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 published: 2006-08-08

"It was the most beautiful Illuminated Rosary we have ever experienced…"

Prayer for peace in the Middle East continues with Illuminated Rosary


Rosario Iluminado por la paz en Medio Oriente

Illuminated Rosary for peace in Middle East

Lichter-Rosenkranz um Frieden im Nahen Osten



Cada rosa, cada vela, cada dolor, cada alegria un aporte a la paz

Each rose, each candle, each suffering, each joy a contribution to peace

Jede Rose, jedes Licht, jedes Leid, jede Freude ein Beitrag zum Frieden


Rezando por „Schoenstatt Summer“

Praying for Schoenstatt Summer

Beten für den Schoenstatt Summer


Una corona de rosas vivas

A crown of living roses

Ein Kranz lebendiger Rosen


Canto final

Final song



Participantes de Peru con sus rosas

Participants from Peru with their roses

Teilnehmer aus Peru mit ihren Rosen

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2006

Album de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum


SCHOENSTATT, mkf. "Yes, it was the most beautiful rosary we have ever experienced," Hildegard Fischer said in response to an e-mail from Gabriele Sudermann, days after both of them participated in the Illuminated Rosary for peace in the Middle East and the people who suffer from the atrocities of the war in Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.The most beautiful? Neither of them could really explain the "magic" of this Rosary that was prayed on July 29, 2006 in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt. The prayer event corresponded with the opening of "Schoenstatt Summer," and some 40 people from eight nations participated, including: Germany, Kenya, the United States, Peru, Austria, Switzerland, Argentina, Poland, and Mexico.

In the past, there have been many illuminated rosaries with more people in attendance than this one. Also, as frequently occurs, in this rosary, there were many "spectators" who watched for a while and left mid-way through without actively participating. In spite of all that, something special was created among the 40 people who did take part in this most recent living rosary. The ages ranged from youth of 20 years old to people 80 years old and drew both Schoenstatters, including an entire course of Brothers of Mary, and neighbors from Koblenz. The petitions and Hail Mary’s were offered in English, Spanish, and German, and all were praying together in unity for others. Each participant came with a great desire to be present, to pray for peace in the Middle East, and to contribute to the "crown of living roses"—the "living rosary" that takes shape as each candle and rose is placed with each petition and thanksgiving. For this rosary, the Third International Auxiliary of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign was displayed in the center of the crown. The next day, one of the Brothers of Mary said, "The Illuminated Rosary was indeed most beautiful!"

During the prayers, there were almost no pauses, and often two or three people came up to the microphone at the same time to pray their Hail Mary and make their intention. The intentions varied, but all reflected the current concerns of the people involved: Schoenstatt Summer, young people in need of employment, loved ones with terrible illnesses, broken marriages, grief over the loss of relatives and friends. These requests were added to the one intention prayed for over and over again: the situation in Lebanon, the political leaders, the innocent people who have lost everything, the dead, the wounded, and everyone who suffers pain in those countries that are not at peace.

Is this also prayed in Lima?

One very special participant was a Peruvian woman named Nelly. A few months back, Nelly married a German man, left behind her home in Peru, and moved with him to Germany. She made a connection with Schoenstatt via the Internet soon after arriving. Tragically, her husband died recently during their "official" honeymoon. Now Nelly is alone here and faces many challenges with language and finances, in addition to her great grief. Thus, Nelly came to pray for the repose of her husband’s soul, and her sister, Rosa, came with her. Both were raised in a Catholic family, but grew up not practicing the faith. They say they didn’t even really know how to pray, but Nelly says that the moment they learned of her husband’s death, they felt a strong closeness to the Blessed Mother: "It was a special serenity," she said. "My parents were praying the rosary at the same time in Lima", she commented. Her sister, Rosa, who has been visiting and will return to Lima in a few weeks, had only one question: "Is there a Shrine in Lima? And is the Illuminated Rosary also prayed there?"

Immediate answers to prayer

During the rosary, one of the participants prayed "that the owners of the billfold that she had just found on the way to Mount Schoenstatt would not be too nervous." Some Hail Mary’s later, Alois Hirschmugl, from Sittendorf, Austria, came to the microphone to thank the Blessed Mother "for my son, Johannes, who a little while ago suggested to my friends from Austria to pray to Father so that the billfold they had just lost, which contained a large sum of money, would be found; he also had come to us and asked us to pray!" Thus, his billfold and this wonderful, immediate answer to prayer, was symbolized by a rose and a candle and placed in the Illuminated Rosary.After the Illuminated Rosary, Gabriele Sudermann and Hildegard Fischer had two more surprises that sealed their conviction that this was the most beautiful Illuminated Rosary they had ever seen. As is usual custom, they ended by expressing their gratitude to everyone for their presence and participation in the rosary. Then they added "whoever wanted could express gratitude to the country where the Illuminated Rosary was started, Argentina, through very concrete support by contributing to the Children’s Home, Mary of Nazareth, in Villa Ballester." When they gathered the collection at the end, they found some 270 Euros, including a 100 Euro bill. Finally, after everything was concluded, they said that everyone could take a rose home. Suddenly, there was not even enough time to take a photo of the "complete" Illuminated Rosary: No one wanted to be left without a rose!

Carmelites in Lebanon Send Thanks for Prayers with Pleas for More

After the Schoenstatt community met to pray for peace in the Middle East on July 23rd, an e-mail was sent to the Carmelite Sisters in Lebanon, telling them about the prayer session and the Illuminated Rosary that was prayed on Saturday. This response arrived shortly after the last Rosary:

"Dear All, It is impossible to write in length and detail to everyone, but the gratitude of our hearts demands a response as we see the signs of your love and affection toward this our martyred Lebanon. So we write this open letter: above all, we want to express our gratitude for the prayers and penance that are being offered for Peace. We wish to express the joy we have over feeling protected by the love and the pleas of so many children of the Church who have so promptly obeyed the Holy Father’s call. We are convinced that the darkness that surrounds us can only be dissipated by the LIGHT, The Sweet Heart of Mary, which constantly intercedes for her children. She is the one to whom we entrust this entire situation. And you cannot imagine the consolation and strength that we gain with each one of your messages or telephone calls, as they make us feel close to the brothers and sisters who live the drama of Lebanon from afar… From the priests, the Carmelites, to the cloistered convents, Religious Communities, consecrated laity, lay people and non-believers, messages from everyone arrive, and we see in truth that we are all brothers; when respect reigns, we all feel equal, and we all desire peace and well being for everyone. Then the world can live in peace, in the midst of people of different races, beliefs or cultures, if love dwells in the hearts of us all. As St. John of the Cross said, "We were created for love."We continue to live this infernal drama, but today, after this world journey of prayer for peace, we can say that something is moving—there is talk of dialogue, of making concessions… Let us ask and trust that our Sweet Mother, that her Immaculate Heart, will enlighten minds and that resolutions of peace will emerge from these talks. Once more, we express our gratitude to everyone. We are two Lebanese Carmelites, cloistered, but living very close to the people who suffer greatly and who lack everything; however, it is not necessary for us to speak, since the news and other communications will show you clearly how both sides suffer.Under the Maternal Mantle of the All Holy Mother of God, Carmel del Theotokos et de l’Unité, Rue Saint Joseph Harissa, Libanon."

The next Illuminated Rosary in Schoenstatt will be prayed on August 26th

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA / Amy Peebles, Austin, Texas, USA

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