Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Forming long lines to be in the Shrine for a few Minutes

Over 18,000 persons visited the Shrine in Atibaia, Brazil, in November

Wallfahrtsgottesdienst im Pilgerzelt
Holy Mass for the pilgrims in the tent
Gemeinsam danken und bitten - Wallfahrtstag in Atibaia
Praying, singing and thanking together - a day by the Shrine in Atibaia
Ein Sonntag in Atiabaia - Tausende wollen das Heiligtum besuchen
A Sunday in Atiabaia - Thousands want to visit the Shrine

Fotos: Schönstatt, Brasilien, © 2000

(Sr. M. Isabel C. Machado, Atibaia) The month of November was marked by an extraordinarily large number of pilgrims who came to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Atibaia. On the four weekends, a total of 381 buses was counted. Over 18,000 pilgrims came, mostly on Sundays, simply to visit, see and honor the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt in her Shrine.

Most of the pilgrims who visit the Shrine do so as a way of responding to the monthly visit of the Pilgrim Mother in their homes. With a great apostolic spirit, the co-ordinators of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign organize the pilgrimages, inviting the families that receive the Pilgrim Mother to spend one day with her by the Shrine, to praise Mary and thank her for all the gifts and graces they received through her intercession.

Thirty-one Pilgrim Shrines make Thirty-one Buses

On November 12 a priest of a parish close to the city of Atibaia, organized a pilgrimage to the Shrine. In his parish there are 31 Pilgrim Shrines. Each co-ordinator organized a bus for their families, bringing 31 buses from this parish. With great joy and pride, the parish priest accompanied the group. The children's choir from the parish, "Mother and Queen," provided the songs for the holy Mass, and the parish also prepared the texts and other elements. At the beginning of the celebration, the 31 co-ordinators processed solemnly into the Pilgrims' tent, carrying the Pilgrims' Shrines joyfully and proudly.

Waiting in Line for One Hour

On November 19, there was a great number of pilgrims again. They came in 118 buses besides a great many that came in private cars, forming a long procession to the Shrine. Many of them waited in line more than one hour to personally greet the Blessed Mother in the Shrine and to bring her their spiritual and material offerings, their contributions to the Capital of Grace, their joys and their petitions. Some of the benches were removed from the Shrine while others were placed in the middle. The people filed in on the right side and left the Shrine on the left side. Some stayed on the benches for a short time and were then asked to move on to give others the chance to be there for a while. When 3,000 or more people want to visit the Shrine, it is necessary to keep the line moving quickly. Many of the pilgrims were aware that November 19 is close to the birthday of the Founder of Schoenstatt, Father Joseph Kentenich (November 18) and they paid special homage to him during the day of the pilgrimage.

Children Love the Shrine

During this year, many children visited the Shrine, for here they make their last preparations for their First Holy Communion with a dedication to the Blessed Mother in the Shrine. She is asked to prepare their hearts for this great day when they receive Jesus for the first time. More than 1,200 children made this dedication to Mary in 2000. The new Pilgrims' Tent is a big help as now all find a place to sit during the Holy Masses and celebrations on Sundays.

English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA


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