“The campaign is really beautiful!”
Seventy years ago, on September 10, 1950, the action of the Pilgrim MTA of Schoenstatt, which is now worldwide, began through the Brazilian Family Father and Deacon João Luiz Pozzobon. During the "Pozzobon Day" at the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt-Vallendar on September 10, 2020, something of his depth of faith and missionary fire leapt over.
By: Sr. Marié Munz
The crowd of about 120 participants from, from regions as Wilhelmshaven, Köln, Mainz, Karlsruhe, Freiburg, Fulda, Trier, Limburg and Stuttgart were somewhat lost in the vast Pilgrim Church. However, coronavirus social distancing regulations could not diminish the inner nearness and warmth. Just as a huge family gathers around the family mother, so too did those few who were present there gather as they represented approximately 46 000 German homes that the Pilgrim Mother visits.
One participant summed it up, saying: “The campaign is really beautiful!” (P.R.)
“I am impressed with the way Mr Pozzobon never became discouraged. Since 1998 I have been accompanying two Pilgrim Mother groups. Even though people come and go, nevertheless it has always continued even up until now. Sometimes I think to myself that not much is happening when the Blessed Mother visits a home. Yet, there are many little things that occur, or that one becomes more aware of. For instance, my 16 year old son is not really churchy, but I have noticed that he is glad everytime the Pilgrim Mother is with us.” (F.U.)
“We have three Pilgrim Mother groups in our area. I have consciously travelled to Schoenstatt, because I have great confidence in the Blessed Mother. Today, like John Pozzobon, I thought, I really have no more of my heart’s blood to give to the Pilgrim Mother. Now, I want to pray for the members of our Pilgrim Mother groups and I also want to be More there for them.”
A visitor stood for some time watching what was happening at the Pilgrim Church with the coronavirus registration. Everyone arrived with the same image of the Blessed Mother under their arm. They were all joyful and relaxed. People were already praying in the Pilgrim Church. He went up to the registration table and asked, “What’s happening here today?” He listened and then went on his way. About half an hour later, he was there again and booked himself in for the day. On receiving the handouts for participants – booklets and the newly published Pozzobon Brochure (pamphlet / leaflet): 140 000 km with Mary for God and for the People, he said, “Now I only need the Blessed Mother’s picture.”
He discovered that the Pilgrim Mother image was not for sale, since it was part of a worldwide campaign. So he purchased a little souvenir Pilgrim Mother and entered the Pilgrim Church. At the end of the church service, he was to be seen, there in the midst of them, when the people who were accompanying the Pilgrim Mother images were invited to come up for a blessing and to be commissioned as missionaries. He had his little image of the MTA blessed and was commissioned. The spark was caught.
During the time for inspiration and ideas, the life and work of Deacon Pozzobon came into the spotlight. Different people spontaneously began to relate their experiences with the Pilgrim Mother. Three participants shared how they themselves still knew John Pozzobon personally. Their eyes reflected his humility and his love for the Blessed Mother. It became obvious: He is credible.
“What I liked was how it was said that we are instruments of the Blessed Mother. We are her feet, her hands, her face, her eyes, when we pass her on to others. It is indeed so. Most important of all is: loyalty”
The blessed day concluded at 19:00 by praying the international rosary in the Original Shrine.
Further details of the Pozzobon Day can be found on from the website www.pilgerheiligtum.de or may be requested from the Secretariat for the Pilgrim Mother Campaign:
- The Pozzobon Brochure: 140 000 km with Mary for God and for the People €2,50
- Video presentation with text: I transformed myself into a little donkey that carried our Mother! (by JL Pozzobon)
- Video testimony: How I experienced him (by Fr Antonio Bracht), available end of October
- Booklet: 70 Years – Start of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign: Devotions and Eucharistic Praise