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 published: 2009-04-15

Serving the life and fruitfulness of the Schoenstatt Shrines

Guided Visits: A Pastoral initiative at the Shrine in Quéretaro, Mexico


Das Heiligtum in Querétaro, Mexiko

El Santuario de Querétaro, México

The Shrine in Querétaro, Mexico

Das Heiligtum in Querétaro, Mexiko







Visita guiada

Guided visit


Fotos: Isabel Figueroa © 2009


MEXICO, Isabel Figueroa. Mexico is a Marian country by nature, and its great devotion to Mary is born and developed close to the heart and soul of each inhabitant of this beautiful country. However, much of what we know as Marian devotion has remained in living traditions and customs; hundreds of families and religious groups organize pilgrimages to some place seeking the sheltering and help of the Blessed Virgin Mary for all of their needs. Querétaro is one of the most visited cities in the Mexican Republic because of its cultural and historic richness, and its great religious spirit. That is where one of the almost 200 Schoenstatt Shrines is located; "the warm and familiar land, our wonderful Schoenstatt land, where our beloved Mother Thrice Admirable" has wanted to establish her throne of graces and where each family finds a little piece of heaven in the heart of Mary.

Every day this Shrine welcomes hundreds and thousands of pilgrims who come with hearts filled with joy, sorrow, and difficulties. All of them approach this site to receive the love and peace that our beloved Blessed Mother bestows on this place of grace.

The Sisters who work together at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Querétaro, "Loyal heart of the Church", have realized the need to seek alternatives to offer the service that the pilgrims deserve, and to make the Blessed Mother and the Schoenstatt Movement known by rectifying the distorted information that some pilgrims have that the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt appeared just like the Virgin of Guadalupe.

"Guided Visits" a pastoral plan

For this reason, the Schoenstatt Family, in collaboration with the Sisters, planned and carried out the Project known as Guided Visits so that besides receiving the graces of Shelter, Transformation, and Apostolic Zeal that the Blessed Mother bestows in this Shrine, the pilgrims will also learn a little of the history here in Querétaro and worldwide.

Guided Visits is a Project in which the pilgrims are invited to participate in a tour through the Shrine departing from the Wayside Shrine, where it is explained that everything in Schoenstatt is born from something small. Then they are taken to the meeting square with the Founding Father and while gathered around him, they are told about his life, his birthplace, his voluntary acceptance of going to Dachau, his great love for the Church experienced through his exile in Milwaukee, and his return to God the Father.

A learning experience

Following the plan, they are invited to go into the Shrine, where each of the symbols is explained: the Father Eye, the Holy Spirit, the Unity Cross, the Tabernacle, the Apostles, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, and the words around the picture of our MTA, "Servus Marie Nunquam Peribit," with which each pilgrim identifies profoundly, and they are encouraged to give themselves in a deeper way to Mary’s care. Next the life of Joseph Engling, the first Schoenstatt hero, is shared as a living example of total and unconditional giving of self to the protection of Mary.

They are gathered together and encouraged to share every moment of their life with Mary as Joseph Engling did, by offering what they carry in their hearts, and by so doing, they will continue to enrich the life and fruitfulness of the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt through their daily contributions to the Capital of Grace.

In this way, the person who comes to Schoenstatt not only leaves with their heart on fire with love for Mary; rather, they also depart with the great mission of taking the history of the Movement and the Father Kentenich’s story to their homes.

Translation: Celina Garza, San Antonio, USA/amj



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Last Update: 15.04.2009