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Apostolic Movement

Pilgrim Mother – Taking God to where He is needed

Sister M. Nurit Stosiek

October 1st, 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of the Schoenstatt Rosary Apostolate in Germany. The Pilgrim Mother, the images of Mary blessed in the Schoenstatt Shrine, visits more than 6,000 pilgrim circles throughout the country. Throughout the world, the Schoenstatt Rosary Apostolate reaches several million people.  It is part of the international Schoenstatt Movement which, with its more than 20 communities and groups, wants to bring God to the world anew in our time just like Mary, and in the Covenant of Love with her.

Pilgrim Mother

Spreading the Gospel in a part of everyday culture

Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt, from the Diocese of Görlitz in eastern Germany, came to Schoenstatt for the jubilee celebration because he considers this apostolate to be a contribution to the new evangelization in our country. “With the Schoenstatt Rosary Apostolate, a part of our everyday culture is permeated with the Gospel,” the bishop told the 800 faithful in attendance. “There is no place without faith, or without God.” Our Lady on pilgrimage in people’s everyday spaces is “a visible reminder that the Lord wants us to encounter Him and bear witness to Him everywhere.”

This could be experienced in many ways during this celebration. Already at the vigil on the eve of the celebration, we prayed for peace on the European continent and throughout the world, especially in Russia and the Ukraine. The Pilgrim Mother images are present in both countries. The flags of both countries were brought together to the church symbolizing the fervent prayer for peace between the two countries. During the October 1st morning mass, baskets with postcards were brought to the altar. Many people have sent “mail to Mary” in recent months: giving thanks for the closeness of God they have experienced, expressing petitions, fears, prayers in everyday language expressing what really touches them.

The crown’s blue stone: a powerful symbol

Pilgrim Mother

The bishop crowned the Auxiliary Pilgrim MTA image, and this crown has a blue stone placed in the center. It is the color of heaven -every individual is precious and valuable as a gift from heaven-. It is the color of water – a reminder of baptism. It is the color of planet Earth, endangered by wars, terror, famine, and environmental disasters. It is the color of the European flag: Mary has repeatedly intervened to save Europe throughout its history. Thus, Mary’s coronation combines natural and religious elements with the certainty that she intervenes in our lives, and tells us: Do not be afraid, I am here!

Moving testimonies


“The visit of the Pilgrim MTA to a home makes the presence of God felt,” said Bishop Ipolt, words that were echoed in many ways during the testimonies shared during the afternoon. Some of the young women talked about what their “postal” Pilgrim MTA, which is a Pilgrim MTA that is sent monthly by mail, means to them. “There is always a lot going on, a lot of hustle and bustle in daily life … But when the Pilgrim MTA arrives, it is like an active break at the gym,” says one of them. Another one added: “Thanks to the fact that Mary comes almost monthly to each one of us and carries a small notebook in which we write our intentions and personal prayers, a close and deep relationship has grown between us”.

A family of four shares what the Pilgrim Mother means to them. “Mary always comes at the right time and helps; I have been able to experience this all my life,” said the mother in her testimony. After a difficult childhood and youth, the dad found inner healing and a sustainable faith through Mary. The nine-year-old daughter related how happy she is, as she was able to get other classmates to join a circle she started when she was preparing for her First Communion. The 14-year-old son shared that there is a tradition that has grown in the family and that means a lot to them: the illuminated rosary on Candlemas Day, February the 2nd.

The testimonies make it clear: Mary brings God to the world, where He is needed.

Some of those here had been withdrawn from the faith and the Church or had not been involved at the beginning. Through their encounter with Mary, they have experienced a Church that is close to them. That has converted them.

Consecrating Germany to Mary

At the end of the celebration, the highlight in the Original Shrine was the consecration of Germany to Mary on behalf of all those present. Since the beginning of the Jubilee Year 27 weeks ago, the 27 dioceses of the German Church have prayed intensely in a “prayer marathon” so that each week a new beginning of faith, hope and love would be achieved for the inhabitants of that particular diocese.

Twenty-seven scrolls listing all the places where the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother of Schoenstatt travels were delivered to the Shrine. Finally, all the Pilgrim MTA’s will be sent again, and new ones will begin their journey, three of them to the diocese of Görlitz.


What Wolfgang Ipolt expressed about the Schoenstatt Rosary Apostolate could be perceived in this celebration: “This is more than a project; it is a missionary path of faith that Schoenstatt initiated and that in the meantime has put many people in contact with Mary and her Son.”



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