic Tree House" series and its effect on her: "The contact I now have with children has brought overwhelming joy into my life. I love the letters I get from them and I love reading countless 'Magic Tree House' stories that they've written. I feel as if these kids and I are all exploring the creative process together, using our imaginations plus our reading and writing skills to take us wherever we want to go. This, I tell my fellow authors, is true magic." When asked by Deborah Hopkinson of BookPage if she thinks that she will ever tire of writing the "Magic Tree House" books, Osborne replied, "How could I? I get to throw myself into every single subject. Besides I have an incredible audience. . . . How could I disappoint them?"

Born May 20, 1949, in Fort Sill, OK daughter of William P. (a colonel in the U.S. Army) and Barnette (a homemaker maiden name, Dickens) Pope married Will Osborne (an actor, author, playwright, and theater director), May 16, 1976. Education: University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, B.A., 1971. Avocational Interests: Reading, gardening, traveling, taking long drives, making bread and soup, playing with her Norfolk terrier Bailey. Memberships: Authors Guild (elected council member chairman of Children's Book Committee president, 1993-97 and 1997-2001), Authors Guild Foundation (elected president and vice-president), Authors League Fund (board of directors), Authors Registry (founding director), Authors League of America, PEN International. Addresses: Homeoffice: Northwest Connecticut. Agent: c/o Author Mail, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

Annual Award, Woodward Park School (Brooklyn, NY), and Children's Choice selection, International Reading Association/Children's Book Council (IRA/CBC), both 1983, and Most Popular Children's Novel of the Northern Territory of Australia citation, 1986, all for Run, Run, As Fast As You Can Children's Book of the Year list, Child Study Association of America, 1986, for Last One Home Pick of the List, American Bookseller, 1986, for Mo to the Rescue "Outstanding and Worthy of Note" citation, Virginia Library Association, 1990, for The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin Pick of the List, American Bookseller, and Best Books of the Year, Parents' Magazine, both 1991, both for Moonhorse Best Books of the Year list, School Library Journal, Blue Ribbon Book, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, and Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council (NCSS/CBC), all 1991, and Utah Children's Book Award, 1993, all for American Tall Tales Best Books of the Year list, Bank Street College, 1992, for both Spider Kane and the Mystery under the May-Apple and Dinosaurs before Dark, which also won the Diamond State (Delaware) Reading Association Award Edgar Award finalist for Best Juvenile Mystery, Mystery Writers of America, 1993, for Spider Kane and the Mystery at Jumbo Nightcrawler's Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, NCSS/CBC, 1993, for Mermaid Tales from around the World Distinguished Alumni Award, University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, 1994 Orbis Pictus Honor Award, National Council of Teachers of English, 1996, for One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship Distinguished Contribution to the Arts, New York Carolina Club named one of Top 100 Authors, Educational Paperback Association Children's Choice selection, IRA/CBC, for Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 Children's Choice Award, Association of Booksellers for Children, for Dolphins at Daybreak and Midnight on the Moon.

Author, editor, and lecturer. Scholastic News Trails magazine, New York, NY, assistant editor, 1973-79. Worked variously as a medical assistant in Monterey, CA as a window dresser in Carmel, CA as a travel agent in Washington, DC, and New York, NY as an acting teacher in the Bronx, NY and as a bartender and waitress in New York, NY.

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Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God Changed History, Pope Francis Says

In his homily for the feast of the Annunciation, the Holy Father said Christians must pray for the grace to say ‘yes’ to God.

The Annunciation (1897). (photo: Henry Ossawa Tanner.)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis marked the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday by reflecting on the power of Mary’s “yes” to God.

“Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross,” he said in his April 4 homily.

The Pope celebrated Mass at the Casa Santa Martha residence Monday morning, Vatican Radio reports.

Through Mary’s affirmation, God “becomes one of us and takes on our flesh,” he said.

“Today is the celebration of ‘yes’,” the Pope continued. “It is God’s ‘yes’ that sanctifies us and keeps us alive in Jesus Christ.”

The Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, when he told her that God had chosen her to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary responded “Let it be done to me according to your will,” according to the Gospel of Luke.

The Pope reflected on major figures from the Bible, such as Abraham and Moses, who “said ‘yes’ to hope offered by the Lord.” Other figures, like Isaiah or Jeremiah, initially refused or hesitated before saying “yes” to God.

The Pope noted the presence of priests in the congregation who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their priesthood. He also recognized the Sisters of Santa Martha who renewed their vows in silence at the Mass.

He encouraged each person in the congregation to reflect on whether he or she says “yes” or “no” to God.

“Or am I a man or woman who looks away, so as not to respond?” he asked.

The Pope prayed that God “grant us the grace to take this path of men and women who knew how to say ‘yes’.”

