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Apostolic Movement

Profound Experience of the Girls’ Youth in Lisbon

Under the motto “Make us see – Clarifica-te!” 900 girls gathered in Lisbon, Portugal, for the international meeting of the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth, where delegations from various countries were present for three days of activities. The meeting preceded World Youth Day (WYD), preparing the spirit and the heart for the great moments they would experience.

The meeting began on the afternoon of July 28. The young women were received with a warm welcome and the presentation of several videos prepared by the participating countries.

At the opening Mass, all the nations’ flags present were raised. After dinner, there was a musical evening with a violin performance by girls from Costa Rica, in which they played several well-known songs, including the anthem of the meeting.

“It was very beautiful to see how our love united us for the Schoenstatt Movement and how we were able to share Masses, adoration, games, songs, and dances,” mentioned Anita Vargas from the Girls’ Youth from Argentina, who emphasized that the encounter “was the perfect preparation to begin WYD with a heart full of joy and love.”

Make us see – Clarifica-te!

The following day, the 29th, was called the “Day of the Shrine”, and everything took place around it. The opening welcome was to the new delegations that arrived and morning prayer.

The leaders of the Girls’ Youth of Portugal spent the whole morning reflecting on the theme of the meeting. Francisca Laevski and Teresa Fonseca e Silva, national leaders of this meeting, said that with regard to the motto ‘Make us see – Clarifica-te!’ “they delved into the feminine identity in the light of the Blessed Mother, whose RTA crown represents the entire road that the Girls’ Youth has traveled throughout its meetings.”

After lunch, starting at noon, the groups from each country took turns to guard the Eucharistic Adoration in the sanctuary until late at night. During the same time, the girls were divided into approximately 20 groups to work together. They shared questions and reflections with each other.

“Participating in the International Meeting was a deeply meaningful experience,” shared Agustina Martin, from Argentina, and from her experience, she mentioned, “During these days, I had the opportunity to connect with young people from different cultures in an enriching environment. The inspiring talks and moments of reflection gave me new perspectives. Without a doubt, this meeting left a deep impression in my heart and will continue to inspire me,” said Agustina.

Moments of joy, fun, and prayer

Around 6:00 p.m., the advisors of the Girls’ Youth took the stage, and each community present, had the opportunity to present themselves. These communities were: the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt, the Sisters of Mary, and the women of the Institute of Families.

After Mass and supper, the youth gathered for a night of adoration with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the square. The silence at that time was striking.

Mariana Caetano, who was the head of the spirituality section of the event, relates: “If I had to describe the encounter with one word, it would be ‘harmony.’ Everything was so harmonious!” she mentioned, and she stressed that “once again, the Blessed Mother took care of everything, in a more than perfect way. In this encounter, I met God again, I discovered my originality as his daughter, and with my eyes fixed on Mary, I found my feminine ideal. In her dignity, I found mine, and in her light, I saw all the youth,” concluded Mariana.

On the way to Fatima: Let us see your graces!

On July 30, the third day of the meeting, the girls went to Fatima, where their activities were free and, together with the Boys’ Youth, they gathered for their international meeting in Aveiro, they shared that day and participated together in the Mass and the luminous rosary.

Jessica Prado, from Brazil, says: “his pilgrimage was very special for me because I always dreamed of being in Fatima, especially in the Capelinha das Aparições and in the luminous rosary,” she said. “The feeling you get when you pass through these places is as if the children were still alive; we felt their humility, their look of faith, a very vivid testimony. Each place we visited was very crowded, but it was a place of prayer and meditation. It was very special,” he said.

Luminous Rosary in Fatima

Profound experiences

The meeting was organized by the youth of Portugal and by the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt, which advises the branch. Mrs. Carminho Sarmento narrates: “What we felt the most in our encounter was an atmosphere of great joy, great serenity, despite there being so many people, and also full of shared experiences,” said Mrs. Sarmento. Besides, “the girls shared what they think, how they live Schoenstatt in their countries and in other realities. The balance was very positive, and we received excellent comments from the girls and the advisors during these days that we could share our love for Schoenstatt together”, concluded Mrs. Carminho.

To conclude the meeting, on the 31st, they participated along with the Boys’ Youth in the MTA Festival.

Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt



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