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 published: 2003-08-05

Mission Impossible: The Auxiliary of the Blind in the Vatican, with the Holy Father

With the faith of missionaries: Blessing of the Holy Father for the Schoenstatt Movement and specially the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother

La Auxiliar de los Ciegos con Rosita Ciola on St. Peter's Square

The Auxiliary of the Blind with Rosita Ciola auf dem Petersplatz

Die Auxiliar der Blinden mit Rosita Ciola auf dem Petersplatz


Las puertas se abren: En camino al Vaticano

On the way to the Vatican - through open doors

Die Türen öffnen sich: auf dem Weg in den Vatikan


Cerca de la ventana del Papa

Close to the window of the Holy Father

In der Nähe des Fensters des Heiligen Vaters

Fotos: Ciola © 2003


Entrega de una imagen de los ciegos, en la Argentina (der: Rosita Ciola)

Commission of a picture for the blind, in Argentina (right: Rosita Ciola)

Überreichung eines Bildes für Blinde in Argentinien (rechts: Rosita Ciola)

Foto: CR Argentina © 2003


La Auxiliar de los ciegos, "Reina de la luz"

The Auxiliary of the blind, "Queen of Light"

Die Auxiliar der Blinden, "Königin des Lichts"


Coronación en el 8 de diciembre de 2001

Crowning on December 8, 2001

Krönung am 8. Dezember 2001

Fotos: Vallendor © 2003




ROME, Rosita Ciola/mkf. "A reference to faith - Gesell included in the world page of Schoenstatt! The wayside shrine of the Pilgrim Mother of Schoenstatt that was blessed past may at the Plaza de Los Frutales was included as testimony of faith in the oficial website The note of Deacon Walter Piera can be read in Spanish, English, and German, and reflects the moment of the dedication and focuses a reference to world faith in our city," the press release of the City of Villa Gesell, Argentina, reads, referring to an article recently published in the erection of a wayside shrine for persons with visual impairment. A reference to the "missionary faith" in the Vatican should not be missing in this website. Everybody, including high-lever Schoenstatt persons, called it "Mission Impossibile": carrying the Auxiliary Pilgrim Mother for persons with visual impairment to the Vatican and receive the Pope's blessing… But nothing is impossible for those who believe, with missionary faith.

Rosita Ciola, of the diocese of San Martín, Argentina, a "daughter of the Shrine of Villa Ballester", took the Auxiliary of the Blind along to Italy when she and her family moved there last year. It is a picture, totally crafted in wood, as a relieve, in the size and form of the Original Pilgrim MTA of John Pozzobon. The Auxiliary of the Blind in this picture visited many provinces in Argentina, visited those who are lacking the vision of their eyes in special schools, homes, and Cultural Centers; the picture was also brought to the USA and to Schoenstatt. Small pictures for the blind were commissioned to people in several countries, ultimately in the Philippines. In Italy, the MTA, in the picture of the Auxiliary for the Blind, worked miracles already. So one wish and desire was left to come true: to bring the Auxiliary of the Blind to the Holy Father that he may bless her and in her all those visited and to be visited by her, and the Rosary Campaign all over the world. Mission Impossible? Yes, said those who know the Vatican. No, said Rosita. We ask her ...

Rosita, how did the Auxiliary make it to the Vatican?

Last June 13 my husband and I left to Mestre and there met with a beautiful group of families, and mothers, to participate in the First National Meeting of the Schoenstatt Family in Italy, in the Shrine in Rome. Alfredo and I went to this pilgrimage with high hopes, knowing that for the first time in such a long time we would be in a Shrine again, would feel at home, because there our Mother would wait for us, comfort us, lift our burden and clear our doubts. Really, we went with high hopes, and expectations. But the biggest dream we carried in our suitcases was to bring the Auxiliary of the Blind to the Holy Father, so that she would receive from his hands as blessing that would be extended to the whole Schoenstatt family and especially the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign all over the world. We knew it was a difficult mission, but be trusted in her power and anyway, it was her desire also, so why should she not open the doors for herself to get where she wanted?

That means, you just went to Rome with the Auxiliary and your dream, and simply went to the Vatican, to the Swiss Guard, and asked them to let you pass????

Yes! We arrived Friday afternoon at the Vatican, with terrible heat and high spirits, with joy and hope to get a favorable response to our request, and so we simply turned to the next Swiss Guardian, explained the reason of our visit, and that is how our "great odyssey" began! It was not easy, and, "forwarded" from Guardian to Guardian, we had to explain again and again our mission (so the Swiss Guard got a good Schoenstatt introduction!). We absolutely realized that our dream was close to be a hopeless case, but nevertheless we went ahead, we had nothing to lose and anyway, without her help we would fail, but with her help all was possible. So we were just ready to be her instruments and fulfill her will. The short time we would be in Rome was another obstacle… So while we were waiting that they would listen to us, we again and again turned to our Mother and Queen and left all in her hands, as we could not do much more. We had gotten so far, now it was her turn.

How did you explain your "impossible wish" to the Guardians??

We told them how much the Holy Father loved the Mater, our Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt, and finally told them that he visited the Shrine in Rome in 2000!!! They understood and finally explained to us that due to our short time and the poor health of the Holy Father it would be very difficult. As we saw that the possibilities were fading, we suggested alternatives. When we had nothing else to say, we just waited for the final response. Our hearts beat like crazy, we know, the final say is the MTA's. So we stayed firm, hoping and praying… It is known that she knows how to open the hearts of others, so we counted on her presence in this moment. And after a moment of silence, they offered us an option: We could participate in a special audience that the Pope would give to approximately 3,000 missionary children from Italy the other day. Of course we agreed, and just asked: Mother, where will we sit? Will we see the Holy Father?

And - did you?

The other day we returned at the given hour, we introduced ourselves, and then it was incredible how we were received, the doors opened to welcome the Mother of God, our dear MTA!!!! A security guard was expecting us and accompanied us to the place they had reserved for her, in the Audience Hall Paul VI, in a box for distinguished guests, close to where the Holy Father would appear. There we should stay and participate. Soon later the Holy Mass of the children began. After that, the children began to sing and wave little flags and handkerchiefs, and in a climate of emotion and joy, we saw the Holy Father enter. Despite of his physical limitations, he gives us a testimony of strength in weakness, of greatness in smallness, of instrumentality.

He first turned to the children and spoke in simple but profound words to them, referring to the importance of the mission that God had given to each of them. Then, he mentioned the visit of our Pilgrim Mother, and gave his blessing to the children, to the picture, the Schoenstatt Movement and the Campaign, to each missionary and each one visited by the Pilgrim Mother. We were penetrated by a tremendous joy and are so happy to now be able to share this blessing with all.

What does this blessing mean to you?

The Blessed Mother again has "caught" us and motivates us to work at her side. Together with my husband, my co-missionary, I want to thank for the tremendous love that she gives us each day, and that we experience whenever she sets out from the Shrine through the Auxiliaries or the Pilgrim MTA pictures, in order to get to the houses and give her gifts to all, this stream of grace from the Shrine. Thank you, Mother, for being with us, for having chosen us to help you fulfill the mission the Eternal Father entrusted to you. Once again: Nothing without you, nothing without us!

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