For the pope’s historical blessing on March 27, both an icon of Mary and a miraculous crucifix were brought to St. Peter’s Square.

It was also before these same two images that Pope Francis went to pray when he left the Vatican in early March for a mini-pilgrimage for the intention of the end of the pandemic.

Read more:
Miraculous crucifix from 1522 plague moved to St. Peter’s for pope’s ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing

The Marian image is one of the oldest that exists, and it is traditionally attributed to St. Luke.

According to tradition St. Luke was a very talented young man. He not only wrote a Gospel account and the Acts of the Apostles, he was also a Greek physician and an artist.

He is held by the Eastern Church as the original “iconographer,” responsible for writing the first icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many painters throughout the centuries have depicted this scene by placing St. Luke in front of an easel, painting a portrait of the Blessed Mother holdng the Child Jesus.

There exist multiple traditions surrounding what happened to the original icon(s) that St. Luke wrote. Whatever truth there is behind these traditions, one of the images that is attributed to St. Luke is this favorite of Pope Francis, known as Salus Populi Romani.


Similar to Our Lady of Czestochowa, it is believed this image was discovered by St. Helena and taken first to Constantinople. By the 6th century the image was transferred to Rome and ever since has been enshrined in the church of Saint Mary Major.

Already in the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great is said to have had the image processed through Rome to stop a plague that was spreading through city.

Read more:
During a deadly plague, Pope Gregory had this consoling vision of St. Michael the Archangel

It is this image, known as “Protectress of the Roman People,” before which Pope Francis prays and offers flowers each time he leaves Rome for a pontifical journey and again when he returns.

This icon, painted on a cedar panel, depicts Mary with a dark blue mantle trimmed with gold over a purple tunic, the typical dress of figures of power in 5th-century Rome.

She is holding the Christ Child, who is shown with a book in his left hand, presumably the Gospel. Unlike the 3rd-century representations of similar scenes, we see Mary, rather than Jesus, looking directly at the viewer.

Read more:
Pope entrusting people of Italy to Our Lady of Divine Love: Here’s why

Read more:
The story behind the Madonna of the Snow

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Pope Francis explains why he does not consider Our Lady co-redemptrix

Pope Francis was explaining the role of Our Lady in Salvation history, and the use of the title “co-redemptrix” to describe her.

Mary is a mother, he said, and that's why she helps and protects us.

As a mother, not a goddess, not as a co-redeemer. as a mother. It's true Christian piety always gives her beautiful titles, just as a son gives them to his mother. How many beautiful things a son says to his mother whom he loves so much! How many beautiful things! But we must be careful: the things the Church and the saints say, the beautiful things they say to Mary, don't take anything away from the redeeming uniqueness of Christ. He is the only Redeemer. They are expressions of love that a son says to his mother, they may be exaggerated, but we know love leads us to do exaggerated things, but they come from love.

Pope Francis recalled how Our Lady accompanied Jesus on Calvary. In the same way, Mary accompanies those who die alone, exactly as is happening during the pandemic.

Mary has been present during the pandemic, she's been close to people who sadly ended their earthly journey in isolation, without the comfort and closeness of their loved ones. Mary is always there, with her maternal tenderness. Prayers addressed to her are never in vain.

When he greeted Polish faithful following the audience in streaming, the Pope mentioned how civil and religious Days for Life are being celebrated in Poland.

Pray that throughout the world there may be a renewal of sensitivity in consciences, families, the Church and society to the value of human life, at every stage and in every condition.

Pope Francis also recalled several tragedies that have struck him recently, like the over 130 people who were murdered during an attack in Niger, and the terrible floods in Australia.

Mary, Mother of the Church: A New Celebration

Our Blessed Mother is honored under many titles. The faithful have often referred to Mary as “the Mother of God”, “the Mother of the faithful” or simply “our Mother” to stress her personal relationship with each one of us, her children. Pope Francis has recently declared that a new memorial will be celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It will be devoted to Mary as Mother of the Church and will be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost. This Marian memorial had already been celebrated in some dioceses and religious communities around the world, but will now be celebrated universally in the Catholic Church.

What is the meaning of this particular title and why is it important to honor Mary with the title “Mother of the Church”?

The Meaning and History of the Title

This Marian title, “Mother of the Church,” is relatively new. It was only officially bestowed on the Blessed Virgin Mary by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1964 at the Second Vatican Council, who invited the faithful to invoke her help under this title. Since then it has grown in popularity. During the Holy Year of Reconciliation of 1975, the votive Mass of Our Lady, Mother of the Church was proposed and subsequently added to the Roman Missal. In 1980, Pope Saint John Paul II added the title “Mother of the Church” to the Litany of Loreto (or the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary), the great Marian prayer which invokes her intercession under various titles and is often recited after the Rosary. In the 1990s, St. John Paul II also founded the Monastery of Mater Ecclesiae (Latin for Mother of the Church) at the Vatican. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI now resides at this very monastery.

