My presence is my gift for you…
Thousands of Pilgrims at the Shrine Feast in Querétaro – México
MEXICO, Yadira Oceguera/Sr. Lourdes Macías. On the 19th of October, the Sunday following the 18th, Schoenstatt's Founding Day, was the day of the 23rd anniversary of the Shrine, "Loyal Heart of the Church" in Querétaro, México. Like every year, thousands and thousands of pilgrims came to visit their Madrecita and brought her many gifts, flowers and especially their presence.
On the 18th, there was the traditional pilgrimage from the "Plaza de toros" to the Shrine (a 2 hour walk) where by many pilgrims already accompanied our Blessed Mother to her Shrine. Many walked with her and when they arrived Holy Mass was offered. At midnight, a group came and sang the "Mañanitas" (the morning praise) in front of the Shrine. Early in the morning the "Mariachi" (traditional Indian dancers) also came with all their instruments.
Waiting an Hour in Line to Greet the Blessed Mother
On Sunday, many buses came and there were oceans of people flooding the way to the Shrine to greet the Blessed Mother with their songs. They took time to pray, to give their gifts, lots of flowers and simply to be with her after travelling long or short distances. There were people from all over: San Luis Potosí, Celaya, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Guanajuato, Chiapas, Michoacán, Veracruz, México city, etc. Some pilgrims had to wait in line an hour to get into the Shrine to greet Our Mother, but they waited patiently and with great longing to see the one who has helped them in their many different needs.
Queen of the Rosary
There were three Holy Masses. At the first Holy Mass, the Bishop was invited but since he could not come another Priest came and gave a nice homily about prayer and he connected it with love for the Blessed Mother. In each Holy Mass the MTA was crowned as the "Queen of the Rosary". The mother’s branch crowned at the first Holy Mass, a family at the second, and the youth at the third. The different choirs also made the celebrations very beautiful.
During the Holy Masses, the Schoenstatt Fathers mentioned the special gift we have in our Holy Father John Paul II and also the example of the new beatified Mother Teresa. Little sheets were distributed for making a promise to the Blessed Mother, each one according to their circumstances. The promises consisted in praying the rosary (daily, once a month, once a week, etc.) and in having adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, since next year the Eucharistic Congress will be held in Guadalajara. Of course at the end, one could hear the "porras" and clapping for the MTA.
Each one offering something to contribute to the big feast
Many people also visited the Founder room, and many watched a video, which was presented several times, about the history of Schoenstatt and Fr. Kentenich. Many signatures were also collected for his beatification.
In between the people had a chance to go and eat some typical Mexican food or to take the children to the games or just be there and enjoy the feast. People from the movement helped to prepare and sell the food, the girls youth helped with the games for the children, others helped in the liturgy, in the organization, etc. Each one offered something to our Lady for this big feast day. A special joy was to see that the bridge, damaged by floods before, could be re-built at least partly. Sr. Angela commented: "We could manage to have the bridge so that people and even
cars could come in. What matters after all, is the joy that people radiate when they see HER, the Blessed Mother. Already on the 18th a group of 60 men greeted her with mariachi music and 3 busses of pilgrims who had come early in the morning to be the first ones to congratulate her.
The 18th and the 19th were simply days out of this world. There was no rain whatsoever, thanks to Her, I am sure. She did it! ‘t is your work’ I told Her very often during these days."
It is very nice to see how many families come and they are proud that they come every year to celebrate. One of the nicest things is that poor and rich come together and share in the love of the same Mother. Around 7 o’clock in the evening people began to leave. One could see many happy faces. We are thankful that Our Mother manifests herself in such a wonderful way in our land, and that people are convinced that they receive special graces in our "Cor Fidele Ecclesiae Shrine."
English edition: Paula Dudgeon, USA
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