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 published: 2003-05-20

Communion Children around the Original Shrine

Pilgrimage from the diocese of Fulda, on a Covenant Day bustling with activities


18 de mayo en Schoenstatt: niños rodeando el Santuario Original

May 18 in Schoenstatt: communion children around the Original Shrine

18. Mai in Schönstatt: Kommunionkinder rund ums Urheiligtum


Niños, jovenes, mayores, todos unidos en el amor de la Mater

Children, youth, señor citizens, all united in the love of the Blessed Mother

Kinder, Jugendliche, ältere Menschen, alle verbunden in der Liebe der Gottesmutter


P. Matthias Rummel SAC: Bienvenida

Fr. Matthias Rummel SAC welcoming the pilgrims

P.Matthias Rummel bei der Begrüßung der Pilger


La Iglesia de los Peregrinos, "Iglesia Joven"

The Pilgrims' Church, a church of young life on this day

Die Pilgerkirche "ganz jung" an diesem Bündnistag


Vicario General, P. Peter Martín Schmidt

Vicar General Fr. Peter Martín Schmidt

Generalvikar Peter Martín Schmidt


Por las calles de Vallendar

In the streets of Vallendar

Auf den Straßen von Vallendar


Banda de musica en Vallendar

Brass band in Vallendar

Mit der Musikkapelle durch Vallendar


Celebración de Alianza: Juventud Femenina

Covenant Celebration: Girls' Youth

Bündnisfeier, musikalisch gestaltet von jungen Frauen und Mädchenjugend


Seminaristas y hermanas de Burundi

Seminarians and sisters from Burundi

Seminaristen und Schwestern aus Burundi


Ruben y Ana Maria Cunille, Florencio Varela, Argentina

Ruben and Ana Maria Cunille, Florencio Varela, Argentina

Ruben und Ana Maria Cunille, Florencio Varela, Argentinien


Un matrimonio de Chile, con Pitty Reiche

A couple from Chile, with Pitty Reiche

Ein Ehepaar aus Chile, mit Pitty Reiche

Fotos:POS Fischer © 2003





SCHOENSTATT, mkf. When on the evening of May 18, during the Covenant Renewal in the Adoration Church, like on each 18th, the participants united with all those who at a Shrine, wayside shrine, home shrine or where ever renewed their covenant of love this day, when we united with all those who carry the Pilgrim MTA to the places where she wants to work, one couldn't help but imagine the Blessed Mother beam with joy looking at all the love and commitment of her children. More than 1,000 pilgrims from the diocese of Fulda, among them 94 communion children, were in Schoenstatt.

It was a special 18th - that already began with the dedication of the new Shrine in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on May 17.Then, on May 18, the corner stone laying in Garanhums, Brazil, and the crowning of the MTA in the Shrine in Salvador, Brazil; the blessed pilgrimage of the Schoenstatt family of Rome, to the land of the future International Shrine, the first Illumined Rosary in England, the workshop for 45 missionaries/coordinators of the Pilgrim Mother in New York. In Waldstetten, Germany, children were involved in the annual "Big May benediction" forming a big rosary of roses in front of the Shrine.

In Monterrey, Mexico, as in Belen de Escobar, Argentina, the local Schoenstatt family celebrated the first anniversary of the benediction of the Shrine. The Covenant celebration in Cordoba, Argentina, was marked by the death of two missionaries on Friday, in a head-on collision with a truck on their way to lead a workshop on prayer, as they did each Friday. They died with the rosary in their hands… Father Juan José Riba spoke about the testimony of their life and death.

As at many of the wayside shrines in Argentina, the "Thousand Hail Mary" were prayed in Goya; the missionaries asked to donate food for the St. Joseph's home for poor old-aged people.

The grace of the first physical encounter with the Shrine

Among the first ones to greet the Blessed Mother in the Original Shrine on May 18, were a couple from Chile (Federation), who are living in Scotland for a year. They spontaneously decided to use the four days off around this day to make a trip to Schoenstatt, together with their four children - their first-time visit! Some time later, a couple from Argentina knelt in the Original Shrine to bid farewell - they had fulfilled a promise given during the severe sickness of the husband, Ruben Cunille. It must be a joy for the Blessed Mother, too, to witness the first-time visits of her children - and for each one who is privileged to be present in such moments, it is like a profound renewal of the covenant!

