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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Simple men called to greatness before God

By: Sr. M. Rosequiel Fávero

On this day, December 12th, 118 years ago, the Servant of God John Louis Pozzobon was born. A member of the Schoenstatt Movement in Santa Maria/RS, John Pozzobon began the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Apostolate in 1950. He faithfully dedicated 35 years of his life to taking the image of the Mother and Queen, the “Pilgrim Mother”, to families, schools, jails and any other place that opened its doors to Jesus and Mary. His apostolic commitment has multiplied into thousands of active Pilgrim Mother missionaries in all continents.

Simple men

John Pozzobon’s birthday happens to coincide with the day we commemorate “another Juan”, the Indian Juan Diego, who became the instrument chosen by Mary to make her known as the “Virgin of Guadalupe“, patroness of Latin America.

Hombres sencillos

Juan Diego was a man of faith, consistent with his baptismal obligations, regularly cultivating his communion with God through the Eucharist and studying the catechism.

On a Tuesday, December 12th. 1531, while he was on his way back to the City, the Virgin appeared to him and invited him to climb to the top of the hill of Tepeyac to pick flowers and bring them to her. Despite the cold winter weather and the aridity of the place, Juan Diego found some very beautiful flowers. Once collected, he placed them in his “tilma” and took them to the Virgin, who ordered him to present them to the Bishop as evidence of his truthfulness. Once before the bishop, Juan Diego revealed his “tilma” and dropped the flowers, while inexplicably the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared imprinted on the fabric. Since that moment, she became the spiritual heart of the Church in Mexico.

Simple men

Similarities between Juan Diego and John Pozzobon

There are many similarities between them: they are plain townspeople, fearful of God and devoted to Mary, uneducated and lacking any great fame in the eyes of men. But before God, the scales and measurements are different. They became instruments of evangelization in the service of Jesus and Mary. And their fame transcended the frontiers of countries and continents.

Juan Diego and John Pozzobon indicate what the missionary disciple, according to the Aparecida Document, and the Church on the move as promoted by Pope Francis, is all about. We cannot just wait or postpone it until tomorrow. It is necessary to embrace the mission, to reach out to the peripheries of every kind and place, always guided by our Blessed Mother’s hand.

May they intercede before God in heaven for those who try to follow in their footsteps, so that “other Johns“, instruments of Mary, may fill our roads, making the Church present in all the peripheries of our time.

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