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 published: 2006-08-11

On the way to an encounter with John Pozzobon and his mission, the Grand Rosary Campaign

From the Shrine of Paso Mayor to the Tabor Shrine of Heroic Childlikeness


Peregrinación a Santa Maria: los misioneros de Bahía Blanca en la Casa de Joao Pozzobon

Pilgrimage to Santa Maria: the missionaries from Bahia Blanca at the House of John Pozzobon

Wallfahrt nach Santa Maria: die Missionare aus Bahia Blanca vor dem Haus von Joao Pozzobon



En el Santuario Tabor, cuna de la Campaña del Rosario

In the Tabor Shrine, cradle of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign

Im Tabor-Heiligtum, Wiege der Kampagne


Peregrinando en las huellas de Don Joao...

In the footsteps of John Pozzobon

Auf den Spuren von Joao Pozzobon


Siempre presentes: las Auxiliares y peregrinas

Always present: the Auxiliaries and the Pilgrim MTA’s

Immer dabei: die Auxiliares und die Bilder der Pilgernden Gottesmutter

Fotos: Zunini © 2006


Entrevista con Antonia Mejias

Interview with Antonia Mejias

Interview mit Antonia Mejias

Foto: Mejias © 2006


Argentina, Diana Zunini. From July 23rd to the 28th, a group of 41 missionaries went on pilgrimage from the Shrine of Paso Mayor, which is in the Diocese of Bahia Blanca and dedicated to the Mother and Queen of the People, to the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria, which is the Shrine of Heroic Childlikeness. Thus they went from the House of the Mother of the People on the way to an encounter with John and his mission, the Grand Rosary Campaign.

Father Juan D’ Amico and Father Jorge Folognier traveled with and served as advisors for the pilgrims. In addition, two seminarians, Pedro Fournau and Dario Nicoloff, journeyed with them, and many others accompanied them spiritually. There were missionaries from Adolfo González Cjaves, Pringles, Bahia Blanca, Saldungaray, Dorrego, Orient Pigue, Punta Alta, Sierra de la Ventana, and Tres Arroyos. One of the primary reasons for their pilgrimage to Santa Maria was to go for two new Auxiliaries for the Archdiocese of Bahia Blanca.

Each place and its message for the present time

The first motivation for the group was the thought: It would be beautiful if we could go on pilgrimage together to get the two new Auxiliaries and equip them for their missionary task, but also to drink from the fountain of graces and implore these graces for our families, parishes, towns, and country. And also, that each one would feel in communion with the others. On the other hand, it was an encounter with a person and a mission. Each place has its history. Each place has its message. Each place has its message for the present time. These things are what they went to seek as pilgrims.

And on the way, they had an encounter with John. They met John’s children: Vilma, Ely, Humberto, Nair, and his grandson, John Luiz. They visited his house in Santa Maria, in the Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, and they traveled to Ribeirao, his native land, which was his first Parish. In Tabor, they received the two Auxiliaries, they consecrated themselves to Our Lady, and they adored the Eucharistic Jesus. They also followed in the Founding Father’s footsteps in Santa Maria.

In this way, each place revealed some of its history and its secret of John. In his family life that he built with responsibility and love, John was revealed to them as a loving father with his children. His attachment to the Shrine revealed the location of his encounter with Jesus and Mary, a source of graces that molded and shaped his life. There, he met with his Mother every day, and when he was not in Santa Maria, he wrote his name on a little piece of paper. "Mother, this little paper represents me." He was convinced of his personal encounter with Mary: "I need the Blessed Mother, and the Blessed Mother needs me." Finally, his attachment with Father Kentenich revealed that John had discovered within the Founder the heart of a Father, and he never lost contact with him.

To work with the humility of "John, the little donkey"

There were many life enriching experiences on this journey, but the most striking was to experience in John two fundamental gifts ("gifts are tasks," our Founding Father told us): the gift of working with the humility of "the little donkey, John," and the courage to take Mary everywhere, in spite of all the difficulties, being convinced of the personal presence of Mary. For in truth, it is a person who accompanies me, someone I take along—not a picture, but a living presence. And it is this belief that will give us the courage to face all the difficulties, walking all roads, leaving our imprint, enduring the weariness and the heat of the journey, bearing sorrows, celebrating joys, and giving and receiving life.

Both those who had been to Santa Maria before and those who were there for the first time all had the grace of being surprised by this holy man, John. He taught them that he had received a mission: to offer Mary every opportunity to reveal herself. Despite every obstacle, he offered his life to fulfill the mission entrusted to him, and he had an absolute belief that it was not he who acted; rather, he was only an instrument in the hands of his Mother, and he informed all of his superiors of this and of what he did because he wanted to demonstrate the strength of the Blessed Mother and that it was not he who worked these marvels.

Antonia Mejias, one of the missionaries from the community of González Chaves described her experience: "It has truly been an unforgettable journey. I do not know how to describe what we have experienced, because one must truly feel it. We arrived at the Tabor Shrine on Monday at 3:00 p.m., and the warmth of the people, the simplicity, was something indescribable".

Monica, from the community of White, summed up the experience with these words: "Most beloved John, protector of the poor and of families, thank you for allowing us to share these very special days, to have a spiritual encounter again, to walk through these places where you took the Mae (Blessed Mother) on your shoulder, to feel your presence, to meet your own children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and sister, to see you reflected in your son. Thank you for allowing us to feel in our hearts the strength of your struggle and giving of self and to take it back to our communities, transmitting this life experience, to take the blessing from Tabor with us, to be the guardians of this precious cargo, the little donkeys of Mary, and to say, ‘Little John, may we return for more, because there is much more journeying to be done ahead’".

We will remain together until the end

The pilgrims also had the opportunity to meet with Ubaldo Pimentel, who spoke to them of his encounter with both John and his own mission. He shared with them that four days before John’s death, he bid him farewell and told him, "We will remain together until the end." These words echo in the hearts of everyone who hears them. He also tells them, "We will remain together until the end. We will remain together as seekers of God in the lives of our people."

Sealing his pact of love once more

As a farewell, the group once more sealed their pact of blood and love in the Tabor Shrine, just like the Founder had taught them in their land: I believe I should ask the Mother of God and everyone who loves us that she "inscribe our names in her heart with blood and fire." Of course it is implied that if the Mother of God does this, we also must pledge ourselves to write the name of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, on our hearts with blood and fire—indelibly, with a warm, ardent, and growing love.

In this way, the pilgrims returned to their own country, and they presented the Mother and Queen to the "boss" (as Father Juan said) in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Luján, the Patron of Argentina, so that from there she will shed graces on the communities of her diocese. In the area of González, a large number of people waited for the Auxiliary, and the volunteer firemen transported the Blessed Mother to the Church.

Many others were also joyfully waiting in Dorrego, and they took her in procession to the Church

Once more they declared: "She is the great Missionary. She will work miracles".

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA / Amy Peebles, Austin, TX, USA


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