Although venerating Mary as Mother of the Church is fairly new, it has ancient roots in Christian tradition. It can be traced back to St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great. This title reflects the belief that Mary is not only the mother of the person of Christ but also the mother of the faithful. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“The Virgin Mary … is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer … She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ … since she by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.” (CCC 963)

This Marian title has been used rarely over the centuries. Recently, there has been a greater focus on the mystery of the Church and the Blessed Mother’s relationship to her. It focuses on the unity of Jesus with all the members of the Church as one body, with Christ as its head (Ephesians 1:22-23). Since the Blessed Virgin Mary is Jesus’ mother, the faithful who are members of the Church, his own body, also share his mother. This led to Mary being invoked as “Mother of the Church”, a title which expresses Our Lady’s maternal relationship with the Church and is expressed through her faith, love, hope, and obedience.

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Role

Several biblical passages describe Mary’s role in the life of the Church. Mary was the first to learn of Jesus’ mission and nature as “Son of the Most High” from the Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:26-38). She was the first believer, responding in faith to God’s message. We can imagine her as the most loving of mothers, nursing Jesus, caring for him when he was sick, teaching him to walk and to speak.

At the crucifixion, she stood at the foot of her Son’s cross, standing by Jesus even when other disciples had fled in fear. When the dying Lord spoke to his mother and John from the cross, he said to John, the beloved disciple, “Behold, your mother” (John 19:27) and to his mother, he said, “Woman, behold, your son” (John 19:26). To John, he entrusted his very own mother as a gift. The disciple “took her into his home” (John 19:27), meaning not only that he took her into his physical home but into his heart as well. Jesus entrusts to Mary’s maternal care, not only the Apostle John but all the faithful in every period in history. He entrusts to his mother’s care the entire Church, past and present.

In the days following the Resurrection, the disciples gathered together in prayer in the Upper Room. She prayed together with the first Christian community who were preparing for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:14). She was present there as the mother of Jesus, the glorified Lord. She assisted the beginnings of the Church through her guidance and prayers.

The Virgin Mary was present both at the Incarnation of the Word through the action of the Holy Spirit and at the moment of the birth of the Church at Pentecost. Her discreet but fundamental presence reveals the role of the Holy Spirit in the birth of both Jesus and the birth of the Church. As Pope St. John Paul II states, “She who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes – by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit – present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: ‘Woman, behold your son!’ ‘Behold, your mother’” (Redemptoris Mater, 24). Mary played a maternal role in the life of the newborn Church and continues to play that same role today.

Mary – The Church’s Model and Help

Mary’s caring motherhood toward us as members of the Church is a spiritual motherhood, which is linked with the nature of the Church. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, at the wedding feast in Cana, Mary was moved with compassion and through her intercession brought about the beginning of Jesus’ miracles (John 2:1-12). This text describes a different aspect of her motherhood, her spiritual motherhood. Mary showed great concern for the difficulties and needs of others and came to their aid. She intercedes for them by bringing the needs of humanity to her Son’s attention. When we approach her, we move closer to Jesus, since she is completely devoted to her Son. Her only desire for the faithful is to direct them to Jesus, instructing them to “do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).

The Blessed Virgin Mary offers her example and heavenly aid to the faithful. In Redemptoris Mater, Pope St. John Paul II stated:

Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church. In this sense Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Church’s model. (RM, 47)

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s entire life is a model for the Church. Her life was lived in imitation of her Son’s life. Mary was Jesus’ first and most perfect disciple. She always acted faithfully and courageously and dedicated her life to doing God’s will. Her deep faith and love for God offer the Church the most fitting example of how to bring Christ into the world and how to trust always in the Lord’s protection and guidance.

Turning to Our Heavenly Mother

The new memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church will be celebrated this year on May 21, the day after Pentecost. Let us turn to our Blessed Mother on this special day and rejoice in her loving example and motherly care. Let us offer her our sincere prayers for her intercession and heavenly aid, both for ourselves and for the Church.

Mary's 'yes' to God changed history, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis with a statue of Mary and baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square during the general audience on Sept 9, 2015. / L'Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Apr 4, 2016 / 12:31 pm

Pope Francis marked the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday by reflecting on the power of Mary’s “yes” to God.

“Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross,” he said in his April 4 homily.

The Pope celebrated Mass at the Casa Santa Martha residence Monday morning, Vatican Radio reports.

Through Mary’s affirmation, God “becomes one of us and takes on our flesh,” he said.

