The Man Who Crafted The Light Frame
Fritz Esser Centennial Celebration in Weiskirchen, Mainz Diocese
(Raphael Brantzen) On November 19, 2000, the Schoenstatt Movement of the Mainz Diocese, Germany, met by the "Shrine of Every Day Sanctity" in Weiskirchen (near Frankfurt, visible from the Autobahn Frankfurt-Wuerzburg) to celebrate the first Schoenstatt member from this diocese, Fritz Esser, a member of Schoenstatt's founder generation.
Every Schoenstatt member knows the light frame around the MTA picture in the Shrines with the words: "SERVUS MARIAE NUNQUAM PERIBIT" (A Child of Mary will never perish). One hundred years ago, in 1900, the man who crafted the first light frame was born – Fritz Esser. This was the reason for the Mainz Schoenstatt family to honor him with an appropriate birthday party at the Weiskirchen Schoenstatt Center.
"Fritz Esser is special to us"
And the celebration was special indeed. Hearts made of gingerbread were hung on the shrubs around the Center, with "Fritz" or "100" written on them with white frosting. "Fritz Esser is special to us," says Dr. Thomas Linden, head of the Fritz Esser Alliance. "He was born in Alzey in the Mainz Diocese, and he was a member of Schoenstatt's founder generation." In 1995, Fritz Esser's remains were brought to the Schoenstatt Center in Weiskirchen, where his grave is visited by many.
"Learn from Life"
"Fritz had the talent to build up relationships with people," shared Schoenstatt Priest Father Thomas Knedelhans, author of a book about Fritz Esser. Guided by Father Kentenich, Fritz Esser improved on this ability and created a network of friends. "Learn from life, not only from books," was the advice given to him by Father Kentenich. In Schoenstatt, Fritz learned to love the Blessed Mother and her little Shrine. Out of childlike love for her, he crafted the first light frame for the MTA picture in the Original Shrine. Already critically ill with tuberculosis, in 1920 he organized the collecting of stamps for dishes and linen needed in Schoenstatt for retreats. Father Kentenich helped him to find meaning in his sickness and to offer up his life for Schoenstatt. Fritz Esser, the first Schoenstatt member of the Mainz Diocese, died on January 18, 1924.
SERVUS MARIAE NUNQUAM PERIBIT
On this same day, the late Monsignor Werner Krimm was remembered in thanksgiving. Like Fritz, he also was very close to Father Kentenich and educated by him. Werner Krimm helped build the Schoenstatt Movement in the Mainz Diocese and worked for the construction of the Shrine and Center. During Holy Mass, Father Tilman Beller emphasized the parallel between Fritz Esser and Werner Krimm, whose empathy and understanding was crucial in his pastoral work of building up and supporting relationships with places, ideas, and persons in the organism of attachments. The words in the light frame of the Schoenstatt Shrines, Fritz Esser's lasting heritage to Schoenstatt, were also the center of Werner Krimm's life and are written on his tomb in the Mainz cemetery: "Servus Mariae nunquam peribit".
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
Letzte Aktualisierung: 14.12.2000 16:25 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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