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 published: 2004-05-14

With Jesus and Mary on the Way to the World Youth Day 2005

The Schoenstatt Youth and everybody in Schoenstatt with a youthful heart is invited to prepare the ground for the arrival of the World Youth Day Cross and the Icon of Mary in Schoenstatt - October 15 - 17, 2004

El Santuario en Heiligenstadt, primer Santuario de Schoenstatt en Alemania a  recibir la Cruz de la Jornada Mundial

The Shrine in Heiligenstadt was the first Schoenstatt Shrine in Germany that received the WYD Cross.

Das Heiligtum in Heiligenstadt empfing als erstes deutsches Schönstatt-Heiligtum das WJT-Kreuz


Procesión con la Cruz

Procession with the Cross

Prozession mit dem Kreuz


Vigilia en adoración

Adoration vigil

Vigilnacht mit eucharistischer Anbetung

Fotos: Reimann © 2004




SCHOENSTATT, Fr. Duncan McVicar. Imagine a piece of wood, 380cm high and 175cm wide, weighing about 31 kilo with some parts more worn that others. It looks life-size, it looks impressive in its utter simplicity. And then, imagine an Icon called "Salus Populi Romani", 118cm high and 79cm wide, with a weight of about 15 kilo, an image of Mary holding the Child Jesus in her arms. Imagine that these two symbols have travelled the world and have touched hearts and changed lives. Imagine that very soon you can be touched by them also.

The cross has been carried through slums and prisons, through supermarkets and high streets. It has been erected at Ground Zero in New York and in the finest and most famous Churches of the world. The cross has become a sign. It has opened doors and horizons. The youth of the world accompany this simple cross, and the cross accompanies the youth of the world. But the message of the cross doesn’t end there: It comes with a challenging invitation from the Vicar of Christ: "My dear young people, I entrust the cross of Christ to you. Carry it throughout the world as a sign of the love of Christ for all humanity, and tell the world that only in the death and resurrection of Christ we will find salvation!" (Rome, April 22, 1984)

The icon of Mary

The icon of Mary was first given last year to a delegation of the youth of Germany on Palm Sunday 2003 in the city of Rome. The woman you was able to say "yes" to the adventurous plans of God, the woman who was given to us as Mother from the cross, the woman who is the permanent companion of Jesus, now accompanies the Saviour on this unique pilgrimage of faith. This icon is the sign of Mary in the lives of all our young people –Mary, who is a good and loyal friend, the first disciple of Jesus and the Mother who wants to be invited into our homes as St John did after that first Good Friday on the lonely hill of Calvary.

On the way through Germany

The value of these symbols cannot be measured in money or insurance. They possess a dignity and a wealth of meaning that go beyond such considerations: They represent the many young people from all over the world who who touched these symbols and have been touched by them. They represent untold prayers and hopes, sacrifices and dreams. As the symbols went on pilgrimage throughout 26 different European countries in preparation for the World Youth Day in Cologne - from Denmark to Portugal, from Scotland to Albania, from Sweden to Poland - they became "heavier" through the hopes and longings that have been attached to them. Since Palm Sunday 2004, the Cross is making it's way through Germany. At the beginning of May, the Schoenstatt Shrine in Heiligenstadt -the Shrine offered in thanksgiving for Germany's reunification - was the first Schoenstatt place in Germany to welcome the cross.

October 15: Welcome to the Original Shrine

On Friday, October 15, 2004, to begin the October Conference in Schoenstatt, the cross and the icon will be brought to the original Shrine by a fleet of ships on the River Rhine, accompanied by representatives of the Archdiocese of Freiburg. A weekend of prayer and celebration is planned, where all young people and the participants of the October Conference are invited to come together for a renewal of our faith, hope and love. Our Schoenstatt Youth are planning a Night Vigil, workshops, the Celebration of the Eucharist with Youth Bishop Bode, and an international encounter with delegations from various European countries. Invitations should be available from Pentecost, May 30, 2004. Our Schoenstatt Youth, friends and neighbours, in fact,all our young people are invited to come to Schoenstatt and be drawn into this unique and special unity between cross and icon, between Son and Mother, between Jesus and Mary.

Looking ahead: Youth Festival in Schoenstatt, August 8 - 10, 2005

The symbols of the cross and icon point us to the world-wide celebrations of next year, 2005. The fact that the XX. World Youth Day is for the first time in Germany gives us, as a Schoenstatt Movement, a unique opportunity to be at the heart of this significant event of faith. The international Schoenstatt Youth are planning a Youth Festival (August 8-10, 2005) in Schoenstatt. The theme of the Covenant of Love, especially in its apostolic dimension, will be the guiding force of these celebration days. The initial plans for the programme include concerts, workshops, vigil at the original Shrine, an oasis to recharge, exchange and prayer: How the Covenant developed in Schoenstatt historically, how it changes our lives and helps us make life-choices, and how the Covenant motives us in the evangelisation of young people, beginning with their questions, hopes and longings.

After the Youth Festival there are four days (August 11-15, 2005) before the World Youth Day begins in Cologne. Our international youth have the opportunity to choose their prepferred programme: They can take part in the Encounter Days in the various German Dioceses, or they can make their base here in Schoenstatt and organise excursions to various significant places and towns in Germany. Our Project Office will support them in planning their option.

Looking ahead: Cologne 2005

The World Youth Celebrations in Cologne will find ist ultimate highlight as we give witness to our faith together with Pope John Paul II. United with him as the "bridge" to Christ, we come together as sisters and brothers, to worship HIM, who is our Saviour, Brother and Lord – Jesus Christ. Schoenstatt plans to establish a "spiritual zone" in Cologne, around the Schoenstatt Shrine and Centre, offering programme, prayer and confession for everyone.

Who is invited to this Festival? Our Schoenstatt Youth from around the world and, of course, young people who have come to know Schoenstatt or who are interested and want to share in this experience. Young adults who may have been involved in Schoenstatt Youth Branches in the past are also invited to come along and make this event an unforgettable celebration. The doors are "wide open" so that young people, who perhaps are looking for something more in their lives, can find an answer here. We don’t want to disappoint them!

Schoenstatt Family, how can you help?

Please pass on the invitation to the young people that you know so that they can come along as volunteers to help prepare the celebrations or to join in during the October Weekend and during the Festival Days. Remember this is our opportunity to show that Schoenstatt means a vibrant Church and youth. You can also support us by praying for the success of our endeavours. We have a beautiful prayer leafet for the cross and the icon, and the official World Youth Day Prayer, available in the Project Office in various languages. We would also be grateful for any financial support you could give us, no matter how small. We will remember you and your intentions in our Volunteer Masses that begin in August, 2004. We are counting on your support and enthusiasm! In fact, we simply cannot do it without you!

Imagine a wooden cross, imagine an icon of the Church’s Mother, imagine thousands of young people witnessing to their faith in Schoenstatt, imagine that you were part of all this, imagine that you were there... imagine...

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Last Update: 14.05.2004 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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