“Today is the celebration of ‘yes’,” the Pope continued. “It is God’s ‘yes’ that sanctifies us and keeps us alive in Jesus Christ.”

The Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, when he told her that God had chosen her to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary responded “Let it be done to me according to your will,” according to the Gospel of Luke.

The Pope reflected on major figures from the Bible – such as Abraham and Moses – who “said ‘yes’ to hope offered by the Lord.” Other figures, like Isaiah or Jeremiah, initially refused or hesitated before saying “yes” to God.

The Pope noted the presence of priests in the congregation who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their priesthood. He also recognized the Sisters of Santa Martha who renewed their vows in silence at the Mass.

Mary, Mother of Mercy

Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in the Year of Mercy (LM) bears the title, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13). The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee. Signed on the Feast of St. Francis (October 4, 2015), the message is subdivided into three subheadings. Parts two and three focus directly on mercy, reflecting respectively on God’s covenant with humanity: a history of mercy and on the works of mercy.

It is the first part, however, that is remarkable in that it directs attention to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since the papal Lenten messages began in 1978, this has never been done. A possible exception may be Lent 1988 occurring during the Marian Year but even Mary’s Pope, St. John Paul II, did not refer to her more significantly than with a general salute. Surprising, also, is the title of the first subheading of Francis’ Lenten Letter: “Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelized.” At first glance, this heading seems strange since it does not include the term mercy. Why does the Pope not refer to Our Lady as Mother of Mercy, an ancient title in the Catholic Tradition? Why is Mary referred to as the paradigm of evangelization instead of an exemplar of receiving and offering mercy? Since Pope Francis does not answer these questions, we are free to speculate.

In his reflection, Pope Francis directs our attention to Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55), where she “prophetically sings of the mercy whereby God chose her” (LM 1). This jubilant song opens the door to the heart of this young woman of Nazareth. Indeed, it allows us to better fathom her soul’s disposition as she witnesses to God’s infinite love for herself and his people. The Magnificat can be divided into two parts. In the first part, Mary praises God for the marvelous deeds he has worked in her. She acknowledges that in spite of her nothingness as humble handmaid, God has chosen her to work great things through her. She boldly proclaims: “All generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48), fully aware that she has not earned this reputation through her own accomplishments but only because of the great things the Almighty has done in and through her. He has chosen her for a singular task. He has preserved her immaculate, thereby removing even the smallest obstacle that would tarnish her relationship with him. His grace afforded her the freedom to say an unconditional fiat to his plans, whereby she became the virginal Mother of his divine Son. Unlike any other human being, God has called her to accompany the fruit of her womb from crib to Cross and thus partake in the work of divine redemption itself.

Mary has encountered the merciful God who is at the same time almighty. She treasures both aspects as a single and unified precious gift: because the merciful God is also omnipotent, he can turn chaos into order and heal the brokenness of our human condition. God has the power to scatter the proud in their conceit, to cast down the mighty from their thrones, and to fill the hungry with good things. There is no sin that he cannot forgive no guilt and fault from which he cannot liberate us. In the words of Pope Francis: “Mary attests that the mercy of the Son of God knows no bounds and extends to everyone, without exception” (Misericordiae Vultus, §24).

In the second part of the Magnificat, Mary acknowledges the great things God has done for his people Israel. The line uniting the two sections of the Magnificat reads: “His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Lk 1:50). Pope Francis reminds us that “we too were included in those prophetic words of the Virgin Mary” (MV 24), as well as all people before us and those yet to come. While God’s mercy extends to all, Mary’s song clarifies that it can only be fully appreciated by those who open their hearts to this gift. The acknowledgment of our own misery seems to be the key to God’s unlimited mercy. This holds true for each individual, including Mary, for the people of Israel, and for each community with God at its center.

Thus, Mary’s Magnificat culminates in her conviction: “He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy” (Lk 1:54). It is exactly in being the servant of the Lord that Israel was a chosen people. Just as Mary, the humble handmaid was the recipient of God’s mercy, so also is “the mystery of divine mercy revealed in the history of the covenant between God and his people Israel” (LM 2). In spite of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness to the covenant, “God shows himself ever rich in mercy, ever ready to treat his people with deep tenderness and compassion” (LM 2). As soon as they return to him, openly confessing their guilt and shame, they find themselves in the embrace of Love and Mercy. God’s mercy is always greater than his justice! He is the first to offer a helping hand. He gives himself to us without counting the cost. He does not love us in spite of our ugliness but exactly because of it. He offers us his mercy not on account of our merits but because of our need. He loves us, not because we are precious rather, we are precious because of his infinite goodness to us. Pope Francis must have had such a transforming experience. His motto “Miserando atque eligendo” recalls his own Magnificat, as it were, when, following the Sacrament of Confession, he personally encountered the mercy of God who, descending with a gaze of tender love, called him to religious life.

