September 3, 2018

“A great sign appeared in the heavens “

from Sr. Heike-Maria Bertling Photos: Sr. M. Hildmar Schroeder

The “Queen of the New Evangelization of Europe”

at the Feast of Encounter on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, in Borken

Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary – in our area of ​​Germany a normal working day: In the Schoenstatt Au in Borken we celebrated our “Feast of Encounter” and were richly blessed! We began the feast day in the early afternoon at the picture of grace of the “Mother of Good Counsel” in St. John’s Church in Borken. Auxiliary Bishop Matthias Koenig, who came especially from Paderborn, Canon Dr. Oliver Rothe and about 60 other large and small pilgrims moved from there, singing and praying through the busy streets of our city to the shrine of Merciful Father-love in the Schoenstatt Au. With this, we placed before the Blessed Mother, the Queen of the New Evangelization of Europe, all our worries about our continent.

We entered our Annunciation Church for the festive Pontifical Mass. Extra chairs had been added and still the church was crowded. Even Auxiliary Bishop Koenig was surprised at how many people gathered here today “on a weekday” to honor together the Blessed Mother, the “great sign in the heavens” and to celebrate her great feastday. Here she was visible and perceptible in our midst under the sign of the “Europe Auxiliary”, a large pilgrim shrine that has been wandering for several years in the intention of the new evangelization throughout Europe. Later, Auxiliary Bishop Koenig expressed how much he had received from this atmosphere here. Countless others who attended expressed similar reactions. During the service, the many children were particularly involved. The texts of the Holy Scriptures and the words of the Auxiliary Bishop confirmed our faith: She, the Blessed Mother, is the great sign in the heavens, the great sign of hope for our time. It is her crown of twelve stars (see Rev 12: 1) that adorns the European flag. With her, we too can and should become a small sign of hope!

After the celebration in the church there began in the front of the church a hustle and bustle: Small and larger children on the bouncy castle, on carriage rides, a dance performance and many other activities. Thanks to many dedicated volunteers from the ranks of our employees and their families, the Schoenstatt Girls/Young Women and other friends of the Schoenstatt-Au, the physical well-being was well taken care of. Quick additional seating for all was brought.

Happy hours in a warm, family atmosphere could be experienced by the approximately 600 guests and many new contacts were made. One woman could hardly believe the happiness that Divine Providence has just prepared for her: she won the grand prize, a new coffee machine, in the raffle of the family movement. Her own broke a few days ago, she says, and this touched her.

During the festival, the guests came again and again to the shrine of Merciful Father-love, where Mary also waits for them in the name of the European Auxiliary. Many entrust to the Mother of God their personal concerns, light a candle and may experience her love.

The excerpt from an e-mail that arrived after the festival may speak to many people from the soul: “I am thankful and returned home enriched.”