An hour of gratitude with Mario
A tradition during the month of Mary
CHILE, Amelia Peirone. Every year, between November and December, "An Hour of Gratitude with Mario" is celebrated in Santiago, Chile. It always falls during the month of Mary in the southern hemisphere. This is important because of the marvelous relationship of those who sealed the Covenant of Love with the Queen and Mother and whom Mario has been nurturing with his life. In 2004 this took place on the 17th of November at the Campanario Shrine on the eve of Father Kentenich’s birthday. Until now it had been in Bellavista. Throughout the whole encounter one can feel an air which is Marian, childlike and Eucharistic. These are marks of fire from the core of Mario.
The Eucharist on this Wednesday was celebrated by Fr. Horacio Rivas and Fr. Carlos Cox, Vicepostulator for Mario’s cause. Some 100 persons, veritable friends of Mario, are present. At the offertory a platter with products, not from the earth, but from the clear work of man is presented. These objects, silent in their origin, should become a prophetic outcry in their display. They were presented by a husband and wife, friends of Mario: one of the volumes – now bound – of the original copy of the process which was presented in Rome; a book on the scientific biography of Mario; a video which was shown on TV Channel 13 with the title"Mario Hiriart: the smile of pain"; one of the many tablets with testimonies. These tablets are always available on the lectern next to Mario’s tomb; and one last creation filled with beauty – in the design and spirit – and is called "Mario’s ABC" and it is his dictionary in miniature so that it can accompany everyone in his/her WorkShrine, HomeShrine, and HeartShrine.
One Thousand Thanks
When they went into a room to recall the year, many who were present attended and following the inspiration of the ABC, Fr. Carlos guided these live memories. A = to give thanks; B = to Bless; C = to Commit oneself. Gratitude in itself takes on the task of an avalanche, it always finds more and more reasons to give thanks. Thus the evening passed: thanksgiving to God and to the Blessed Mother for Mario, thanksgiving for what has been lived in the process, thanksgiving for the silent and tenacious sanctity, thanksgiving for the cross, thanksgiving for the millions of favors received through Mario, thanksgiving for the awakened creativity, thanksgiving for thanksgiving for the miracle of daily life. The blessings uncountable, innumerable. Also each person is and responds blessing each time that it opens itself to God’s grace speaking and acting in everday life. The commitment is to prayer from one’s inner being without fear and asking for and expecting miracles. Asking for them through Mario’s intercession. Today these are petitions from Ricardo Quiroga, a young father, and from María Elena Sánchez, a beloved mother. The commitment desires to grow and to deepen in intersity and to do it with and through Mario. How wonderful if it also grows beyond borders and the world unites asking and trusting!
With Mario day by day
A young man – Eduardo Hidalgo – shared his testimony of his encounter with Mario through the Eucharist and vice versa. An incredible core of the treasure!
And so the official beginning of "the pastoral approach to the HeartShrine". It deals with the commitment of a few to take WITH MARIO, DAY BY DAY, a booklet of notes, prayers, desires, in confidence with this friend. It is a warm and appealing place for an encounter where one is the visitor and guest, dweller and dwelling. Already noticeable are the marvelous fruits of contemplation, of never being alone and of happiness because someone shares with us pain and everyday life. Each one signed his/her pledge of commitment and of mission and each received a small booklet. Each one wants to be a Living Shrine as was Mario’s dream.
Finally, they all shared one of Mario’s pasteries – everything in daily life bears a seal – and something to drink. Smiling they awaited the familiar candy covered in chocolate which bear the impressions in white of a chalice and Mario’s initials: MH. As children with a childlike spirit – also in everday affairs – one can learn to live the present in God and He present in each one, all the minutes and all the hours of gratitude of life.
Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, Texas, USA
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