The Magnificat is Mary’s reply to God’s incomprehensible gift of mercy. Having experienced God’s mercy, she herself becomes the bearer of mercy for all generations. As a mirror image of divine mercy and example of Christian mercy, she is a model for each one of us, for the Church, and for a culture of Mercy. In the words of Pope Francis: “Mary attests that the mercy of the Son of God knows no bounds and extends to everyone, without exception” (MV 24). Throughout her life, she remains mindful of it and faithfully savors this gift in her soul. Her earthly pilgrimage with all its joyful, sorrowful, and glorious aspects testifies to God’s mercy. She can be and do all things because God’s mercy envelops her.

At the same time, Mary is Mother of Mercy, and thus she can be our advocate. Is this the answer to our initial inquiry? Could it be that this divine gift, by which the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes an ambassador of Mercy Incarnate, is the key to her being “the perfect icon of the Church which evangelizes and . . . continues to be evangelized” (LM 1)? I believe Pope Francis has answered this question in the affirmative. In the jubilee bull Misericordiae Vultus, he confirms that:

City of god: the divine history and life of the Virgin Mother of God manifested to Mary of Agreda for the encouragement of men

Publication date 1914 Usage Public Domain Mark 1.0 Topics Mary, Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint -- Early works to 1800, Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint Publisher So. Chicago, Ill., The Theopolitan Hammond, Ind., W.B. Conkey Co Collection folkscanomy_religion folkscanomy additional_collections Language English

