Belmonte, at the end of May
An invitation to a spiritual pilgrimage - The walls of the Shrine are already to be built
ROME, Fr. Alberto E. Eronti (for schoenstatt.de). The foundations are ready, they already began to raise the walls: in Belmonte, visibly, grows a Shrine - the Shrine of the whole Schoenstatt family, the Shrine given to the Father, the Shrine of the love to the Church - the Matri Ecclesiae Shrine. Innumerable peregrinations were realized to the area of Belmonte during the long years of waiting; meanwhile in many countries of the world the Schoenstatt family prepares itself to the pilgrimage to Belmonte for the blessing of the Shrine on September 8. Fr. Alberto Eronti made a pilgrimage to Belmonte for schoenstatt.de, in order that all could visit spiritually the area where our Shrine grows.
On Friday, t21st of May, I made a pilgrimage to the ground of Belmonte. For different motives it could not be done in the preceding two weeks and I was trying to imagine the changes that I would find in the area. Walking along St. Gemma Street towards the square of the Castle of Portareccia, the first surprise is the great ramp of entry for the trucks, having immediately, to the left side, two barracks of the construction company. A stockade of woven wire protects the zone of works that, from the street, remains invisibly. Coming to the square one finds the large door for the pedestrians. Entering, the first to attracts attention is the cut grassland, a mechanical spade and a truck close to the internal way that is constructed. From this zone of the area the works of the Shrine are not seen yet, so one feels the hurry to advance and see. Coming to the second fence of protection there is the entry to the zone of works.
The carpenters prepare themselves already...
What is seen is a great quantity of ground removed in what will be the raised area in front of the Shrine. Of the works of the Shrine, the whole part of the foundations is already finished, as also the water-repellent protection of the foundations and lateral walls that go under ground, provided that the Shrine will rise a meter on the level. The cement floor is ready, all the channels of air conditioning are placed and the electrical conduits that go in the same one. This week they already begin to raise the walls that will reach the height foreseen in fifteen days. The carpenters prepare themselves to build the roof construction around June 10.
Advancing every day
Backward of the Shrine a great hollow is seen and, inside, on the already completed floor, the iron and wood construction of the walls of the future sacristy which will be pretty big and thus fine to use.
The level of the floor of the sacristiy will stay as one meter and a half below the level of the Shrine, for what - along with the shrubs that will be placed - it will almost disappear of the sight.
Logically, the area has suffered a notable change due to the works and to the great movement of ground already realized. One sees the engineer, Leonardo Bonamoneta, satisfied with the building advancing every day in everything what will have to be ready for September 8. Father Ludovico, from the office at ViaIcilio 20 and with his visits to Belmonte, is managing to coordinate all the program of September 7, 8 and 9.
The waiting of years has transformed in an increasing activity
Going again and again up to Belmonte, I experience an increasing familiarity with the place and the environment. The visit of the parish church, the cordial reception of the priests of the sparish , the dealing with some of the neighbors, the Capuchino taken in the snack bar of the St. Gemma bar; walking the area discovering every time new details, praying in the place where the Father of the Family was: all that has caused the feeling of rooting and belonging to the place. Since it is logical, I do exercises of imagination to "see" what will be this ground in the future, as also remembering words of the Father and Founder said in the context of this International Center. In the end, Belmonte has already changed, the waiting of years has transformed in an increasing activity, and from many countries the arrival of pilgrims for the great feast in announced - some 500 only from Latin America. Meanwhile it is important to not stop putting the water of the Capital of Grace into the jars. It is necessary to fill them up to the rim! For our effective love, Mary establishes and works miracles of grace in the " City of the Popes ". In Belmonte the love to Mary is clearly experienced as love to the Church.
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