People from all over the world continually come to our Shrine Victoria Patris in Berlin. We wanted to express our heartfelt gratitude for this special gift by celebrating an International Day of Encounter. This is the first one we have organized. The invitation said: “We want to celebrate the Eucharist together, learn from each other, get to know each other, celebrate with each other and offer a special tribute to the Pilgrim Mother”.

More than 100 guests from all parts of Berlin and the neighboring diocese of Görlitz accepted this invitation for June 3rd. The weather was excellent. The many cultures, with their own charisms, customs, songs, and languages, gave this celebration a special international flair.

Begegnungstag in Berlin
Photo: C. Neumann

Fourteen countries were represented: Australia, Germany, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Taiwan, Czech Republic and Vietnam. After welcoming the countries with their national flags, a festive mass was celebrated. An international atmosphere was also displayed at the altar with Father Weizenmann, a priest of the Sacred Heart, Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, born in Brazil (his family is very active in Attiba/Brazil) and Father Ha Do of the Vietnamese Mission.

The readings, Gospel and intentions were international, as were the songs in different languages. A small Vietnamese choir added a few songs. The mixture of the lively and rhythmic Spanish songs, the special melody of the Vietnamese songs and the songs in English and German allowed us to immerse ourselves in the colorful diversity. A particularly beautiful experience was when everyone prayed the “Our Father” in their own language.

encuentro internacional

Photos: C. Neumann

In procession with the large picture of the Pilgrim Mother from the Polish mission, the various Pilgrim MTAs and the national flags, we made our way to the Shrine. There, a Vietnamese children’s and youth dance group performed a worship dance in honor of the Blessed Mother. As a final touch, small bouquets of roses were placed at the feet of Our Lady. Everyone was deeply touched by the grace with which the children and youth expressed their love for Our Lady.

encuentro internacional
Photo: C. Neumann

After the dance, the Pilgrim MTAs were blessed and sent out again so that they may lead many people to God through Mary, especially here – in the Diaspora – thus bringing miracles of sheltering, inner transformation, and apostolic zeal.

After the final blessing, an international buffet was offered. Many had brought typical food from their own countries, so there was a nice encounter with great international conversations.

international gathering berlin
Photo: C.Neumann

In the afternoon, after a brief introduction, Sister M. Alena, who had traveled with Sister M. Rita from Schoenstatt, where they work with the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate, invited everyone to share their own experiences with the Pilgrim Mother.

The different testimonies and the work of the MTA were moving and impressive. At the end, just as during the Apostolate Jubilee last year in Schoenstatt, many wrote a letter to the Blessed Mother, which the Sisters took with them to the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt.  We remember with gratitude this wonderful day of international encounter, in which it became visible and tangible that Schoenstatt is international and is present in the whole world:

She is the great missionary. She will work miracles, also in Berlin.