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Apostolic Movement

Human chain for peace in Ukraine at the Schoenstatt Center

By: M. Louise Schulz.

This was a spontaneous idea that was circulated on social media. About 150 people came to the Schoenstatt Center in the diocese of Fulda to pray for peace and to offer a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine. Representatives of the Ukrainian refugees who have found a home in the former Provincial House of the Sisters participated.

90 refugees from Ukraine housed in the former center of the Sisters of Mary

Some 90 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Dietershausen in recent days. In the former

center of the Sisters of Mary, the Christian Community Rhön e.V. is providing them with safe lodging after the attacks on their country of origin. A wave of solidarity from the citizens of Dietershausen and the surrounding area is behind their efforts.

Ilona Wehner, who lives in Dietershausen and is part of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, coordinated the process together with the sisters, and recounts: “I woke up and thought that only a miracle could solve this. The conflict is so complex that we have to reach out to heaven and ask for a miracle. We have our faith, and we have to pray for this purpose. We have the shrine and the Victory Column here in our city, so it occurred to me to invite everyone to form a human chain with candles”

Standing together

Ilona is overwhelmed by the large turnout. “People have demonstrated, together with their families, that this is very important to them and that we are standing together. The residents of Dietershausen and the surrounding area have so far contributed many in kind donations. However, cash donations are urgently needed, because the big house needs to be heated, and the families must be given some money to be able to provide for themselves.”

Ilona Wehner also tells us about the most important wish of the Ukrainians who have made it to safety: “That the war will end and people may return to their homeland as soon as possible. Some families have fled together, i.e., parents with their children. There are also many single mothers with their young children who are very worried about the rest of their family.”


The power of prayer

After praying together for peace at the shrine, the crown-shaped human chain took shape. It stretched from the shrine to the Victory Column in

the park near the old Provincial House. This Marian column was erected during the Cold War as a sign of trust in the victory of Divine power over hatred, violence, and terror. Eve

ry year the consecration of Germany to the Virgin is renewed here. Since 1989, a cross made of wire that was once part of the Iron Curtain, dividing Germany in two, has been a reminder of th

e miracle behind the peaceful transformation of Germany and of the power of prayer.

It was already dark, and people were praying fervently, with candles in their hands. A representative of the refugees from Ukraine delivered touching words of thanksgiving in Russian, which were translated. He spoke about his family’s situation and gave an inspiring testimony of his conviction as a Christian and his trust in God even during the grave hardships of his country.


Video from OsthessenNews

From the Schoenstatt shrine to the Victory Column – human chain by candlelight: the residents of Dietershausen stand in solidarity.




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