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 published: 2006-09-15

Messenger of Love

Father Joseph Kentenich and Pope Benedict the XVI’s Encyclical "Deus caritas est" ("God is Love)


Papst Benedikt: Botschafter der Liebe

Foto: Rutzmoser © 2006



En vísperas del 15 de septiembre, la familia de Schoenstatt se reunió en la Iglesia de la Adoración para meditar y rezar

The night before September 15th , the Schoenstatt Family united in the Adoration Church to meditate and pray

Am Abend vor dem 15. September trag sich die Schönstattfamilie in der Anbetungskirche zu Meditation und Gebet


Una carpeta de claveles y azucenas en el lugar donde el Padre Kentenich fue llamado a la casa del Padre

A carpet of white carnations and lilies at the place where Father Kentenich was called home to the Father

Ein Teppich aus weißen Lilien und Nelken an der Sterbestelle Pater Kentenichs






Momentos de encuentro con el Padre Kentenich, el mensajero de amor

Moments of encounter with Father Kentenich, the messenger of love

Begegnung mit Pater Kentenich, dem Botschafter der Liebe


Un mensaje para cada uno, tomado de los textos de la meditación

A word for each one, taken from the texts of the meditation

Ein Wort für jeden aus den Texten dieses Abends

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2006

Album de fotos . photo album – Fotoalbum


SCHOENSTATT, MKF. September 14th: Pope Benedict XVI departed from Germany at noon, that night, the Schoenstatt Family gathered in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt to commemorate the 38th Anniversary of the departure of its Founder to Eternity. It has not only been a temporal coincidence that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to his homeland that motivated tying the commemoration of Father Kentenich’s anniversary to the subject of the Holy Father’s first encyclical. It is a spiritual coincidence, a coincidence in the message. God is Love, says the Pope, and man and his capacity to love come from this Love. All forms of human love transform man into a living image of God. "in that land so warm and dear which Eternal Love has built itself" (Heavenwards, 9.158) the streams of love well forth, Father Kentenich says. There men learn to love God, others, and all of creation. Both are messengers of Love: Benedict XVI and Father Kentenich.

A team of the Joseph Kentenich Institute composed a masterful "literary duo": texts from the encyclical "Deus caritas est" ("God is Love") compared to other texts by Father Kentenich, for this night of September 14th, which has been celebrated for several years as a vigil to commemorate the day of Father Kentenich’s departure on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Both "Messengers of Love" shine in this dialogue. Monsignor Dr. Peter Wolf began with a prayer followed by texts about the main themes of the natural – supernatural organism of love, separated by masterful musical performances. Pope Benedict writes great lines, Father Kentenich learns them, he deepens them, he applies them and prophetically he goes even further.

God is Love par excellence, and men are taken in by his love: we can and should love God with all the heart that is in man, and to love God through men. It is precisely nuptial love that profoundly expresses the love in the Holy Trinity. Love is more than a feeling. Love is a unifying, organic force, one that resembles the other person. At the conclusion a recording of Father Kentenich was heard: we should be love in the heart of the Church, filling the Church with the heroism of love, uniting all and everyone with the bond of love.

"We see streams of love, flow through heaven and earth…"

Songs such as "Daring to Love", I love, therefore I am", "Where charity and love prevail" created an atmosphere of meditation, to which the speakers also contributed: The Soder couple, Doctor Gertrud Ollak, Father Oskar Buhler, and Father Dr. Bernd Biberger, as leader, manifested the relationship that exists between the texts. They have studied and chosen the texts for this night for entire weekends, they did it for "love of the Father", as they said with simplicity. During the adoration before the monstrance, Monsignor Wolf made the prayers; the readings and the listening come together. Through a spontaneous prayer he invited those present to offer God their own love, to illuminate their relationship with his light.

After the blessing everyone was invited to pass by Father’s Tomb, the place where he died was decorated, as every year, with a carpet of white carnations and lilies. Each one could take a phrase from the texts that were read that night.

Father Kentenich’s anniversary was prepared in a completely different way. At the end of this day, he, along with Benedict XVI, was seen as a Messenger of Love, as a pioneer of a healthy, redemptive, and sanctifying love, as a prophet of a God that is Love and who wants to love. One who wants to embrace men in an encompassing Covenant of Love.

"All forms of Love. It is about filial love, maternal love, paternal love, fraternal love: that is why I am here! I should love! I should learn to love.

I should learn to surpass all levels of love, beginning with the primitive until attaining mature love. Where today there are still men, human organizations that find the meaning of their life in the maturation of their capacity to love! To be mature, mature in love: this is the meaning of our life!" (Father JK. Homilies in Milwaukee, June 2, 1963).

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA

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