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Apostolic Movement

The Original Shrine welcomes Portuguese-speaking pilgrims

By: Sister M. Isabel Machado

The coordinators decided on this title, the crown and the scepter, because it should express the very reality of the visit that the Blessed Mother makes to her children, through the Pilgrim MTA. At the same time, it expresses the Virgin’s mission in the life of her migrant children.

It is perceived that most of the people who leave their countries of origin and look for a place in another country, where they are far from their own family and traditions they grew up with; different climate, mentality, and way of being and living the faith – often lose their faith, seeking other religions and even ceasing to believe. For this reason, upon receiving the crown, Our Lady was entrusted with the task of rescuing, welcoming and enriching (life, works, heart) so that there may always be peace.

A day of graces

On Sunday at 10:00 a.m., the area in front of the Adoration Church on Mount Schoenstatt was filled with some 350 to 400 pilgrims, from different places and countries, who arrived for Holy Mass. The joy of their return after a two-year break due to the pandemic was a sign of the unity among them. Their songs resounded in the Church and prayer flowed easily from their hearts.
O Santuário Original

At the beginning of the Mass, presided by Father Antonio Bracht, together with Father Marcos Leite (Cologne) and Father Emerson Rossine de Lima (Belgium), the “Queen” was brought by the children to the altar. In his homily, Father Antonio compared the Gospel of the Good Samaritan to the situation of the migrants: “Today, let us think of the people who are in the same situation as ours …. There are many people on the ‘side of the road’. Spiritually, they are not moving, and they came here to new lands, thinking of the future and the possibilities that these countries have to offer…. But, today, they are “sprawled” on the side of the road (spiritually). They are not on a pilgrimage. They do not know a community that speaks their language and welcomes them. We all need someone to encounter us and these people do not have anyone. So, what do we need? Rescue! Like the Good Samaritan, someone to look at them and help them.”

Receive the crown!

In the afternoon, after sharing lunch, we gathered for adoration and blessing with the Blessed Sacrament, which is also a powerful and important moment in the Pilgrimages. The songs and prayers were led by Father Marcos and helped the pilgrims in their encounter with the Lord.

Then, with the Queen, everyone went to the Original Shrine for the crowning moment. Each pilgrim was able to individually crown a small image using their own prayer, as a symbol that the Blessed Mother wants to be Queen of Hope and Love in every heart.

This moment of crowning the Pilgrim MTA was especially memorable for the communities. Our dear Mother received the crown and the scepter from the hands of two children, and with these she received “the maternal authority over her children”.

The joy of being present

O Santuário Original

This day of grace ended with the burning of slips of paper on which the contributions to the Capital of Grace were written. ” It is so good to be in the Blessed Mother’s house…it is a balm for the soul”, commented a participant. Others said the same thing: “It was an honor to participate in this moment!” “My husband, my son and myself were very happy with all that we saw, heard and with having participated in this incredible day of Pilgrimage. It was great to be able to help. We went home with much lighter hearts.”

It is a great joy to know that next year we will be able to meet again, on June 18, 2023!

And the crowned queen?

She left “in haste” with her children from Amsterdam, Holland to visit them in their homes, thus beginning her official Pilgrimage between cities and countries!

Context of this coronation:

Many people dream of living in other countries, especially in Europe. They dream of a quieter, safer life, with more possibilities for their children and more resources. The Portuguese people are no exception.

Since 2011, the Blessed Mother in Schoenstatt’s Original Shrine opens her heart in a special way every year to welcome the pilgrimage of her Portuguese-speaking children. Everywhere you hear the songs and prayers with different accents, because these pilgrims are natives of Portugal, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde or different regions of Brazil.

Their first pilgrimage was motivated by a priest from Pernambuco, Father Marcos Leite, whose mother was a missionary of the Pilgrim Mother in Brazil. Marcos works in a Portuguese-speaking community in Cologne. From such a humble beginning, the Pilgrimage has grown each year and has extended to Portuguese-speaking people from other countries besides Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, and Belgium.

Last year the idea of crowning the Blessed Mother to celebrate and give thanks for ten years of graces emerged. To prepare for this special encounter, a Pilgrim MTA was sent to visit the different Portuguese-speaking communities in these countries.

You can see the photos of the pilgrimage here:

Igreja da Adoração

Santa Missa

Santuário Original



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