MARY, SO CONTRARY

TWO NEW BOOKS RE-EXAMINE THE VIRGIN MOTHER, A POPULAR FAVORITE WITH A CHECKERED DOCTRINAL PAST

One generation's transcendence is the next generation's trivia question. A case in point is Miraculous Medals of the Virgin Mary. Forty years ago, the demure images of the Virgin atop the globe, distributed at First Communions and spelling bees and treasured thereafter, could be found around the necks of a veritable legion of Roman Catholics. Today they have fallen so far from favor that their mention draws blank looks from some Catholic Gen-Xers. Why? Inhibitions unintentionally fostered by the Second Vatican Council may have had something to do with it. And certain women, writes author Sally Cunneen, were "inoculated against" the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!