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Create on 2013-10-19 17:25:26 - 2014

The Jubilee Year is open

Fr. Andrew Pastore. “The Jubilee Year is open” - these words spoken by Fr. Heinrich Walter in different languages brought a great cry of joy from the 2000 pilgrims gathered from all over the world outside the Original Shrine on the evening of the 18th October.


There was an incredible atmosphere around the Original Shrine the whole day. The renovations, completed at the last minute, caused people to take a step back and look once again. The view to the pilgrim square, with the many chairs and benches, the stages, lighting, cameras and equipment were just the outward sign of what was to be a great and joyful celebration of a family gathered from many nations.

The first pilgrim of the year

At 8pm there was complete silence and anticipation as Fr. Michael Marmann, Rector of the Original Shrine went out to meet the “first” pilgrim of the jubilee year, Cardinal Stanislaus Rylko. A greeting - then the music began.

It was amazing to see the flags of 72 nations coming forward following that first pilgrim toward the Original Shrine. A welcome from Fr. Heinrich Walter, a word of joy from the Cardinal to be sharing this moment with the international family and the opening ceremony began.

I trust your might…

Now - I have to add this - but it is just a part of my personal experience - I hope many will share theirs. The opening we could share with many throughout the world (and I know that not everyone could benefit from this - something we are working on) because we transmitted the ceremony live in 142 countries and through the internet through our collaboration with EWTN, and especially schoenstatt-tv. You have no idea how many times that day I had to run to the Original Shrine and just keep repeating, “I trust your might....” and, if you had been at the rehearsal the night before - you would know how we all felt Our Lady’s hand over things - even over the weather.

When the Church searches for Christ, she always knocks on the door of Mary and asks: “Show us Jesus

But back now to the message of the feast - just two moments for now.

First words of Pope Francis spoken in Aparecida: “When the Church searches for Christ, she always knocks on the door of Mary and asks: “Show us Jesus”. The Cardinal knocked three times and the Door was opened.

The second moment - “The jubilee of the covenant of love with Mary is therefore for us a new decision for Christ. It is a fundamental decision, the most important of one’s life – a decision that concerns our entire existence and our destiny. Blessed John Paul II said: “The person who wants to understand himself thoroughly [...] must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself.”

We came to knock on Mary’s door, we entered in as we are, we gave thanks with 100 roses for what has come about over the last 100 years, we heard the call to face the challenges of faith in the world today and we celebrated.

Just as a footnote - there were fireworks too...

If you missed out you can see events on and photos here – from all over the world we are getting echo’s of how great it was to be involved…live… A taste of things to come…

Photos (International Opening and other events)