November 17, 2022

National Pilgrimage of the Italian Schoenstatt Family to Belmonte, Italy

Sr. M. Vera Lucia Mangas

My Home is Your Shrine


October 22 and 23, 2022: Our joy was great at seeing one another after a long time and to come to the shrine to immerse ourselves in the Schoenstatt atmosphere and to be kindled anew for the mission.

The participants came from the regions of Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Sicily, Apulia, and Lazio.  A couple from Argentina was likewise present.

The motto “My Home is Your Shrine”

was the theme. We wanted the reality of the home shrine to become alive through testimonies, interviews, impulses, and sharing.

The meeting began on Saturday at 6:00 pm with Holy Mass. The beautiful atmosphere already then allowed us to immerse ourselves in the spiritual world of the meeting.

Prayer vigil with Eucharistic Adoration:

The vigil that preceded the day was a true prayer vigil with adoration and various reflections on the “houses of Mary.” The thoughts centered on the attitude of the Blessed Virgin Mary at concrete places, places of her life: the house of gathering, the house of praise, of dreams, of contemplation, of dialogue and so on. Each house of Mary inspired us to compare it with our life and thus enter into dialogue with the Eucharistic Jesus.

Father Facundo Bernabei and Sister M. Asuncion Bergen led the program of the day. Our goal was to unite the motto and life. We began on Sunday in the shrine. Everyone was invited to come to the shrine for the opening prayer.

Father Facundo opened the conference with a wonderful video that had the theme

“(Francis), Go and Rebuild My Church!”

In his talk, Father Facundo wanted to illustrate the theme of the home shrine as our theme for the year. He connected it to two important experiences: the International Pentecost Congress in Schoenstatt, Germany and the National Meeting of the Movement Leaders in Italy. With this impulse he literally began to build a home shrine.

As he unpacked his theme, a construction site took form and came to life, especially with the symbols of the first home shrines in Italy which were blessed by Father Joseph Kentenich in 1965. Finally, each participant received a candle to place in the construction site of the home shrine.

Testimonies about the importance of the home shrine in the family were given by Margherita Marcori von Santa Croce sull’Arno (Tuscany) and Rea d’Amico, (Rom).  Also,  S. E. Mons. Ignazio Sanna (Rom) related the history of the first home shrine in Rome which was blessed by Father Kentenich on November 26, 1965.

In the prayer for this day, we discovered the motto that will accompany us this year: “My home is your shrine.” It was placed in front of the altar and later was brought to the shrine.

The Holy Mass, celebrated by S. E. Mons. Ignazio Sanna and four other priests ended the day and we went to the shrine to renew our covenant of love.

We returned home with numerous impulses, encouraged to set the world on fire where our everyday life takes place.

The beautiful songs, the prayers, the prepared materials, the organization of the schedule, the numerous sacrifices and work behind-the-scenes contributed to the actualization of this national day of pilgrimage and brought abundant blessings.

“My heart, O Mother, longs to thank for everything, for everything …”