Since March 22, 2020, the gates to the Schoenstatt Shrine
“Tabor of the Everlasting Presence of the Father” in Atibaia / State of São Paulo – Brazil
have been closed due to the “Covid-19” pandemic. This prompted a ‘fire in the embers’ in the sisters to “go out from the shrine” in order to “go” in a virtual way into the houses of the families who would otherwise come to the shrine of the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt on the occasion of their diocesan pilgrimages.
For us, who live in Atibaia, it is almost inconceivable that day after day no pilgrimage buses come with the many pilgrims, who otherwise enter our shrine with a yearning heart and greet our dear “Pilgrim Mother”.
We had to cancel the holy Mass with the renewal of the covenant of love on March 18. In addition, one, two, three, four, five, six and finally many diocesan pilgrimages could not take place, sometimes with five thousand pilgrims. This prompted us to draw up a plan for the shrine to use social media, especially Facebook and YouTube, to make the shrine with its graces accessible to thousands of families and pilgrims.
WE GO AND PILGRIMAGE FOR YOU
If the pilgrims cannot come to the shrine, we will pilgrimage in their place, with them, on their behalf. They cannot come, but we bring the shrine to their homes, cities, and dioceses. Inspired by this desire, inspired by the boundless love for our Mother and Queen and the children who love our Mother and Schoenstatt Queen who is three times wonderful and her shrine of grace, we planned daily programs to enable the Schoenstatt Family and pilgrims to participate online.
Many hours a day – online presence in the shrine
We begin every day at 9:30 am with the transmission of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which continues and is broadcast on YouTube until 12 noon ending with the prayer of the “Angel of the Lord”. In this way, a personal encounter with Jesus and the Blessed Mother is possible for everyone. At 3 p.m. we have holy Mass in the shrine with the online participation of hundreds of people. We conclude the day with praying the rosary in praise of the Queen and a request for physical and mental health around the world. Every mystery of the rosary is prayed by a person or group.
On March 23, after our diocese and city council ordered our gates to be closed, we began our spiritual pilgrimages. We accompanied the dioceses who had entered their annual pilgrimage on that day to the shrine each Sunday, as provided for in the program.
It was impressive to see the participation of every diocese who signed up, who joined us on the Internet for a spiritual pilgrimage at 9:00 a.m. Everything happened as if they were really here: with a welcome, with songs, prayers and much applause and applause for our heavenly Mother and Queen – on the other side of the cell phone: Such happy hearts, united with the Blessed Mother in the shrine to receive the graces and blessings of their pilgrimage to the shrine.
The joy of the spiritual pilgrimage of the dioceses, the spiritual presence of the pilgrims in the daily worship, the online participation in the celebration of the holy Mass and the rosary prayer in May gave us great joy. In this month of May in the pandemic, we wanted to bring our May flowers to our dear Schoenstatt Queen instead of all the pilgrims. Because they couldn’t physically come to their shrine, we wanted to prove our love.
MAY QUEEN, MY LOVE KNOWS NO LIMITS
The topic: “May Queen, my love knows no borders” stimulated the program planning. May 1st gave us a very nice sunny day with a blue sky. So nature invited us to praise in our Schoenstatt Tabor Shrine, SHE who is the most beautiful flower of all creation. In the morning, many took part in the praise of St. Joseph, the worker and concerned father for Mary and the baby Jesus. With Saint Joseph we made a pilgrimage to the shrine and united with all the workers. With the blessing of the ID cards, we entrusted all of their worries and needs to St. Joseph, accepted and took all their concerns to the shrine.
The highlight of the day was at 8:00 p.m. when we paid homage to Mary, the most beautiful of all mothers, with all who spiritually united with us. A group of sisters began to praise with their instruments. Over a thousand people joined us online and tuned in the song of praise in honor of the Queen of May.
Some testimonials collected from social media:
• “What a moment, how many graces we have received … Thanks to the sisters for this gift. Our dear Mother Thrice Wonderful deserves it.” Ester Morais
• “It seems like I am in the shrine! Thank you, sisters! This song of praise to our dear three times wonderful Mother and Queen is too beautiful!” Zuzuka Motta
• “A thousand times, thank you! Thank Our Lady for being able to participate in this blessing. I feel I am there in the shrine.” Graça Siquera
• “Heaven has touched the earth!” Cidinha Pinheiro
Such testimonies encouraged us to prepare the second song of praise on the eve of Mother’s Day on May 10, with even greater love, on the following topic:
She is my mother
The shrine was beautifully decorated, the songs well practiced, spiritual bouquets prepared for our Queen of May. Many thousands of Mary’s children from near and far joined us on the Internet to confirm through songs and prayer: She is my mother!
The highlight of the Marian praise was the Covenant Day. On every 18th in parishes in our country, in the different dioceses, people unite to renew their devotion to the Schoenstatt Mother and Queen and to bring their contributions to the capitol of grace. Still, it was surprising how many followed online the invitation with the topic:
“Covenant Mother and Queen.”
At 8:00 p.m., the “Tabor of the Eternal Presence of the Father” shrine opened its door in a virtual way to accommodate the numerous children through social communication. As a family, we thanked for the gift of the covenant of love, for the onset of grace on October 18, 1914, which continues to flow through the network of shrines. We thanked for the life of the deacon João Pozzobon, who was formed in the school of the shrine and who sang the most beautiful praises in his life to the Mother and Queen and who lived the covenant of love by carrying the image of the pilgrim shrine through all of our Brazilian country.
Virtually united in prayer
The month of May ended with the transmission of the Pentecost vigil. United with our dear Mother and Queen in the Coenaculum shrine, we pleaded for the descent of the Holy Spirit with his gifts and fruits over the holy Church and all of humanity.
The words of our father and founder become concrete:
“Schoenstatt, our shrine… should above all be our Cenacle. That is the silent waiting and hope that brings us together here at this time. We hope in our Cenacle for the great Pentecost miracle, similar to how it filled and transformed the soul of the apostles at the time. “(The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of Peace”, p. 360)
With thousands of pilgrims, virtually united in prayer, we converted our shrine into a Cenacle.
The online program will continue to run in the coming months until the pandemic ends. The door of the shrine is virtually open so that many can get to the heart of the Blessed Mother and allow her to help them overcome the challenges of this time.