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Apostolic Movement

About Schoenstatt

As a renewal movement, it has a marked apostolic and lay character, founded by Fr. Joseph Kentenich.

Schoenstatt is an apostolic Movement of renewal, born in the bosom of the Church. Its spiritual center is the Schoenstatt Shrine, where Mary shows herself in a special way as the Mother and Educator who gives birth to Christ in us, conforming us according to her image.
The Schoenstatt Movement encompasses various communities that form the Schoenstatt "Family". As a renewal movement, it has a marked apostolic and lay character; its pedagogy and spirituality are particularly suitable for those who live in the world and must face an increasingly de-Christianized and materialistic environment.

Its purpose is to form a new community based on new person who overcome the massification of our times and forge a new culture permeated by the spirit of Christ.


What does the word “Schoenstatt” mean?

The word “Schoenstatt” initially designates a geographical place: Schoenstatt, located in the eastern part of the small German city of Vallendar, next to the right bank of the Rhine, near Koblenz. It is located about 90 km south of Cologne.

Literally, “Schoenstatt” means “beautiful place,” from the German: “eine schoene Statt.” Since its spiritual center – the Shrine – and its historical origin are closely linked to this place, the designation of the Movement under this name was naturally introduced.


The origin of the Schoenstatt Movement

The beginning of the Schoenstatt Movement dates back to the First World War, specifically to October 18, 1914. On this date, Father Kentenich, along with a group of young men, sealed a pact or covenant of love with Mary.

Asking her to establish herself spiritually in the little chapel that had been placed at her disposal and to convert this place into a place of pilgrimage. 


A Movement founded by Father Joseph Kentenich

Father Kentenich is the founder of the Schoenstatt Movement. He was born at the end of the 19th century, on November 16, 1885, in Gymnich, Germany. In 1904, he entered the community of the Pallottine Fathers and was ordained a priest in 1910. Two years after his ordination, he was entrusted by his superiors with the position of Spiritual Director of the students of the Minor Seminary of the Pallottine Fathers.

As an educator, he developed a fruitful work with them, a work that culminated with the founding of the Movement in 1914. From then on, he dedicated his whole life to the Schoenstatt Family.

After a life rich in blessings, he died on September 15, 1968, leaving a work of universal dimensions as a legacy.

Around the world

About 200 shrines have been built in 35 countries on all continents, all exact replicas of the Original Shrine.