Lost Entries: Marian Library and Rosary Attitudes

Here is a “lost entry” I made in my old blog in July of 2004:

Now I’m in Dayton, Ohio, at the Marian Library! This is the largest collection of written materials on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the world. I don’t think that any woman has had more written about her than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She deserves it, of course. It is always worth contemplating the one who brought the Savior into the world, the one who was chosen to give flesh to the God-Man and to care for Him on earth. I’m taking a course on Mary in the Medieval Period, and it’s awesome. Today, one of the gems was the dual-role Mary had as the provider for the human Christ (feeding, showing affection for, etc.) while being the servant and worshiper of the truely divine Christ (adoring Him as God). It’s a balancing act that a fallen human being could not have done, so it makes sense that she was preseverved from the stain of original sin.

Here is another recovered “lost entry” from my old blog from July of 2004:

As I continue to read about devotion to the Blessed Virign Mary in the 20th century, I am finding that those who were writing in the 1950s could see an increase at the time. Did they know that the 50s would be a peak that would diminish? Perhaps some did.

Clarence A. Saunders, S.M., writing in the July-August 1953 issue of Queen of All Hearts talks about our interest in both the old and the new. Here’s a curious quote:

“Some things get to be so old and forgotten that when they turn up they are the ‘newest finds’ and are recieved enthusiastically. This happens even in the matter of prayers and devotions. Ten years ago [1943] the Rosary was, for many Catholics, really a devotion of the past. They had a Rosary perhaps, but never said it. Except a decade or two imposed as sacramental penance. But today we have the Family Rosary, the Block Rosary, the Radio and TV Rosary.”

It seems Marian devotion was awakened at the time through movements, and these were spurred on by the attention to the recently proclaimed dogma of the Assumption.

If there’s one thing I get from all this, it is that one should ignore trends and have devotion to Mary regardless. Catholics were indeed more devoted to Mary in the 50s. Unfortunately, there was a tendency in the 60s to reject the Catholicism of the 50s as outmoded. But today, we have the Rosary prayed among teens, in colleges, in parishes, and on EWTN TV and radio everyday. Nothing outmoded about that.

I hope to put in more “lost entries” soon.

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