"I sent my Heart with all its grief to the rosary and roses…"
A calm week in Schoenstatt – with the Illumined rosary and the most popular shirt in the Schoenstatt world
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. "Nobody will come". In January on a Saturday without any specific schedule in Schoenstatt and nothing but a note in the newspaper "Rhein-Zeitung", although extensive and even with a picture, and to make matters worse with forecasted snow showers: Who would like to participate in the first Illuminated Rosary in the Church of the Adoration on January 24th, 2004? "Nobody, I think" said one of the professional women while loading the candles and roses to her car to go up to Mount Schoenstatt. "But we offer this to the Blessed Mother and we will say the rosary, and if one person join us, that would be already a celebration"
"I would like to tell you the joy I felt when I saw the pictures of the Auxiliary for the Persons with visual impairments in the Adoration Church and in Father’s tomb. You tell me there were few people because of the weather, and I tell you that all those who participated got the call from the Blessed Mother, from heart to heart… I have no doubts it must have been precious", said Rosita Ciola, from Trento, Italy. She was happy with all the pictures she received from the Auxiliary of the Blind – which at the moment is in Schoenstatt awaiting her return to Argentina, ready to visit all who invite Her- presiding the Illuminated Rosary in the Church of the Adoration.
Around 60 people arrived; most of them as a result of the newspaper ad, from whom near 40 people have already participated in some of the Illuminated Rosaries from last year or in the "Ten minutes by the Manger", and about 15 people came for the first time.
"Is it here where we receive a rosary that has already been said?" three women asked to a professional woman at the entrance of the Church of the Adoration. Yes! – She gave them a macramé rosary, made in La Plata, Argentina. This rosary was being made as it was being prayed. There was a promotional ad in the newspaper: people who didn’t own a rosary would be given one there. These three women are not the only ones who come for this reason… Others are saying that this is the very first rosary they own in their lives, and that this is their first time to say it…
"We also receive the Pilgrim Mother"
There is not too many who dare to stand in front of a microphone to say a Hail Mary for their particular intentions. A woman ("My mother read the story in the newspaper and told me: instead being bored at home, you should join this cause!") goes ahead several times, another woman with a broken voice says: "for my daughter". Two women go ahead together, praying for their recently deceased father and father-in-law. The professional women, protagonists of this rosary pray for their ill parents, friends’ marriages, and siblings’ who are going through rough times, for the unemployed and for young women who are pregnant, for the peace in the Middle East, for the Diocesan Schoenstatt priests, for the children in Sonnenau who are preparing for their First Communion, and for the journalist who published the ad in the newspaper and gathered all these people to the Illuminated Rosary. It feels like everyone present is moved. A professional commented: "Some of them were about to stand up and begin praying, so they prayed for their intentions in our requests". It is that way. You could see tears in the eyes of some people. A woman commented: "I sent my heart with all its grief to the rosary of light and roses. I was afraid to pray out loud, I was afraid to cry because I would get too emotional when I would pray with all these people for my son who is without a job and so I joined while listening to a young girl praying for her brother who is in the same situation…"
Some women from Coblenza remained for a while by the Father’s tomb, looking at the Auxiliary of the Blind and at a Pilgrim MTA picture. Proud of herself, one of the ladies said: "We also receive the Pilgrim MTA. The Blessed Mother works miracles when She visits us. We love Her so much!"
Praying for jobs and for peace
After the Rosary, at 4:30 p.m. Schoenstatt is covered by snow… In a sense, just like one should picture Germany during the winter.
Antonieta Magalhaes, from Lisbon, comments: "I never thought winter was so gloomy" Antonieta Magalhaes is a volunteer collaborator for the Press Office, a missionary of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. She takes the Pilgrim image to jails, and told us how the Mater accompanies her in her daily life happenings. "One day I was in my car with the Pilgrim, while driving by a building I thought I should take Her inside that house, but I didn’t feel like it right then. What happened next? My car broke down. It was clear to me that the Blessed Mother wanted me to do what she wanted me to do… It was in that building where that precise day I found a new apartment, beautiful!"
Matt Lynch arrived in Schoenstatt on January 14th. Mr. Lynch is a journalist from Scotland who in 1965 had an encounter with Fr. Kentenich during a visit to Schoenstatt. He got interested in the work of the Press Office and his primary idea to apply Schoenstatt’s spirituality and Fr. Kentenich’s journalistic style to his present work – this triggered a very interesting conversation.
"This is from my place!" a young girl shouted. She, along with two girls from Germany and Chile will begin to work in the Press Office on January 26. She announced herself as: "Hello, I am from Argentina and the sister of a Schoenstatt Fathers' student!" She made this comment when she saw the poster from the Hasenkamp - La Loma, Parana pilgrimage in the Press Office. She is from Parana, and she was glad knowing that not only this poster, sent by Hector y Tita Rios in an envelope that she brought to Schoenstatt!, but also the most popular shirt in the Schoenstatt world, a shirt of this multi-crowded pilgrimage, is being used in the press seminars of Press Office as a proof that life enkindles life; during the "T-Shirt training unit", emerged, for the moment just like this secret favorite idea, a pilgrimage by foot to Schoenstatt… from the near by Shrines… praying for jobs and peace… just like the pilgrimage to La Loma…
Translation: Vera Gamez, Austin, Texas, USA/Andrea Stephens, USA
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