CHILE, Talca, by Patricia Escobar and María Magdalena Prieto •
“It was truly an incredible day. It was a little piece of heaven, it was very emotional!” These comments are a sample of what the family from Talca experienced 19 March, the day their Shrine was blessed. “It was wonderful that we could be united at a distance, and thank you very much for participating with us!”
Here we share some testimonies of the experiences from this special day, in which everyone participated either near or far, physically or via live transmission.
Approximately 5,000 pilgrims from Chile and Argentina
On the Feast of St. Joseph, our Tierra Escogida [Chosen Land} Family celebrated. At last, after desiring it greatly, our Queen came to establish herself in our Shrine and to bring her Son, Jesus.
The choir, prepared by couples and their children, did not miss a single detail. The flags from the different branches and communities led the procession. Our family coordinators, Alejandro and Isabel Silva Murillo, gave a warm welcome to approximately 5,000 pilgrims who came from different cities of Chile and Argentina, filling the area with a true family. They invited us to prepare the heart and to raise all the capital of grace gathered for so a long time on high, expressed in the six jars of water, evoking the miracle at Cana. Many of the Shrines that visited us brought their jars with their own contributions.
Thus we were able to enter the celebration with devotion and joy, to experience the consecration of our Shrine to welcome the Lord in his Dwelling. In his homily, the Bishop of Talca, the Very Reverend Horacio Valenzuela, invited us to profoundly value the gift that we have and to place it at the service of our Church: Schoenstatt reaching out, and understanding that our Shrine is called to be a school of solidarity, where we can perceive the needs of others, like a beautiful gesture that Mary transmits to us. To make the Blessed Mother’s phrase our own: “Do whatever he tells you.” It is more than an invitation; it is to keep the passion alive, to do God’s will. Finally he urged us by citing our Father and Founder: “Amen to Jesus, live for Jesus, learn to die for Jesus.”
The Blessed Mother arriving at the Shrine
Perhaps, the most touching moment was our Blessed Mother’s arrival at the Shrine. She was adorned with flowers and grapes in a typical cart of our area. She was brought to the Shrine by our Boys’ Youth preceded by the flags of the Girls’ Youth and Mary’s Apostles, who filled the road with petals in a beautiful carpet worthy of a queen. The thousands of pilgrims sang songs and waved while handkerchiefs and flags welcoming our Mother, who established herself in her place of honor. After the Mass, pilgrims were in line for hours to enter the Shrine, to visit her and to leave their profound love and their offerings in her hands.
That night this beautiful celebration concluded with the joy that the Girls’ Youth gave our Blessed Mother –14 Covenants of Love– the first ones received in her Shrine, a promise of faith and loyalty.
We are heartily grateful for the many demonstrations of affection and fraternity we have received from our Schoenstatt Family from all over the world, and especially the thousands of pilgrims that came from many Chilean and Argentinean cities.
This Tierra Escogida is a piece of heaven and we want to share it.
Patricia Escobar, Talca
A day that is difficult to forget
My husband, Alberto and I had the joy of participating in this blessing.
We were invited a year ago, but I erased the email because Talca is 700 km., and it was very difficult to go. I left it in the Blessed Mother’s hands.
And she gave us this gift. A week before the event, our daughter called us from Santiago inviting us to the blessing of this Shrine. We would go by bus from Santiago with the family from Colina, the missionaries of the Pilgrim Mother, couples and children. Talca is 300 Km. from Santiago.
It was a wonderful; it was a beautiful sunny day. The bishop’s homily was very intimate, very Schoenstatt. We liked it very much.
It was a very memorable day. Thank you Little Mother for this little gift.
Gabriela Kyling, Osorno
Everything was very beautiful; it was a wonderful experience, a warm embrace for the entire Talca Schoenstatt Family from the Shrine Las Rosas de Mary [Mary’s Roses], San Fernando.
Oriana Alejandra Nuñez Reyes
Congratulations to the people from Talca for their organization and welcome!
María Isabel Amenábar Herrera
Talca Family, it is with great emotion that I send these words. Saturday I was able to follow the inauguration of your Shrine “live” over the Internet from France, where I have lived for 36 years. During my youth, I participated actively in the family from Zona Oeste (Carrascal) that is the Schoenstatt Family from Nuevo Belén (Zona Oeste de Santiago). A family with whom I am still united from a distance. Sr. Eugenia María sent me the announcement of the inauguration of the Shrine of Talca and Saturday I wanted to unite spiritually with you. I opened the Schoenstatt Chile website (in France it was 4:30 p.m.) I was surprised that the ceremony was being transmitted “live”. It was so touching to see the picture of the Blessed Mother take possession of her home! May the Blessed Mother bless you and give you the strength, enthusiasm and loyalty to continue the mission in that region of our beautiful Chile. I hope to visit this “Tierra Escogida” someday, so I say: count on that and congratulations.
Sonia Allendes de Fillinger, France
I like the Shrine of Talca very much. May our Mother always be with you in her home. Congratulations to everyone who helped in the construction of the beautiful Shrine. Thank you very much and blessings.
A new refuge for souls who have consecrated ourselves to the Blessed Mother, and we ask her along with well loved Son: continue being our Beacon of Hope, very beautiful, touching, joyful and with great participation in the blessing ceremony.
Group of Mary’s Joy, Cauquenes, Chile