"May the Shrine at Belmonte be an axis of our manifestation of our love for the church!"
Today at 3:00 PM in Belmonte, Rome, the corner stone of the future Matri Ecclesiae Shrine is blessed, with the international Schoenstatt family being present
ROME, mkf/Fr. Oskar Bühler. "On behalf of the Argentinean Region of the Family Institute and in our own name, we want to congratulate the International Schoenstatt Family on this glorious day for the Work of Our Father and spiritually join the event with our prayer and the Capital of Grace. We ask our dear MTA that the Shrine of Belmonte is an axis of our manifestation of love for the Church", wrote Joaquín and Marta Lavini, from Rosario, Argentina, to those who today physically represent the International Schoenstatt family in the blessing of the corner stone for the future Matri Ecclesiae Shrine. The Roman Schoenstatt family today receives Schoenstatt members from several places in Italy as well as the big delegation from Germany, and Schoenstatt, that will have a live experience of this hour of grace for Schoenstatt, church and world. They are accompanied by the the International Schoenstatt family with their wishes and greetings that came in from France, Chile, Argentina, Austria, Germany, Mexico, USA…
"On this very special Feastday of Our Lady we join spiritually with you in this moment of grace and joy. The blessing of the corner stone for the future Matri Ecclesiae Shrine in Belmonte in Rome, in the heart of the Church, is an event that fills us with hope and confidence.
The founder of Schoenstatt, Father Joseph Kentenich, desired that through the hands of Mary, the Mother of the Church, the international Schoenstatt family will be a great blessing for the Mother Church. As members of the Schoenstatt Family we pledge our continued prayers and service to the Church. We beg abundant blessings upon all those present," wrote Elfriede I. Stitz on behalf of the leaders' group of the Washington DC Metropolitan area. "From Nueva Helvecia, the land of the first Daughter Shrine, we unite in prayer with this important and moving event," reads a greeting sent by Maria Regules. From all parts of the world, congratulations were coming in these days. And not just congratulations - many offer special prayers, promise to unite at wayside shrines and Shrines to spiritually join in, planning to come for the dedication of the Shrine come September 8…
Impressions from the German Pilgrims' group
The group of pilgrims already in Rome grew from day to day. Already on Friday, December 5, some 100 pilgrims arrived from Germany. One of the busses started from the Original Shrine. Upon arrival in Rome, they first went to the land at Belmonte that they found different to all that they remembered from earlier visits or photos - because now a Shrine is growing! Part of the fundamental wall is already built, and for the celebration today, a tent in form and size of the Shrine was just erected when the German group arrived. "Everything is ready, come to the celebration of the corner stone blessing", the "Tent Shrine" seems to proclaim. And they come - Schoenstatt youth studying in Rome, Schoenstatt members from all parts of Italy… It's a special climate that reigns in Rome, like always when the international family unites in a special moment of grace. Many sent special symbols to be present in this hour of grace; more than 2,000 signed the corner stone document that today will be signed by the General Presidium. The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in present through the Auxiliary of the Campaign for Persons with Visual Impairment that is presently visiting Italy.
The German pilgrims' group has been on pilgrimage in Rome, visiting the main churches, the tomb of Vincent Pallotti, the places where Father Kentenich was, and the Church "Matri Ecclesiae". This morning, the feastday began with a Holy Mass at St. Peter's, with Archbishop Robert Zollitsch - who on Saturday was received in private audience by the Pope - being the main celebrant, talking about the mission of the Shrine…
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