CONTENTS Special Notice and Approbations IX.-XXIV. Introduction 3 BOOK ONE Chapter I. Concerning Two Special Visions Vouchsafed to My Soul by the Lord and Concerning Other Enlightenments and Mysteries, which Compelled Me to Withdraw from Earthly Things and Raised My Spirit to Dwell above the Earth 23 Chapter II. How the Lord, in the State in which He Had Placed Me, Manifested to Me the Mysteries of the Life of the Queen of Heaven 35 Chapter III. Of the Knowledge of the Divinity, which was Conferred Upon Me, and of the Decree of the Creation of the World 46 Chapter IV. How the Divine Decrees are Classified according to Instants, and what God in Each Determined to Communicate ad Extra 52 Chapter V. Instructions concerning Holy Scriptures, and in Particular concerning Chapter Eight of the Proverbs, in Confirmation of the Preceding Pages 62 Chapter VI. Concerning a Doubt, which I Proposed Regarding the Doctrine Contained in these Chapters, and the Answer to It 75 Chapter VII. How the Most High gave a Beginning to His Works and Created all Material Things for the Use of Man, while Angels and Men were Created to be His people Under the Leadership of the Incarnate Word 83 Chapter VIII. Which Follows up the Previous Discourse by the Explanation of the Twelfth Chapter of the Apocalypse 93 Chapter IX. The Rest of the Twelfth Chapter of the Apocalypse is Explained 104 Chapter X. The Explanation of the Twelfth Chapter of the Apocalypse is Concluded 116 Chapter XI. In the Creation of All Things the Lord had before His Mind Christ Our Lord and His Most Holy Mother. He Chose His People and Heaped His Benefits on Them 125 Chapter XII. How, after the Human Race had been Propagated, the Clamors of the Just for the Coming of the Redeemer Increased, and Likewise Sin in this Night of the Ancient Law, God Sent Two Momingstars as Harbingers of the Law of Grace 141 Chapter XIII. How the Conception of the Most Holy Mary was Announced by the Archangel Gabriel, and How God Prepared Holy Anne for It by a Special Favor 151 Chapter XIV. How the Almighty Made Known to the Holy Angels the Opportune Decree for the Conception of the Most Holy Mary and which of Them He Selected for Her Custody 161 Chapter XV. Of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God through Divine Power 173 Chapter XVI. Of the Habits of Virtue, with which God Gifted the Soul of the Most Holy Mary, and of Her First Exercises of These Virtues in the Womb of her Mother Anne She Herself Gives me Instructions for Imitating Her 184 Chapter XVII. Still Treating of the Mystery of the Conception of Holy Mary and Explaining the Twenty-first Chapter of the Apocalypse 198 Chapter XVIII. Sequel of the Mystery of the Conception of the Most Holy Mary as Described in the Second Part of the Twenty-first Chapter of the Apocalypse 217 Chapter XIX. Contains the last Portion of Apocalypse XXI in as far as it Describes the Conception of the Most Holy Mary 232 Chapter XX. Treating of what Happened during the Nine Months of the Pregnancy of St. Anne the Doings of the Most Holy Maiy in the Womb of her Mother, and those of Saint Anne during that Time 252 Chapter XXI. Of the Felicitous Birth of the Most Holy Mary Our Mistress: of the Favors, which She then Received from the Hand of the Most High, and How a Name was Given Her in Heaven and on Earth 268 Chapter XXII. How Saint Anne Complied with the Law of Moses in regard to Childbirth and How Most Holy Mary Acted in Her Infancy 278 Chapter XXIII. Of the Emblems of the Holy Guardian Angels in their Intercourse with the Blessed Mary, and of Their Perfections 291 Chapter XXIV. Of the Holy Exercises and Occupations of the Queen in the First Year and a Half of Her Infancy 301 Chapter XXV. How the Most Holy Child Mary Began to Speak at the Age of One Year and a Half and How She was Occupied until the Time of Her Departure to the Temple 309 BOOK TWO Chapter I. Of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mary in the Temple at the Age of Three Years 325 Chapter II. Concerning a Singular Favor, which the Almighty Conferred on Most Holy Mary as soon as She was Established in the Temple 337 Chapter III. Instruction which the Queen of Heaven Gave Me concerning the Vows of My Profession 348 Chapter IV. Of the Perfection in which Most Holy Mary Passed Her Days in the Temple, and of the Exercises which She was Ordered to Undertake 360 Chapter V. Of the Perfections of the Most Holy Mary in the Practice of Virtues in General, and of Her Advance in Them 371 Chapter VI. Of the Virtue of Faith, and How Most Holy Mary Practiced It 377 Chapter VII. Of the Virtue of Hope, and How the Virgin Our Lady Practiced It 389 Chapter VIII. Of the Virtue of Charity in the Most Holy Mary, Our Lady 397 Chapter IX. Of the Virtue of Prudence as Practiced by the Most Holy Queen of Heaven 411 Chapter X. Of the Virtue of Justice, as Practiced by Most Holy Mary 426 Chapter XI. The Virtue of Fortitude, as Practiced by the Most Holy Mary 440 Chapter XII. The Virtue of Temperance as Practiced by the Most Holy Mary 449 Chapter XIII. Of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost and How the Most Holy Mary Made use of Them 462 Chapter XIV. Explanation of the Different Kinds of Divine Visions Enjoyed by the Queen of Heaven and the Effects which They Wrought in Her 476 Chapter XV. Description of Another Kind of Visions and Communications, which the Most Holy Mary Enjoyed with the Holy Angels of Her Guard 500 Chapter XVI. Continuation of the History of the Most Holy Child Mary in the Temple the Lord Prepares Her for Troubles, and Joachim, Her Father, Dies 510 Chapter XVII. The Princess of Heaven Begins to Suffer Affliction God Absents Himself From Most Holy Mary: Her Sweet and Amorous Sighs 523 Chapter XVIII. Other Afflictions of Our Queen, Some of which were Permitted by the Lord Through the Agency of Creatures and of the Ancient Serpent 531 Chapter XIX. The Most High Enlightens the Priest concerning the Spotless Innocence of Most Holy Mary She Herself is Informed of the Approaching Death of Her Mother, Saint Anne, and is Present at this Event 547 Chapter XX. The Most High Manifests Himself to His Beloved Mary, Our Princess, by Conferring on Her an Extraordinary Favor 558 Chapter XXI. The Most High Commands the Most Holy Mary to Enter the State of Matrimony and Her Response to this Command 567 Chapter XXII. The Espousal of Most Holy Mary with the Most Chaste Saint Joseph 576 Chapter XXIII. An Explanation of Chapter Thirty-One of the Proverbs of Solomon, to which the Lord Referred Me Regarding the Life of Most Holy Mary in Matrimony 587 Chapter XXIV. The Same Subject Continued : the Rest of the Thirty-first Chapter of the Proverbs is Explained 597 Digitized by Google.

Half-title: Mystical city of God

[v. 1.] The conception.--[v. 2.] The incarnation.--[v. 3.] The transfixion.--[v. 4.] The coronation

Description based on print version record

Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002

More Comments:

Donald George Losey - 8/3/2010

read 1 Timothy 4:1-3
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
1Ti 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Joel Schwartz - 8/7/2003

Does anyone know how to get in touch with Vatican wistleblower Richard Sipe. Thanks in advance for any assistance in this regard--Js

Don Lester - 8/4/2003

I think this "man-made" rule is nuts. How can you say to a non-catholic married minister of another church, "If you join us and wish to become a priest , it's okay to keep your wife." BUT if your are a catholic you cannot become a priest and be married.

The church punishes it's own for being catholic. How stupid.
I am a catholic and I truly belive that one day common sense will prevail and a progresive Pope will bring the church to it's senses.

