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Apostolic Movement

Celebrations for the 109th Anniversary of the founding of the Schoenstatt

By: Heinrich Brehm

Monsignor Robert Brahm, Auxiliary Bishop of Trier, celebrated a festive Mass in the Pilgrims’ Church in Schoenstatt on the morning of October 18th, where he welcomed the faithful who had made the journey during politically turbulent times and numerous tragedies in the world: “They made their way to Schoenstatt with resolve. This is a path of peace,” he said. “We can bring here before God the intentions of the world and our own.” On “Schoenstatt Day” groups from the dioceses of Fulda, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, and Limburg, as well as many pilgrims from other places, such as India, Africa, Latin America, and Luxembourg, visited the valley of the Original Shrine.

Getaway Routes – Pilgrimage Routes – Peace Routes

Bernard Marie Fansaka Biniama, Bishop of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other priests from various Schoenstatt communities concelebrated the festive Mass. Bishop Brahm referred to the current times in his homily as being marked by the fact that many people are on the move: “on getaway routes with many hardships and shortages”.

The world is on the move as never before. The journey of the pilgrims to Schoenstatt today, which is a journey of peace, is not likely to be taken into account by public opinion worldwide, but it is important to be on the way as pilgrims these days and to bring before God, as a believing and praying community, not only personal concerns, but especially the intentions for the tragedies in the Holy Land.

The Covenant of Love is deeply rooted in trust

Schoenstatt was founded on October 18, 1914, with a small group of young men and the Covenant of Love. The concept of a Covenant is not foreign to Jews or Christians. The prophet Hosea had already stated: “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD”. (Hosea 2:19-20) However, this giving of oneself to one another is always done “quietly, unnoticed by the daily hustle and bustle, with care and with great devotion.”

Many people have entrusted themselves to Mary over the centuries. When people walk with Mary, they are also looking for a maternal, understanding, and merciful God. “Mary’s God is an empathic God, not a Big Brother, but one who knows us. To this God, we can entrust ourselves. The Covenant with Mary, the Covenant of Love, is deeply rooted in the belief that the good Father God is “attentive and sensitive.”

Thank you for so much life that surges from the Original Shrine

After a diverse alternative program for the pilgrims present at lunchtime, which included information about the Covenant of Love and Schoenstatt, the prayer of the Rosary, confession and individual blessings, the Covenant Hour began in the Pilgrims’ Church. First of all, it was marked by memories of the World Youth Day in Lisbon, which took place this summer under the motto “Mary arose and departed in haste”. The founding history of Schoenstatt in Portugal in 1960 was remembered as well.

After a joint procession to the Chapel of Grace, the Covenant Hour culminated with the renewal of the Covenant of Love. During this celebration, special thanks were given for the decision of the Pallottine Province of the Sacred Heart at their meeting in Friedberg on May 22, 2013, 10 years ago, to donate the Original Shrine in Vallendar-Schoenstatt and the adjacent pilgrims’ square to the Schoenstatt Movement for its 100th anniversary in 2014. During the celebration, thanksgivings for the life that has unfolded since then around the Original Shrine and for all the graces and gifts that the Blessed Mother gives here daily were offered.


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