From this small Shrine - A Stream of Life and Grace for the Entire World
Celebrating the Covenant of Love by the Original Shrine Holy Father gives Apostolic Blessing to the International Schoenstatt Movement
(mkf) From the end of the world, Cecilia wrote, she would send greeting to Schoenstatt as she remembered her one-time experience of the Original Shrine 20 years ago and renewed her Covenant of Love on this day. Like Cecilia from Tierra del Fuego, people in all continents on this day were spiritually visiting the Original Shrine, the place where the Covenant of Love was sealed on October 18, 1914 that made this place a source of life and grace for the whole world. The participants of the German October Week, the local Schoenstatt family and Schoenstatt members from all continents celebrated the Covenant Day with a festive Holy Mass in the Pilgrims' Church. A candle light procession to the Original Shrine and the renewal of the Covenant of Love followed. Then a night of adoration began in the Original Shrine and Adoration Church for World Peace. At the end of the Mass, Father Marmann shared the special gift of the day the Holy Father's Apostolic Blessing for the International Schoenstatt Movement.
It was a beautiful view for those who were a bit late for the festive Holy Mass in the Pilgrims' Church walking through the dark of a fall night, one approached the brightly lit church, doors wide open, filled with joyful people whose songs of gratitude could be heard from far
United with the International Schoenstatt Family
Soledad Moreno from Chile came and brought a deep-red rose to the Mass and Covenant renewal. Karen and Kristel Kegler from Asunción, Paraguay, probably thought of the 40,000 or more pilgrims who were gathered by the Shrine in Tuparenda to celebrate the Covenant of Love and 20 years of the Blessed Mother working from this Shrine. In joy, and united with the international Schoenstatt Family, Father Dr. Michael Marmann said at the beginning of the Mass, all were specially united with the over 160 Shrines. All would celebrate here, at the place of origin, the Covenant of Love and Father Kentenich's prophetic deed of October 18, 1914, the source of a stream of life and grace for the entire world.
By a small wayside Shrine in Ituzaingó in North Eastern Argentina eight women made their Covenant of Love on this Covenant Day. They united their life and love with the stream of grace from the Shrine that is nourished by the life and love of millions; 40,000 or more pilgrims in Tuparenda, not much less in Querétaro, Mexico, celebrated the same Covenant of Love. In the Shrine in Ecuador, adoration was held from the October 17 to the evening of October 18, and like Cecilia in Tierra del Fuego, thousands joined in the renewal of the Covenant in their home shrines.
Covenant of Love: I need your Heart, your Hands, your Word
The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary were in charge for the Holy Mass; their choir sang the songs from the festive Mass of their 75th anniversary celebrated in Schoenstatt on September 30.
The Covenant of Love, Father Beller said in his sermon during the Mass, would mean: God, through the Blessed Mother, says to each one: I need your heart to reach out to others with warmth and tenderness. I need your hands for the self-understood small deed of love. I need your word that brings comfort and peace. When only 1,000 people do this, our society will be changed.
Apostolic Blessing for the International Schoenstatt Movement
Before the final blessing, Father Marmann, chairperson of the General Praesidium, shared special news. On this day, Schoenstatt Father Cardinal Errázuriz, Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, had a private talk with the Holy Father. They spoke about Schoenstatt "of course, on such a day", Father Marmann added -, and the Holy Father at the end gave his Apostolic Blessing to the whole International Schoenstatt Movement. Applause answered to this surprise announcement!
From the Pilgrims' Church a candle light procession moved towards the Original Shrine. On the way, parts of the prayer that the Holy Father said on the day after the terrorist attacks were prayed. The procession was marked by joyful seriousness.
Gathered Round the Shrine Renewal of the Covenant of Love.
"Each year it is impressing to see so many people gathered round the Shrine," one woman whispered when she arrived at the Original Shrine. Texts from the Founding Document were read, prayers, and songs led to the climax: the renewal of the Covenant of Love. All people allover the world that are, all over the world, attached to the stream of life and grace from the Shrines, were remembered. In a moment of silence all had the time to specially remember close friends in the covenant of love, then all joined in praying, in different languages: my Queen, my Mother
The celebration closed with "Protect us with your mantle", while the jars from different Shrines, filled with sheets of paper with contributions to the Capital of Grace were carried to the fire that this time was lit by the huge Pilgrims' Cross.
While some kept singing, the time of adoration in the Original Shrine beautifully decorated with red roses began a night-long petition for peace, hope and healing.
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