Coritateacher - 4/8/2003

Just a correction to a year old message, for anyone else who stumbles into this: Bernard of Clairvaux was born (

1090)after Gregory VII died.(

1085) Bernard could not have told Gregory anything.. at least, not here on earth.

Tom stilwell - 2/27/2003

Jan michael alano - 10/1/2002

why is it that priest are not allow to marry?

Keith miller - 5/16/2002

Found it necessary to clarify a matter or two. My two questions posed regarding post-Resurrection and Mary Magdalene likely marriage, thus sexual intercourse (non-platonic relationship) with Jesus, really I must say derives not only from treatment by Phipps, but also, let it be said, interpolations and thinking on my own. At this point, based upon a passage from Was Jesus Married? (just reading tonight) must assert something, which has always been true and sadly. That is, as Phipps gives it, people I have the utterly mistaken notion of Jesus as a "kill-joy." Why this should be particularly dumbfounds me, except for fact I appreciate all too well, specifically that the same people obstinately refuse to recognize that though (as I believe Jesus had a divine dimension) he was ALSO fully human in every sense of the world and loved life. That is why Phipps could very rightly head chapter 3 of The Sexuality of Jesus with this "Jesus the Philogynist" (by the way see p. 67 of that chapter, which should have referred to in previous comment on likely marriage of Jesus with Mary Magdalene, as I suggested in my two questions). To conclude then regarding the "kill-joy" theme and the very positive attitudes of Jesus on married life (and I would think would prove he would never have rejected such for himself) the whole of that being antithetical to celibacy as some kind of purer condition for believers, in particular leaders of the Church. Why after now two thousand years can we NOT manage (with Jesus as shining example of invariably caring and more--loving--of women, and very probable marriage with Mary Magdalene, with all that would entail in and out of bed) to abandon the pernicious notions that sex between a man and woman when in love and respecting each other in mind and body (and especially in marriage) is less worthy to God than a celibate life? One further point, which I offer as my "clincher" on this whole matter of Jesus, his probable marriage, and his remarkably open-to-living (ethical though certainly) but in joy and fullness at same time, to wit--the first miracle performed by Jesus was at a wedding feast at Cana and as the Gospel account gives it, the guests remarked, that wine, which Jesus transformed from water, was the best--normally opened first on such an occasion. You the reader tell me, if Jesus did not enjoy a good time and honor married life (perhaps above all in this our often "vail of tears") why did he choose a wedding banquet for performing the first of his miracles in Bible? Keith L. Miller

Keith miller - 5/15/2002

Dear Helen, You would recognize my name, as frequent contributor, especially to HNN Teachers Edition. Before providing an argument or two for marriage IN FACT of Jesus to Mary Magadalene (very persuasive too for me) want to alert you, if HNN Editor not yet made available e-mail from me on this (other readers of this comment might note the following too), Mr. Shenkman told me he will definitely post in not too distant future an article by me on homepage of HNN titled SEXUALTY AND THE LIBERATION OF WOMEN: THOUGHTS PROMPTED BY ABUSES OF CELIBATE CLERGY. In that article I discuss some salient aspects of 3 books by William E. Phipps (no "crack-pot," as I prove in the text), titled as follows: WAS JESUS MARRIED?: THE DISTORTION OF SEXUALITY IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION (1970) THE SEXUALITY OF JESUS: THEOLOGICAL AND LITERARY PERSPECTIVES (1973) and INFLUENTIAL THEOLOGIANS WO/MAN (1981), see especially on that 3rd book, chapter 3 "Sexual Shame in Augustine" (pp. 61-80). On a matter of related interest, I first discovered Phipps (that marvelous thinker that he is on sexuality and the Bible) about 20 years ago, leafing through a few volumes of Journal of the American Academy of Religion at Wabash Valley College Library, Mt. Carmel, Illinois--a college within 4-college system, in which I was then teaching. Here is what "leaped out at me"--Phipps's article in JAAR, to wit--"The Plight of the Song of Songs," vol. 42 (March 1974). That article demolishes down to "foundation," so to speak, centuries-held notions/beliefs that Song of Songs a sympolic representation of Christ and Church as "bride." Utter nonsense, as Phipps proceeds to prove, I would think to any sane person. What the Song of Songs then is all about instead--a love song (and very erotic too in good many places, if read without "blinders" of long-held doctrine of churchmen, whom Phipps manages to point out well, were very "hidebound" about the sexuality of the human body and most assuredly having (or contemplating) the act of sex! Now, to conclude with two questions (by which I suggest in brief, arguments by Phipps in WAS JESUS MARRIED? for that founder of Christianity as husband of Mary Magadalene (NOT in any platonic way either)--(1) if there was not some very close, probable sexual relationship, between that man and woman, why is it Mary, according to the Gospels, arrived FIRST at tomb after Resurrection, looking for Jesus? (2) why too of all those mentioned by Gospels at or near the tomb of Christ after Resurrection was Mary Magadalene the ONLY one of those people (man or woman), who reached out to him and/or actually touched him? Something more on this--Phipps would certainly know his Greek here (the original language of the New Testament) for he has Ph. D. in Biblical Criticism from St. Andrews, Scotland. Using that knowlege Phipps makes clear the King James Version of Bible has the Risen Lord render much too harsh a remark to Mary about touching him. Instead, Phipps makes excellent point that Jesus said rather something like this--"don't continue to cling to me." Which Phipps, with his knowledge of Greek, indicates is a phrase that includes a likely meaning even for act of sexual intercourse. So, Ms. Owen as fine a job as you did on your essay, must offer the above, along with the very positive evidence from Phipps, along with my own thinking, Jesus was NOT by any means (far from it) a eunuch! Would like to hear from you Helen by comment, especially as appreciate your posting of my essays at times (in your intern position for HNN). Cheers! Keith

