Author of the WYD logo and her experience with Mary in the Country Mission initiative
"That's when I started to get to know Our Lady better"
By: Karen Bueno
Portuguese designer Beatriz Roque Antunes, 24 years old, is the creator of the official image of the Lisbon 2023 World Youth Day. The logo was presented last Friday, October 16, and is inspired by the motto chosen by Pope Francis for WYD: “Mary stood up and departed in haste” (Lk 1:39), emphasizing traces of Portuguese culture and religiosity.
Beatriz tells us in an interview that she participated in some editions of the Country Mission, a missionary project that was born among the Schoenstatt Youth and brings the Pilgrim Mother to meet many people. “It was there that I began to know Our Lady better, because in the year that I was head of prayers of the Country Mission, the proposal for reflection was based on the report of the Visitation, the same that gave the theme to the WYD of Lisbon,” she said. “It was very nice when I heard that Pope Francis had chosen this theme for World Youth Day. There was one more reason to compete.
In the interview she brings us more details about her relationship with the Mother of God and her missionary experience in Portugal:
You said you got to know Mary better through the Country Mission. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Until I did Country Mission, my relationship with God and my espiritual life were lived mainly through the figure of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ himself. I prayed many times to the Holy Spirit to enlighten me if I had a test at school; to enlighten the doctors if someone in my family was sick. And I prayed to the figure of Jesus Christ, to look more and more like him. I was not very intimate with the figure of Mary. But in Mission Country, a Catholic project of university students with the goal of bringing Jesus to the Universities and evangelizing Portugal through the witness of faith, service and charity, I rediscovered Our Lady.
How has this mission helped you to discover more about the Virgin Mary? What has this relationship with Mary brought to your life?
In 2017, the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, as a student of Communication Design at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon, I was Head of Prayer in Country Mission. That same year, the proposal for reflection was based on the Visitation, which inspired the theme of WYD Lisbon 2023. In preparing the spiritual proposal for the other missionaries, I approached and rediscovered the figure of Mary: her devotion, her courage, her perseverance, her spirit of sacrifice. It was truly transforming.
Can you tell us a little about your personal experience in Country Mission?
I did Country Mission in 2016, 2017 and 2018, at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, and I joined the National Team in the area of Image and Communication, in 2019. It is an exciting project, thought out in detail, by university students for university students, which combines prayer, evangelization, social service and community life. It is a project in constant growth, which shows that it is not necessary to go very far to live Christ’s message. In addition to great friendships and wonderful experiences, I treasure the memory of all those I was able to meet in the lands where I was with Misión País: Pontével and Aguda.
I hope that other young people like me, in Portugal and in other countries where the Country Mission can be installed, will have the opportunity to participate in such a transforming experience.
In this video Beatriz presents and explains her work with the symbol of the WYD in Lisbon:
The Country Mission
This apostolic project, originally emerged among the Schoenstatt Youth of Chile and also reached out to youth of the Movement in Portugal, Spain and other countries. The Country Mission involves university students who put their gifts at the service of evangelization under three pillars: welcoming, transformation and apostolic sending out, bringing the Pilgrim Virgin and the graces of the Shrine to many hearts.
Country Mission, was born among the Schoenstatt youth and today has a very broad scope in Portugal. For this reason, Schoenstatt prepares the heads of mission and the universities are free to take the image of the Pilgrim Virgin or not and to give contributions to the Capital of Grace. Even so, the presence of the MTA is very strong among the youth, as the numbers show: 60 missions, 575 Pilgrim MTA’s, 3386 missionaries.