Praying and singing in the streets of Vallendar

Sunday morning, 9:00 AM. Vallendar is still asleep, the pedestrians' area abandoned. But voices are heard, the sound of walkers, songs… These are not a few people heading to the Sunday Mass, these are more, many more…It is the day of the Fulda diocesan pilgrimage, and these are more than 1,000 pilgrims, among them 94 children who this year had celebrated their first Holy Communion, and who on this sunny morning are forming a living link between Vallendar and Schoenstatt.

The pilgrims arrived by extra train, and walked, with singing and prayers, through the city of Vallendar, accompanied by a brass band. The priests carried the Blessed Sacrament through the streets. Upon arriving at the first houses of Schoenstatt, the pilgrims prayed a decade of the Rosary for the Holy Father. It is a special pilgrimage - with children in baby buggies, or on their dads' backs, with youth with backpacks and guitars, some elderly women in the typical dresses of the Fulda region. It was a beautiful scene by the Original Shrine, with the Communion children standing around the Shrine, with the sun and brilliant blue skies…

A living cell in the organism that is the church

From the Original Shrine, all walked on to the Pilgrims' Church for the Holy Mass, presided by the Vicar General of the diocese of Fulda, Mons. Peter-Martin Schmidt. He talked about the signs of God's presence in each life, and about the grace of being a living cell in the organism that is the mystical body of Christ. Addressing the children, he spoke about the heavenly "mom" who teaches how to live a siblings of her son Jesus.

The testimony of faith given by the Vicar general was impressing.

A living rosary

During the Marian celebration in the afternoon, the Communion children formed a living rosary, with 4-5 boys in their dark suits forming each "Our Father bead", and the others, in their white dresses, the "Hail Mary" beads. It was a joy to watch the proud parents taking pictures!! Before returning to Fulda, the pilgrims once again made a pilgrimage to the Original Shrine. The Communion children each gave a red rose to the Blessed Mother. Then, more than 1,000 persons prayed the "Little Consecration" - on the 18th, by the Original Shrine…

Mary is the one who grants us the peace of our heart

With the pilgrims from Fulda, also the sun disappeared, and at the beginning of the Covenant Renewal in the Adoration Church at 7:30 PM, a heavy rain began that did not stop in hours... At the beginning of the celebration, Father Oskar Bühler reminded all of the dedication of the Shrine in Belo Horizonte, and then picked up a testimony from a couple that had been in Schoenstatt with a pilgrimage from Chile. "Although it was our first visit, we felt like coming home, like coming home into the peace and quiet of our home, our family!"

In all the torments and unrests of our life, he said, the Blessed Mother would grant us the peace of the heart, origin of all peace in the families, at the work places, in the communities, and the world. The texts of the Covenant celebration invited to meditate the presence of the Blessed Mother in all of the places where her instrument have brought her in faith and confidence, and with all the persons and peoples whom we have dedicated to her… be they the prisoners, the children at risk of life, families, co-workers, unborn children, the people of Iraq… "guard them, and defend them, as you property and possession."

United with all who at a Shrine, wayside shrine, parish church, or in the home shrines, renewed their covenant of love, the participants then offered their contributions to the capital of grace, and renewed the Covenant of love. Girls Youth, and seminarians and sisters from Burundi, provided songs and music for the celebration.

Before the final blessing, a prayer was said for the Holy Father on behalf of his birthday.

Happy Birthday, John Paul II!

For the first time, the Official Vatican Website presented an e-mail-address to congratulate Pope John Paul II on behalf of his birthday:

The Latin American Catholic News Agency ACI could render more than 3,000 electronical birthday greetings that their users had sent. Although ACI only publishes in Spanish and Portuguese, they also received greetings in German, English, and various other languages. A good number of Schoenstatt greetings could be found among them… Ines and Victor Cutrone from Argentina wrote to the Holy Father: "We have been close to you, not only spiritually, but physically, during your visits to our country, and during the International Congress of the Family in Rome, in 1994. Your life has been a model for us to, we love you and we pray for the fulfillment of your mission in gratitude. We are part of the Schoenstatt Family Movement and with great joy remember your visit to the Cor Ecclesiae Shrine in Rome. We have the big longing that our Father and Founder would soon be canonized, and that we as Schoenstatt members live to be instruments in the hands of the Blessed Mother for his canonization, as you wished it when you said: Canonize him yourselves! John Paul II, happy birthday!!!"

Photos of the Covenant Day in Schoenstatt


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