Comment - 5/2/2002

Relative to when Catholic clergy embraced
celebecy that was an excellent tracing of the evolution of the practice
in the Catholic church save for one additional detail relating to the
encyclical which set the course in the 11th century. Frederick C.
Dietz, who was in his day the most preeminent Tudor/Stuart scholar in
America and one of the outstanding scholars on earlier English history
contended that a deal was struck between Pope Clement and William the
Conqueror to forbid the clergy to marry in a political deal intended to
prevent the clergy from having progeny to whom they could pass on
property which both the church and state covetted.
Edward M. Bennett Professor Emeritus Washington State University

Daniel Mulholland - 5/1/2002

As a consequence of the Union of Brest in 1594 between Orthodox and Catholics, the Uniate clergy were free not only to follow Orthodox liturgy but obliged parish priests to marry, as had been the case among Orthodox Christians.

Dr. Mario D. Mazzarella - 5/1/2002

The reform movement of the Cluniac monks, which began in the late 10th century and which reformed a western Church badly in need of it, pressed for clerical celibacy. It became popular and was supported by many ordinary believers. Many a priest, in France for instance, was compelled to repudiate his wife, not without much suffering. Interestingly, the decree of Gregory VII on clerical celibacy was opposed by St. Bernard of Clairveaux, himself a . Bernard warned Gregory that barring honorable marriage would introduce concubinage and a host of other evils. He was correct. See the excellent History of the Reformation by the late (Fr.) John P. Dolan.

Oh, yes. One more thing: I do not believe that anyone has ever averred that Jesus was a literal eunuch. His comment that, "There are those who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven," (Matthew 19:12) has commonly been taken as an invitation to voluntary celibacy--except for poor Origen, who took it literally, an action which probably kept him off the calendar of saints. Nice man, but you don't want people to practice EVERYTHING he did.

Chuck Abdella - 5/1/2002

A good article, but several other important historical points ought be made:

1) It was indeed Gregory VII (1073-1085) who was the 1st to require celibacy and it is vital to know that Gregory is one of the few popes to be drawn from the monastic orders. Before his elevation, Gregory was a monk named Hildebrand and thus possessed a bias in favor of chastity not necessaily shared by his contemporaries

2) 1139's dictate (and indeed Gregory's earlier one threatening excommunication) likely was not widely followed. Clerics simply changed "wives" to "housekeepers" and "children" to "nieces/nephews." Trent and the threat of the Reformation led to de facto celibacy for the first time.

3) More important than Anglican converts are the Eastern Rite Catholic clergy who are not converts, but are permitted to marry in the same way that Eastern Orthodox priests are.

4) Finally, an all-male priesthood has been the tradition for the life of the church and is certainly doctrine, but it is not dogmatic, i.e. essential teaching which cannot be reversed.

Mr. Charles Abdella
Instructor of History

James Lindgren - 5/1/2002

The rationales for celibacy seem incomplete, given the history recounted. The author writes:

"In the early 11th century Pope Benedict VIII responded to the decline in priestly morality by issuing a rule prohibiting the children of priests from inheriting property. A few decades later Pope Gregory VII issued a decree against clerical marriages."

Yet none of the rationales offered by experts here mention preventing inherited power or money. Clergy were central to most communities, relatively rich and powerful in many cases. To be allowed to pass down this wealth, power, and position to sons who might not merit it might have been seen as both unfair and counterproductive to the church's viability.

The history recounted suggests that concerns about inherited wealth, power, and position should probably be added to the list of rationales. This rationale has little relevance today--though other rationales might.

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Watch the video: 25th February 1570: Elizabeth I excommunicated by Pope Pius V (January 2022).