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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Our Treasure: The Blessed Mother’s Wayside Shrine in Caracas

By: Elisa Velásquez Yépez

Fruits of the Introductory Course to Schoenstatt -ICS- in Central America.

In 2020, the Introductory Course to Schoenstatt (ICS) was held virtually in Central America welcoming couples, who in the midst of physical isolation, sought to connect spiritually with people holding similar values and ideals. Many couples from different Latin American countries, including Venezuela, participated in the course.

Janeth González and Antonio Noda, from Venezuela, wanted to become part of the Schoenstatt Movement, attended all the sessions, showed an immense love for the Blessed Mother, and, above all, demonstrated an apostolic depth that was noticeable in each intervention.

The Movement has been present in that country since the 80’s with the notable participation of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, the prayer of the rosary by a million children and the construction of at least two wayside shrines in Caracas. These currents of life were not organized in the form of established groups or branches and remained scattered in other Venezuelan cities such as Valencia, Barquisimeto and Chichiriviche.

With the encouragement of the ICS, the Noda González couple deepened their self-formation with a Venezuelan couple belonging to the Family Branch, who assisted them from Costa Rica. Formation books and other materials were sent to them so that they could undertake the mission of giving new life to the Movement in Caracas.

 

 

In search of the wayside shrine in Caracas

The yearning was deep, and so they began the search for the treasure of a wayside shrine that represented for them a place where the Blessed Mother was waiting to shower her graces once again giving a new drive to Schoenstatt’s growth in Venezuela. They set out to discover this small place where the Blessed Mother could be found. So, they arrived at a store located in Dos Caminos, in Caracas. There they were told that a neighbor had talked about the existence of a wayside shrine in the Humboldt Park, in La Castellana. At the foot of the iconic mountain, symbol of the city of Caracas, there they would find her…

The next day, Antonio Noda’s heart was touched by a supernatural inclination that made him get up and go in search of the wayside shrine. After much searching, they arrived at a sports park where they found the Blessed Mother standing at the end.

This is how Antonio relates this encounter:

“Our hearts felt such a great joy that our reaction was to cry and kneel before her presence. This wayside shrine is very deteriorated by time. It was painful for us to see her in such a state. We began to clean her a little and then we took some photos and sent them to our Schoenstatt Costa Rica group, to Angel Pacheco Bastidas and his wife Aurimar González. Such was our beautiful encounter with the Blessed Mother.”

During the last few weeks Janet and Antonio have continued with their apostolate of making the Blessed Mother known in the parish of St. John Eudes, where many faithful already pray to her with devotion. They want to make many contributions to the Capital of Grace so that this resurgence of the Movement in Venezuela will fill this beautiful nation with many blessings.

 

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