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Apostolic Movement

The International Girls’ Youth crowns the RTA

Sofi Saravia

During these last days of July, youth from different countries went on pilgrimage to the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt (Vallendar, Germany) as they began their trip to World Youth Day in Portugal. Delegations came from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, United States and Germany. This pilgrimage had a special night for the International Girls’ Youth: on the night of July 26th the girls renewed the Crowning of the Blessed Mother.

“Great is the one who consecrates his/her life to something great”. Following these words from Father Kentenich, inspired by the heroism of the first sodalists and of so many who lived the Covenant of Love with fidelity, the Girls’ Youth renewed their consecration to the Blessed Mother with the RTA crown. Some were touched by what it meant, others arrived without knowing much of the history that it concealed, but they discovered it gradually.

“I know this wonderful land, it is my homeland, it is my Schoenstatt land”. With these words, the experience around the Original Shrine began. Throughout the experience, they relived the legacy that this crown carries, a witness of the history that unites the Girls’ Youth with Father Kentenich.

The small RTA crown is placed behind the “big crown” of the MTA, in the Original Shrine

The RTA crown, given to the International Girls’ Youth

The original crown was a gift that Father Kentenich gave to the Girls’ Youth in Münster, Germany, in 1945. Along with it, Fr. Kentenich gave them the mission of Reinheit (purity), Treue (fidelity) and Adel (nobility) – RTA. Ten years later, the Girls’ Youth of Münster gave this crown to all the German Girls’ Youth and the Girls’ Youth of the whole world. Years later the crown began to go on pilgrimage to Shrines all over the world and in 1999 someone stole it while it was traveling from Ecuador to Switzerland.

“Now what?” was the question that invaded the hearts of the Girls’ Youth, and the words that Father Kentenich had spoken resonated: “You are my living crown”. Thus, a new mission for the International Girls’ Youth was born: to become living crowns for the Church. Crowns that shine in their originality, embodying the values of purity, fidelity, and nobility as a way of life that aims for the highest ideals and is the starting point for great things.

As it is a crown that is passed from generation to generation, testimonies were heard from yesterday’s and today’s youth about life experiences linked to the RTA.

Written in the handwriting of Fr. Kentenich: “Ihr seid meine Krone” (You are my crown)

“Queen, we want to be your living crowns”

An important moment took place when all the girls were given a paper lily and invited to write on it those aspects of their lives in which they would like Mary to be crowned. In exchange for this lily, a symbol of their lives, they were each given a small RTA charm. “Queen, we want to be your living crowns.”

The RTA crown with which the Blessed Mother would be crowned circulated among the girls, and then it entered the Shrine held by some representatives for the renewal of the crowning.

According to Maria Paz Jara, from Paraguay, this experience meant a re-encounter with the Blessed Mother, a re-encounter with her home and with the sisterhood of the Girls’ Youth of the world. Sisterhood that is born of a common mission.

At the end, they all made a commitment together: “RTA, today we make ourselves responsible for the next 100 years of Schoenstatt. Make Yourself responsible for each one of us, for all your Girls’ Youth and for the Youth of the whole world. Our crown in your crown, and together into the new era”.


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